Dead toenail count: 3
This was a really nice small community marathon with less than 120 finishers. One piece of evidence, when the announcer said my name at the awards ceremony there was an ‘oooohh’ when he said I was all the way from Michigan. Really nice shirt, decent race support, nice course, all for $30? That’s a deal and a half.
This was my first marathon since my big decision to stop ‘racing’ every marathon I enter. I am hoping to run a total of 8 marathons this calendar year and can’t bust my butt at every single race. So for this one I decided to go out ‘slow’ and get in gear early and hold it. At the start (about 50 degree with a nice breeze) I started out with front group for the 1st mile. The pace felt good but I did not look at my watch until we hit the mile 1 marker and then I noticed I was going to fast (about 6:17) so I let the crowd of 5 guys go, then dropped back to 6:40 and stuck it ‘in gear’ for the rest of the race. I would have finished a little sooner but I made at least one wrong turn that cost me at least a minute. The official time says that my overall average pace was 6:51, but my GPS watch had me averaging 6:45 for the whole race but it also said I ran more than 0.25 mile long. Oh well. I got under 3 hours, which makes me happy.
The course was very pretty, going around a nice large lake with some stretches on county highways and some stretches through residential lake front streets. The course markings were so-so, and there were only two aid stations in the first 6 miles which ticked me off. After that they got more frequent. The temperature was not too high, so keeping appropriately hydrated was easy. The course had several ‘rolling hills’ but none of them were too high or too long. A pleasant course, just make sure to drive it beforehand or you can easily get lost.
Under 3 hours without even really trying. Who knows what will happen when I go back to actually racing these marathons. Yippie!