In my quest to run 100 marathons (or better) in one state, I need to not ignore smaller races that are so-so. This was was perfectly ‘ok’. Career marathon #73, and that’s the best description I can offer.
This race has been around for several years, but I have avoided it because its reputation was not that great. ~3mile loop with 1 aid station, boring course, overpriced. Before this year it was only once per year (in the summer) but this year they added a fall version and they had made some changes (notably making it a ~8.66 mile long course) and better aid. This is a fundraiser for a small HS cross country team, so I don’t expect a whole lot.
The course meandered through suburban Saginaw, MI along not-too-populated city streets, with not too much to look at, but with little traffic, it was nice. There were aid stations at normal intervals, but most had only water and a few with Gatorade, no gels anywhere. But again, this is meant to be a no frills marathon.
The course consisted of three 8.66 mile loops + ‘rat-tail’ in front to round out to 26.2. I was running without a watch, so I went on feel, but felt fairly good. I finished the first loop in 1:01, which is just over 3:00 pace, which is great considering I just ran a 44 mile ultra a week before. The second loop took me 1:03, and the third was complete in 1:05. Same old, same old in that my back half was 5-10 min slower than my front half.
This race represented the end of my fall racing season as I have run 5 marathons (or longer) in the last 6 weeks. This race was a nice calm relaxing ending to a good race season. Now with 5(!) weeks until my next race I can relax and up my training mileage getting ready for 2012, another year of the serious distance work