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mnjogger FIRST-TIMER '17

This is more of a race report. It was my 17th marathon. There were ~800 marathoners and someone estimated ~1000 half marathoners. Registration was easy, packet pickup was straightforward. Race … MORE

This is more of a race report. It was my 17th marathon. There were ~800 marathoners and someone estimated ~1000 half marathoners. Registration was easy, packet pickup was straightforward.

Race day itself was blustery with rain and ~12+ mph winds. Temps were upper 40s (F) and climbed into the 50s (F). I think it rained at least half of the race: There comes a point where you become oblivious to it. It seemed we ran into the headwind for about 7km of the first 13km, then at the end of the race along the lakefront (~10km). I don’t know how typical this weather was for this race, but this is why we train in all kinds of weather.

This was a point to point race and the mileage was well-marked at every km.
Road conditions were good. There were water/Nuun stops roughly every 3km. We were encouraged to park at the finish line and were bussed to the start. At the start location participants were able to stay sheltered in a heated gymnasium before the race. Bag drop off was also there (bring your own drop bag). Drop bags were transported to the finish line. Parking, bussing, and bag drop off was all performed efficiently and effectively by the organizers.

The course itself could be broken into 3 segments: the escarpment (~22km), the parkway (~8km), and the lakeshore (~12km). The escarpment segment contains some hills but overall I was able to average out to my goal marathon pace by the end of the segment. The parkway segment contains a highway stretch which is a moderate-and-then-some downhill and a short trail path (crushed gravel for ~1km and asphalt for ~1km). I ran
the highway stretch about 30-45 seconds/mile faster than my goal marathon pace: The downhill and wind at our backs promoted that. Despite the rain the trail path was in better condition than I expected and running on it was not a problem. The lakeshore segment was more or less flat but it seemed regardless of what direction I ran it was always into the wind! I fell off pace 30-45 seconds/mile the last 4-6 miles. I didn’t have any more to give.

My PR prior to the race was 3:56 and I trained for a 3:45 marathon using Hanson’s Method. I finished this race in 3:43 despite the weather and slow finish. I am thrilled!! Once I crossed the finish line volunteers were ready to assist me with getting into the recovery tent and refueling. Kudos for that! Once refueled I went to the tent where our drop off bags were stored and retrieved mine.

Possible Improvement – create a changing area at the finish for runners: one for men, one for women. Simply partition off a section of one of the tents.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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