If you are planning your 2010 marathon schedule, this is one to miss!
Okay . . . if I had had a great run, maybe my view would be different. As it was, it wasn't one of my better days. Started out too fast and the course just didn't fit me very well.
A few good things though:
1) Met some neat people - Three folks I ran with blew me away. One lady, Caroline Williamson, had run a trail 50k the DAY before!!! Two others ladies (Tammy and Tammy!!) had run the Rocky Raccoon 50 miler the weekend before! I felt totally inadequate running with these three!! Plus, ran in to a few other runners I sort of knew (Monica Nop and "Redbird"). Picture is of one of the Tammy's and Caroline on the right.
2) Nice Shirt. It wasn't coton, but nice looking.
3) My daughter, Laurie, and her boyfriend jeff Lamb surprised me at the finish line! Connie came on the trip with me and she knew they were coming, but I was VERY surprised! Laurie is in College of Charleston in Charleston, SC and Jeff is at Georgetown in DC. Laurie was up visiting for the long weekend but I expected them to spend their precious little time together. What a nice surprise!
4) The race had an early start (9:30 am) for us slow runners, and the real race started at 10:30. Better for volunteers and for us turtles.
5) One man . . . one boom box . . . out cheering by himself in 40 degree temps for all three laps! He rocks!! I always amazes me how someone cheering and shouting encourgement help! He was amazing!
But the race negatives were major to me.
1) First, the course was not closed to traffic so we had to run on the left and the roads were very crowned. Not good . . . lots of stress on your left ankle and hip. My hip is fine but my left ankle is killing me! Pain started at about mile 17 or so! Several times I considered quitting! I've never done that before!
2) The course was weird . . . you run about 2-3 miles to get to the loop, run three loops in a triangle (one leg was pretty, the other two sucked!), then back. The one leg was really nice . . . wooded, farmland, etc. on a very lightly traveled road but the second leg had more traffic and way less to look at. The third leg was just BAD! Lot's of traffic and no views.
3) The medal was not dated!! Just a sticker on the back with the date! I've got to admit, I really like getting a medal for either a marathon or ultra. I'm not much on giving medals for lessor distances except for kids.
4) Mixed feeling about the marathon relay. Added confusion but do like to see ways of getting more people out there! At least the folks at the relay exchange point cheered some!!! Relay runners had different color sashes depeding on the event they entered. Guess that make the race management easier, but I would have liked a different color sash for each leg . . . yellow for the first lap, green for the second lap runner and red for the last lap runner.
5) Everything was confusing! Hard to find race hotel, check-in process seemed unplanned, race day packet pickup was the same, Pretty much nothing at the finish line. I believe with just a little more pre-planning all this could be fixed.
Overall, a good race to miss unless they make some significant changes . . . esecially with the course itself. Seems to me like perhaps they could make this a combo road run using the first leg on the road and a trail section looping back through the Goddard Space prperty . . . know permissions might be hard to work out but something needs to be done.