Joining me were Eric Pate, Steve Cooper, Ron Fleming and Dave Lavely. Well, actually Dave was there and ran the race, but we never saw him as he and his kids were spending time with his sister and her family. Eric and Ron were fired up to run hard. Steve Cooper was coming off a nagging calf problem and really should not have run the race . . . but he wasn't going to miss it! So he decided to hang back with me and just have a good time. Unfortunately, I forgot to charge the battery in my camera, so I didn't get many pictures :-(
Steve and I did have fun! We took it very easy and just enjoyed the run.
The first half of the Thunder Road Marathon is gorgeous! We wind through a series of beautiful old, stately neighborhood. Really beautiful! And plenty of hills! Once the half-marathoners break off, the course loses the beautiful neighborhoods! By mile 18 or so, the fun always begins!
As we got to about mile 20 we heard someone coming up behind us fast! Real fast! As he passed up I recognized it was Jonathan Savage! Jonathan had paced the 4:00 group and had decided to run another 10 miles or so! Amazing!
Even near the end of the day, the neighborhoods were supportive and loud! Really nice! Last year I went to Charlotte expecting very little and was VERY pleasantly surprised! The first half of the course was beautiful, loved the NASCAR theme, complete with several race cars parked along the course. Nice medal, nice shirt, great volunteers and a very welcoming city!
In this year's Thunder Road Marathon a few things were better then last year and and two that definitely were not!
On the positive side:
- Most folks like the technical shirts better and Charlotte changed to a very nice tech shirt,
- As a surprise they passed out a second technical shirt at the finish line. Very nice!
- Other then the name (Thunder Road Marathon) there was NO support from NASCAR. Not a single car parked on the course. No cars at the finish! No NSACAR drivers. Nothing! Why not just call this the Charlotte Marathon? I was disappointed.
- The finishers medal was not dated! Just a plain medal with the words "Thunder Road Marathon." No year, no date!