ING Georgia marathon – 2010

Categories: Race Report   Running

For the fourth time, this last Sunday I ran the ING Georgia marathon. (Well, 3rd time doing the full.  The first year I only did the half.)

The Race:

The conditions for the race were good.  Overcast in the low 50’s with a chance of rain.  Naturally, waking up at 4:00 AM was way to early, but getting to the race wasn’t bad. I ended up catching the 5:15 train that was almost empty.

Having no plan, and being early, I wandered around a bit and eventually ran into Rico and Len, who I know from GUTS.  Rico gave me some suggestions on pacing, which I actually thought about and tried during the race. Didn’t work too well this time around, but I’ll keep playing with it.  A little while later, the “girls from Hamilton Mill” came around and said hi. (Er, I might need to have a better name for them.)  Enough time wasted, I headed to the very back of the start.  I’d guess when the gun went off, there were 50-100 people behind me.

The gun went off, and we [stood still, then inched forward and crossed the starting line 13+ minutes later] were off.

About a mile into the race, I came upon someone showing some pretty good walking technique. It was Steve, from Virginia, and we was going to racewalk the whole way, trying to finishbetween 5 and 6 hours. (He did 5:33.)  I hung out with him for a good portion of the first 10 miles.

Right around mile 9.5, I saw a bunch of cars with GUTS stickers on them, so figured I’d see some people I knew.  But they didn’t materialize.

A mile later, I was passed by someone who’s shirt said “99th Marathon”. It was a Team Achilles shirt, so figured I had to catch up and say hi.  I did, and his support person turned around. “Hey!”  It was Jenn of Team Vogel, super ultra runner and really nice lady, and someone whom I never run with because there’s no way I can keep up.  Well, we spent the next 6-7 miles together, then leapfrogged the rest of the way in.

This was Kevin’s 99th marathon. For 100, he’s doing Boston.

Partway through Decatur, someone was giving out donut holes.  And well, since America runs on Dunkin, and I was suppose to be running, figured I’d have one.  Man, was it sweet! The sugar definitely kicked in, and the next few miles went by pretty good.  I ran into two other people who were running their first merry.  One of them had never done over 13 (due to being sick), so it was going to be an adventure.  They eventually left me behind, but I caught them up right before going to into Piedmont park.

One memorable moment was when someone was trying to get up the street, driving on the course. I don’t know how they got as far as the did, but a cop came down and let them have it. (Everyone was polite, but there was no way that guy was getting through. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind about that!)

The miles flew by as the clock ticked on.  At one point, I talked to a lady from San Fransisco, and she said our course is a lot harder than the SF marathon.  Gee, I thought they were supposed to be hilly…

Piedmont Park added some new twists. There was an out-and-back added that just seemed to go on forever. I don’t know why, probably just because it was 21 miles into the race. But it seemed to last an hour.   Coming out of the park was a new route too, which was a bit more interesting than previous years.  At one point, there was a building being knocked down. Luckily, the rain had kept the dust to a minimum, otherwise that would have been pretty bad.

The final mile came.  It was faster than previous years, but it still seemed to be a lot longer than a mile. Final 385 yards I had to myself, and I was going in….Wham! There’s the end.

A snack, and went looking for Jenn (and Lane, her husband), and found them at the massage tent. Took advantage of the free massage offered by the school, and headed home.

Here’s the movie:

Post Race Analysis:

Uh, I should have trained.  That would make it much easier.  But considering I hadn’t, the race didn’t go to bad.  Wasn’t in much pain, and the day after was bearable.

I took in Gatorade a little too early (mile 15ish), and had some stomach issues.  I really should just stay away from it.

Losing my water bottle in the happy-can wasn’t good, since then I couldn’t really eat my trail mix. (Peanut butter pretzels, raisins, chocolate chips and salt.) But hey, I have to set some standards somewhere on what I’ll pick up. :)

Photo Analysis:

Carrying my big camera wasn’t much different than a water bottle, so really not that big of deal. I need a slightly longer neck strap though.  During the light rain, I just tucked the camera into my jacket and it stayed pretty dry.

Although heavier, a IS lens would have been better, since most my shots were blurry.  The downside to it is that the focus is slower, so maybe it wouldn’t fix the problem.  I kept the camera on full-auto (i.e. the green square), and maybe I should have used sports mode.

I went through 1 battery. I think this was due to the mode constantly setting off the flash.  If I switched to sports mode after the run rise, it also would have helped.

I only took 842 pictures.  My goal was 2000 or so, but hey, I was running a race after all.

I’d like to do it again with a camera set to automatically take a picture every minute or so.  The results would be a lot smoother motion once they’re put together.

The photographers on the course got a kick out of me taking their picture every time they tried to take mine.

Written on March 26, 2010