The Woo and the Hoo!
Sunday, I ran the 3rd annual ING Georgia marathon. My goal, sub-6 and a good time, which i suceeded with. Here are some of my thoughts and highlights.
First off, I went into this one untrained. Now, some people say they haven’t trained because they’ve only done 2 long runs instead of 3 or some-such BS. In my case, I wasn’t trained. My last run was the Black Warrior 50K, in mid-february. It was trail, so barely counts as as training for a road race. I did a 15.5 miler on road a few weeks ago, and was sore for 3 days. :(
My buddy Patrick (from GUTS) was running too, and he wanted to take it easy, so we hooked up to start and maybe stay together the whole time. His original plan was 5+, so it would work well. While waiting at the beginning, ran into Scott (from Runners Fit) and chatted for a few.
We started pretty dang close to dead last! It was fun. There was a family pushing their son in a wheelchair, and I chatted with them for a few minutes. It was their first time doing this (a 1/2 marathon), and they were in good spirits. We ran into someone else in a wheelchair being accompanied by his family, and they were all friendly and motivated.
As we started off, we rapidly started passing people, which was really exciting, since I so rarely get to do it. (That gets a WooHoo.) The first 4 miles passed by before we knew it, around 48 minutes. 5 miles right at one hour. The 12 minute pace continued for quite a while, which worked for both of us, since it was comfortable and faster than we both planned.
The weather was pretty cool, in the mid 40’s. The wind made it a bit cooler, but it was dry, so not horrible. Towards the end, it cooled down probably 5-10 degrees, just enough to be annoying.
One big part of my race plan was figuring out what to film. I wanted to get a bunch of random people to give shout-outs to all the people I know, but it didn’t quite work. Sorry, I was thinking about y’all…had a list of about 40-50 names to go though. Finding that many people proved to be a bit tough. Oh well…
Mile 7 was good-it was the first person handing out beer. I grabbed a cup and took a few swallows. It was Bud or Miller or something, but hey, I’m not picky during a race. At mile 20, another group was handing some out with pretzels. That was good timing.
Around mile 11, Patrick and I split up. I ran with Mike, a 73 year old doing his 19th marathon. He’s been in the area for the majority of his years, and pointed out every little place along the route. (“I was baptised in this church. So was my daughter and granddaughter.” “I went to high school here 50 years ago.” and things of that sort.)
Around mile 18, I commented to someone about this being a road race as I came up behind him, since he was using trail shoes. We chat for a moment, and then says “didn’t I meet you at the GUTS training run at Jones bridge?” Hehe, small world. It was Steve, and he remember the vest. See, it pays to always wear the same thing. I introduced him to Mike, and last I saw, they were happily chatting away.
At one point, some girls were crossing the street. One was wearing a tank top, so I made some comment about needing to put a jacket on. She just thought I was staring at her chest, which believe it or not, I wasn’t. I was just commenting on it being cold. She made some comment about me being a perve or something. I thought it was pretty funny.
Later on, one of the guys volunteering looked up and yelled “Hey bigRahn!”. Yup, he (John?) recognized the vest. We chatted for a few, and I carried on. Saw another GUTS member helping clean up, the guy I always call Lyle, even though I know it’s not his name. (But I can’t remember what it is.) At one point, I was feeling like I knew everyone!
Running through Piedmont Park, about mile 20-21, was fun. I was feeling really good, and everyone around me looked like zombies. They were all hitting the wall, and giving me the death-stare as I passed them muttering a real peppy “Hey! How are you?” They didn’t have much a sense a humor about it, not sure why.
At mile 23, Georgia State University had an aid station with a brass band out there. That was exciting.
Just like last year, there was some out around mile 25 yelling “1 mile to go”, so you get motivated to move. And then that mile just goes on forever! I think that last 3 miles of the race are in that section…doesn’t help that there isn’t much going on, since it’s in a warehouse district.
Then, you start to hear the loudspeakers and seeing people again. Around a corner, you cross a timing mat, the guy yells you name, and you’re done! WooHoo!
Now, what was great about this race?
- The atmosphere was good. Some neighborhoods were quieter than past years, and others were louder. It was fun.
- I spent a lot of the race with the same people, talking it up and having a good time. Make the time fly by.
- No cramping. No stomach issues. Mostly no pain. Hydration was really good the whole race.
- No Wall. I saw a curb around mile 18, but it stayed out of the way. I didn't start to feel really worn down until the last mile, and I think that was mostly from the cold. Matter of fact, I was probably really annoying people through Piedmont park being all chipper and saying hi when they looked like death warmed over. Ah, good times.
- Not one, but two beer stops. Just had a few sips at each one to say I had some.
- They were actually calling out names at the finish line, so got to hear myself be famous for a moment. Yeah, it's the little things that make the difference.
Look back at this, I think this was probably the best marathon I’ve had to date.
Enough of the typing…Here’s the video, decide for yourself. (Some sections missing, so I’ll be putting up a second video soon.)
And one last funny antecdote. I was getting off the train on the way home, and noticed someone hobbling down the stairs. I yelled down something like “Hey, this is the best part!”. I then bounded down the stairs past her. Waiting at the bottom, she caught up and was mad. “Hey, thats no fair! How come you can do that? You must of only run the half.” Nope, I replied with glee, just had a great day.