I wanted to get a short preview of this race out there so I didn’t forget or get sidetracked, so this isn’t going to be the full report quite yet. There are a few things I wanted to note while they were still fresh!
First and most importantly: I absolutely loved this race! You may recall my affinity for the half marathon distance I did last year, but now having done it twice, I have a new affection for it. It is such a well organized and well executed event and ranks very high as a recommended event when my runner friends ask ‘what is a good marathon to do in Raleigh?’. I’ve not heard or seen anyone who has said anything to the contrary so far, 5 days later. They put the same heart and effort into it both years and it shows how much they love doing it. More on that in a moment.
Second: on a personal note, this was my slowest yet. No hot weather or any other factor to point to other than my training, which I expressed concern about in the weeks leading up to the event. Admittedly, I had a lot of distractions that pulled me away from my plan, as usually happens in life. I’m not upset about my performance – rather, I’m proud of myself for finishing a third full marathon, a sentence that a year ago, I never thought I’d write. I plan to try again, hopefully in November. I’ll make that decision in a couple of weeks. I am still planning on trying to BQ. I look at this race as a step in that direction as I am getting incrementally stronger… Just in much smaller increments than I expected and hoped.
Third: there is a sister race to this one that I love equally – The City of Oaks. I’ve done the 10k several times and the half once (currently my half marathon PR). Both races are directed by the same man: Kazem Yahyapour. I had seen him at many events – packet pick ups and running clubs – and he is a warm, affable person that seems to always have a smile on his face and appears to derive immense joy from working packet pick up and greeting runners to wish them luck. For the first time in almost 50 races, I was greeted at the finish line by the race director who congratulated me for finishing and thanked me – and seemed to be as happy and excited as I was that I finished. That was a very happy feeling I won’t ever forget.
I will write more this weekend, I hope, to talk about more of the details of the race – like my bleeding chafing, my bicycle course monitor cheerleader, way more specators than I expected, really awesome volunteers, and my very rapid unraveling at the cusp of mile 20 after a very strong showing for the first three hours. Oh. And Sean Astin was there! I wish I had seen him to get a photo because my younger son is a huge fan of both “Lord of the Rings” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”!
For now, I’m focusing on recovery 🙂