The 6:15am start slide into a 6:30ish start due to an accident on the road to the race. Either way, it was going to be a dark start and headlamps were required.
Last year I went out a little quick and tired in the second half so this year I was hoping for a slower start. Running on wet trails in the dark should slow me down...at least that was the plan.
|Starting Line - photo credit Keith Magnus|
I hung with the lead group for a couple of miles on the first lap before slipping coming down a hill and hyper-extending my knee, bringing me to a limping walk for a few minutes. Heck, it was probably a good thing, otherwise the lead group would have driven me into the ground, making for a painful 2nd loop. It did make me a little more cautious with my footing as the leaves and roots were very slippery all day. The water crossing around mile 4 was a nice touch this year. Nothing like ankle deep ice water during a cold marathon to keep you motivated. I could have done without the motivation....twice.
I was around runners during most of the first loop with my 6th place position set fairly early on. The second lap was generally 30 sec/mile slower, and I dropped to 7th early in the 2nd lap, running alone for the majority of the loop. Other than that the race was fairly uneventful. I felt pretty good, no cramps or anything. My only complaint was my hip flexors were sore as heck. It was a little frustrating because my legs didn't feel tired, I just couldn't get my stride going. In fact, I knew I was slowing down a bit but I had no idea I had slowed so much. I didn't feel that slow and was a little surprised when I saw the clock at the finish.
I suppose it should have been expected. I hadn't done a long run in I don't know how long and I've run 2 marathons and a 1/2 marathon in the last month. Gee, what could go wrong?
No complaints though. I ran, finished well and didn't get injured. I'll take it.
Top ten finishers:
Race photos should be available later this week here.
I've mentioned it before but it's worth mentioning again (for anyone looking to run a trail marathon). Sunday morning I got up and went for a nice 5m run with no aches or pains. Try to do that after a road marathon!
Next up: Rhode Island 6hr Ultra on Sunday (team relay).