Tuesday, May 16, 2017

2017 Delaware Marathon (+ 5K! and Kid's Fun Run!)

I ran the Twilight 5K the night before the marathon because.... I don't know. It sounded like a good idea. But first, D ran his first race. Excuse me while I cry about how big this kid has gotten.

He was not super excited about the race. It was rainy and cold and overwhelming. I sort of thought I'd end up carrying him the whole way but once the other kids started running he took off! It was so fun to watch him run and hear the cheers. He seemed to love it. We've watched the video of him running many times and he seems to think it's super cool.

The 5K was just after D's race. It was still drizzling and chilly. I was worried about slipping on the boardwalk. I thought the race was on the small side but the results say there were 455 finishers! I started near the front and immediately tried to tag along with 2 tall guys that seemed to be comfortably running just under 7 minute miles. There were  a few women in front of me, but I wasn't sure how many.  The course was a flat out and back along the river. We started on the slippery boardwalk and then went into a lonely, kind of weird industrial area. I hung with the tall guys for the first mile, 6:42. I knew that was fast but I didn't feel like dying yet, so I hoped to hold on. There was a young girl (11 years old!!) not far in front of me, plus 2 other women. I made it my goal to hang with the young girl and hopefully pass her. I hoped she didn't know how to pace herself and she'd fade. Nope! She was amazing! Second mile I hung on at 6:54, 3rd mile started to fade but still pulled out 6:53. 6:13 pace for the nubbin (my watch said it was a little short but maybe screwed up by tunnels and hairpin turn). 20:55 finish. Holy cow. That's a PR by about 27 seconds! First time under 21 minutes. It's nuts. I was spent at the end but exhilarated.

Then we had dinner and the worst night of sleep. Ever. D was up from about 2am on, and we finally gave in and woke for the day a little after 5. Not a great way to start the day.

The marathon started wicked early at 7am. I met Tiffany and we walked about a mile to the race. It was cool and overcast but the forecast called for sun and mid-60's by the time we finished. I wore short sleeves and shorts and was pretty chilly at the start.

The race is 2 loops of the half marathon course. There was also a relay that somehow overlapped part of the marathon course. It was all very confusing. There were about 800ish half marathon, 330 marathon, and 92 relay finishers. This meant that the first loop of the course was busy and the second loop was incredibly lonely. Our first loop was great, we were both in good spirits and chugged along nicely. Second loop was less inspiring. Tiffany did great but we both felt that long run discomfort. The aid station volunteers were awesome and supportive and we stopped and chatted and ate and drank. She powered through the end and I'm so proud of​ her.

We finished with enough time for a shower back at the hotel! I did not love this race. The small size meant there were times we were completely by ourselves and signage was lacking. There were huge sections with no crowd support. It was nearly flat and the weather was perfect but I can't get past how isolated it was. I'm glad to check Delaware off my list. #5 in the books.

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