Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Race Report - Bob Potts Marathon

On Sunday, I ran the Bob Potts Marathon. It was an interesting course and the most low-key marathon I've ever run. I signed up for it on the suggestion of my friend Eric, who was one of my ReGen teammates a couple of years ago. It's a fast, flat trail course that runs along railroad tracks in York, PA.

I woke up to get to the 6am race at 5:05 and immediately began to panic. For once in my life, though, I had planned just fine. I was very close to the race start and got there around 5:30 to pick up my bib and race materials (the fact that there was morning-of bib pickup was a major benefit to doing such a small race). That process took all of 5 minutes and it was cold, so I waited around inside for a bit before deciding to make a porta potty stop before the start.

The race was not chip timed. I think this is the second race I've done sans timing chip and definitely the only marathon. This means that any time it took for me to reach the start line was included in my time. Not really a big deal, since it was probably a maximum of 10 seconds.

We reached the trail within about a mile and a half of the start and from there to about mile 25, the run was along one stretch of trail. You might think this would have gotten boring, but you'd be wrong. It veered and wound around some beautiful countryside scenery and was mostly very shaded. I only had to wear my sunglasses occasionally but was able to leave them perched on my head for most of the race.

I used my usual race milestones to get me through. Miles 7, 10, 13, 16, 20, 23 and, of course, the end were key. I started out really strong, and I think I calculated that I was on pace to run a 3:55 at the half. I wasn't able to keep it up, though. Staying strong in the second half of a marathon is something I really need to improve upon. The course was an out-and-back, and the turnaround happened a little bit after the halfway point, somewhere between miles 13 and 14.

The water stops were lively and energetic. Each one had a large collection of volunteers and spectators. Between their energy and the beautiful weather and scenery, no part of this race seemed desolate. I was in good spirits for the whole thing, even though I was hurting a little bit by the end. The end, by the way, was on a track, which was really cool. My official finish time was 4:07:06. This seemed like a fast crowd. An announcement on the race website states that 25% of participants qualified for Boston, which seems incredible.

After the race ended, I sat down on the track infield and began stretching my ever-troublesome hamstring. I checked my phone and realized Eric was there at the race cheering. About the same time, he must have spotted me and yelled out my name. It was nice to see him and talk about upcoming races. He's trying to determine which marathon will be his first!

I've now done a marathon in 5 states and DC. I'm starting to think I really have no choice but to finish the rest of the states!

1 comment:

  1. You didn't write about any of the logistics! It's all the pre-race and post-race drama and shenanigans that adds spice to a race report!