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well it's been a long time since i posted a race report.<br><br>
So today was the First Callaway Gardens Inlne Marathon. i guess a total participation of 75 for the marathon, 40 for the half and 20 for the munchkins mile<br><br>
The marathon was my distance, we had six folks from my club there. I had no delusions of granduer for this race, rolling hills and me out of shape, i did not want to finish over 2 hours though.<br>
the quick info<br>
26.2 miles<br>
1:43:14 15.23 MPH<br>
6th place in 40-49. not sure of of how many in my age (probably 10)<br>
40 out of 50 males<br><br><br><br>
the course consisted of an out and back but with some split roads around sections of the park for the half and the full didtance went out for two laps.<br><br>
a simple ready, "whistle blow" and we are off. i started midway of the field letting the indoor speed/sprinters lead i see my team jersey u front and thinking it's the guys i should be ahead of.....i was wrong. it was our elite representative i would find out 7 miles later. i chase after the pack with "my team" (who is really behind me) and find out i'm not nearly warmed up enough and massive shin splints start. my cadence is too fast and too short while climbing up the hill but it's the only way i can try to catch the pack i'm looking at. a pack comes from behind me and near the second mile overtakes me. i fight to hop in and fnally find a hole i claim. i keep with this indoor paceline for a few miles but thier indoor stride is killing my shins, i decide to drop off the pace, try to warm up and to see if i can just pick them off over the miles to come.<br><br>
i skate along the hills and finally catch my form, a gliding stroke down the hills and a hard skate pace on the up. i catch the pack the i dropped off of as they start to splinter. the leaders of this pack are pulling away the the wheel suckers falling off. i pick off a few of them but a guy from San Fran grabs my wheel and keeps pace. he passes me on downhills, i pass him on uphills for a few miles. finally we get some good downhills and i get into a low aerodynamic tuck on three successive downhills and finally lose him just in time for the turn around. during this little battle i see Bruce, the elite skater, heading back and i recognize my error of who was in front of me. this one adds comfort, as in no wonder i couldn't catch him but makes me wonder if i burnt myself out too.<br><br>
the next few miles the legs loosened, no other skaters in sight during the twisting roads thru the woods, pass over a damn and re-enter the woods on a climb when i hear a little voice behind me asking if i have water. the kid that would win overall in the half is up with me, overcoming a 2 minute deficit. i give my sports drink, let him tuck in for a moment as drinks, passes back and tells me his brother and a pack are chasing him down. i let him pass and go. he never got out of sight and i'd give him updates on what was behind us and tell him, "dig deep, the're closing the gap." i caught up with him near the 13 mile point and he went over to the side and almost collapsed. i can't wait to see this kid in the next 5 thru 10 years.<br><br>
mean while kid (brandon i would learn later) and i caught up to some of the splintered pack, i passed a few more and saw four more skaters just rounding a corner. i would spend the next 6 miles chasing this group. finally one died and fell off the pack , he wanted to stop. i passed him but encouraged him to go on and not stop. three skaters ahead of me and i catch them soon after the turn around of the second lap. we have long climbs right in front of us. i catch them on an uphill and try to leave them behind buth the power of a pack in descent is too much for me and they catch and pass me. i never let them out of my sight and now knowing the cource try to figure out when where and how to pass and stay ahead of them. a great downhill with a good climb and the pack mistimes the stroke out of the descent and open a window. i catch up take the lead and let them suck my wheel for a while, during the climb we lost one of the skaters. i rotate out and take a break not letting them pull out we talk, i get information. they are indoor skaters, slightly older than me. i rest for a mile and then we turn. I end up with enough speed off the turn that i end up in the lead, about 3 miles left. as i said before these are indoor skaters, this means three things<br>
1. they are in peak of thier season so they are n better shape.<br>
2. they probably have a better finishing sprint.<br>
3. they can't climg hills as well as me.<br><br>
the last mile is split with a climb and a 1/4 mile decline. i push the pace and dig deep trying to put space between us before cresting the last hill. as we crest i dig anticipating a sprint finish i finish 5 and 6 seconds ahead of them, the pushed pace uphill broke them.<br><br><br>
youngest skater in the munchkin mile 3 years old<br>
oldest skater in the race 60 Clarence one of our club skaters.<br>
my club had one in the top ten, a second place finsher in age 30-39<br>
and 1st place in 60+<br><br>
i look forward t next year's race
 

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Somehow when reading this report the song "River" by Joni Mitchell came to mind. At least I think that's the title. "I wish I had a river I could skate away on.... I'd teach my feet to fly..."<br><br>
It does sound like fun. But why 26.2? Why not 50 miles? The 26.2 times are sort of equivalent to a half marathon aren't they? How did you feel after it, were you bagged, or what?<br><br>
Have you ever tried speed skating in the winter?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
the 26.2 is becoming a popular event. in Europe they also have the double marathon. i also annually do an 87 mile race. was i bagged, yeah pretty much but i'm also out of shape. it is about the same as a half, i normally skate twice as fast as i can run. I've done indoor speed skating but i don't like it really, i like the outdoors and like the scenery to change and not repeat every 25 seconds.
 
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