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Rocket City Marathon- a newb's perspective.

803 Views 12 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  ScratchType1
<span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:Verdana;">Well I'm a local to Huntsville AL so I made my 1st full marathon the Rocket City Marathon last Saturday (Dec 8, 2007). I had read good things about this race previously on (fast, course, good organization, good swag), had previously ran 3 half-marathons, and volunteered at this race last year.<br><br>
Last year's temp was 30-45 deg and this year was a much warmer 50-70 deg w/ sprinklings of rain.<br><br>
Friday night: I loaded up DW, all 3 DDs and myself and drove downtown to the Holiday Inn Select where the expo was in one of its ballrooms. We were also meeting <b>Timr</b> to go out and eat. There were 3 athletic gear vendors and both DW and I scored new running kicks for $45/pair (Dw got Saucony Hurricane 8s, I got a pair of ASICs 2110s). The race packet had my LS Nike Tech shirt, my bib and chip. Also were a few inconsequential ads, and less than interesting coupons.<br><br>
Then Timr and I try to find a place to carbo-glutton but have trouble getting any Italian place w/ less than an hour wait (one place I couldn't even find a spot to park, Friday night BTW). So we finally settle for Nothing But Noodles, which works out because: there's no waiting, reasonably priced, kid friendly.<br><br>
The next morning I eat some multi-grain cereal, a Clif-bar and coffee. I get to the race site and park at the downtown aquatic center next to the Host hotel (HI Select) and walk about looking for <b>Timr</b>. I used the porto-john, stretched, walked some more. (Lesson learned decide a meeting spot in advance)<br><br>
I lined up in the 3:45-4:00 area, planning to try to hold 9:09mm for the 1st 5 miles and if that goes OK try for a sub-4 hour finish. There were some announcements, a prayer, and the national anthem, then the start. Since the race was sold-out at 1500 participants I was across the line in < 30 sec. On the 1st mile I try not to go too fast and decide if I wanted to wear my sunglasses or leave them on top of my head. I opt to wear them just to keep the lenses from getting sweaty. 1st mile was around 9:30-sumthin due to pack congestion. The next 3 miles were around 8:45 to 9:10, I'm on track.<br>
But after mile 5 I'm just not feeling strong enough that I can hold this pace for the next 21 miles, so I back off to around 9:40 pace. It warm and muggy, the rain is misting in occasionally, not enough to cool you but just get you wetter. Around mile 8, I try to get a gel out of my back shirt pocket and drop my car key and then kick it. Crap. I scramble to get it, then hop off the street to reload it into my pocket. I'm carrying too much stuff, 2 gels, a Clif-bar (for <b>Timr</b>), cell phone and the car key. My shirt was rubbing my nipples sore due to putting my bib on too high. But I'm doing my usual race thing, having fun, and making jokes to those around me (as I cross the 10k line I imitate Special Ed, "Yay, I ran 10K! doh!" ).<br><br>
I would guess less than 5% of the houses we passed had anybody outside cheering and would guess that most of Huntsville is just annoyed that we're out here screwing up traffic.<br><br>
After mile 14 I'm starting to get some lower ab soreness and my left knee is hurting (probably IT-band). I just keep going. After mile 16 most folks around me are walking, I simply refuse to do that. my pace has slipped below 10:30 but I'm just trying to get there. After mile 20 the Gallo-walkers are ticking me off, one lady says "sorry" as she passes me for the 4th or 5th time, I say "I'm tackling you next time." (BTW Jeff Galloway was the Pre-race dinner speaker, the previous year was Jack Daniels) DW and the kiddos are wonderful meeting me at mile 15 and 21, then at the finish line. Miles 21-26 are simply just me putting one foot in front of the other, refusing to walk even through water stations. Call me stubborn. The slightest hills and even the crown of the road are aggravating my knee at this point. I just wanna be done. I finally cross the finish at 4:34:17. <b>Timr</b> is there waiting. I tell him jokingly, "Dude that sucked. You tricked me!" I guess that's his revenge for my bailing on the X-terra 10k.<br><br>
After the finish there is a person who escorts you through the post-race stations to the food line. You also get a finisher's cap (decent running cap w/ the race logo and finisher on the back) and medal. Post-race food had fruit, sandwiches, ice cream sandwiches, cookies, and hot soup (chicken veggie).</span></span><br><br>
And here's a pic:<br><img alt="" src="" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
Cool like the Fonz I am. AAAAAY!
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Congrats Flem!<br><br>
Geez, you guys sure make that sound like a fun race to run <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
But I think they covered all their weather bases with both hot soup and ice cream sandwiches.
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