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Discussion Starter #1
The Twisted Ankle Marathon and 1/2 marathon started at 9:00am this morning in Summerville, Georgia at Sloppy Floyd State Park. Weather was great - in the low 50's, sunny but low humidity. The Race Director and Park Officials made last minute announcements to the 300 runners, evenly divided between the half and the full marathons to l about the course and we were off. This is a course with minimal road running, lots of woods, hills - ups and downs, and then there is the "hill" . Prior to reaching the "hill" which will take us to the ridge plateau around mile 4, the course goes around the lake via a couple of campgrounds and then descends into the woods. At least two of the hills are severe enough that everyone was walking them. I learned I'm a pretty decent walker going up hills. And then we hit the "hill". This is a 1/2 to 3/4 mile hill that goes as steep as you can imagine. I was holding onto trees as I went up as well as watching my footing so as not to slip and cause the runners behind me any problems. My back was killing me, my butt muscles were needing a massage. But I didn't have to stop on the way up, although I was more out of breath and hurting when I finally reached the ridge than at any other time during the race. Just before reaching the summit a photographer took my picture. It should be very interesting when it develops.<br><br>
Once I reached the summit I grabbed a cup of water and took off to the left. On the way to the turnaround point there were several inclines and declines to get over. But after climbing the "hill" I felt like I was flying. My back pain and butt pain both went away. A couple of inclines were big enough to walk but they were short. I passed 5 or 6 runners and settled behind a guy who I would stay with until we reached the turnaround point. No one passed us. When we reached the turnaround point and aid station he had to rest a few minutes so I started back. I caught up to another runner doing about my pace and we would stay together until probably the last two miles. Once again no one passed us. This was a single track course so on the way back the some of the faster marathoners who had turned right upon reaching the summit passed us as well as the rest of the 1/2 marathoners going toward the 1/2 marathon turn around. The marathoners would be going beyond our turn around.<br><br>
I finally started the descent from the summit on a trail that was more shallow than the "hill" coming up. But I had to be very careful coming down because I run much better uphill than down. It would have been very easy to twist an ankle or simply go over the ravine (short, nothing fatal if you did) if you weren't careful. Just before reaching the lake my 2nd partner told me to go ahead as he running out of steam. So around the lake, back through the campsites and across the bridge I went.<br><br>
I finished in 2:29 and some change and came in 2nd in my age group. I felt really great and had none of the problems I had with the ING Georgia 1/2 in March. The marathon winner would come in around 3:30 or a little after. This was a very beautiful but tough trail run. Look forward to it next year. Maybe I'll tackle the full.<br><br>
Learning experiences: 1) I learned I need to buy trail shoes if I'm going to run trails. 2) I need to practice downhill running. I have a hard time controlling myself on the downhills.<br><br>
About the race itself: RD did an excellent job putting on this race. Volunteers and aid stations were about every 4 miles with adequate amounts of water, powerade, gummy bears, pretzels and various breads. Bananas were placed at various locations on the course so all the marathon runners had to do was grab them and keep on going. At the end of the race there were bottles of cold water, coke, diet coke, powerade and plentiful snacks to replenish the body.<br><br>
I really had a blast at this race.
 

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Sounds like an awesome race. Great job!
 

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Good one!<br><br>
I have a good friend who also ran it. He had a nice race also.
 

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That sounds like it would be a blast, and I'm glad you had one! Nice to hear about all the well-set-up races instead of the horror stories when they aren't.<br><br>
Alex
 

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Wow! You did that without trail shoes? You must be good.<br><br>
The other thing you probably already know about downhills is that they require quad strength/endurance. No matter how much I improve on downhills (I still suck) I find that at some point in tough races my quads will just hit the showers. Downhills then get even tougher.<br><br>
I'm interested to hear how they mixed the half and full runners so that they passed each other. It sounds like there wasn't a huge amount of congestion though. Was it that small a race?
 

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Sounds like one of those races you run to be challenged and for the pure joy of running - A good runners race<br><br>
Congrats on a nice race
 

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Discussion Starter #8
There is a total of 300 registered runners mixed together, but within the first couple of miles the smaller hills start spreading us out and once you reach the ridge, around mile 4, the full marathoners go right, the 1/2 marathoners go left. Eventually both groups turn around and come towards each other as the full marathoners have to go beyond the 1/2 marathon turn around, but runners are very well spread out.<br><br>
And although parts of the ridge are single track it's easy enough to get by. I did stop for a couple of seconds a few times to let the full marathoners go by when I crossed paths with some of them after reaching the 1/2 marathon turn around on the ridge. It was a pretty good natured group of runners watching out for each other.
 

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Very nice description of the race and nice job running it. I was shocked (shocked, I say!) to hear there was a chance one could twist his or her ankle in the Twisted Ankle Marathon and 1/2 marathon. <img alt="razz.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/razz.gif">
 
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