Marine Corps Marathon
The race was several weeks ago – better late than never.
I must start off with…This race was amazing! Staying on Ft. Meyer at Arlington National Cemetery is definitely the way to go. We had just a short jaunt down the hill to the start line. Leaving early really helped with the security checkpoint and the crowds (at the main entrance). My goal for this race was 3:45, so I lined up next to the 3:30 – 3:59 banner (thankfully the porta johns were just a few short steps away)…and waited for canon to fire.
The opening ceremony was second to none…National Anthem, Army Paratroop Team decended with two massive flags, and then a low fly over by two V-22 Osprey (once with the tilt rotor in the vertical position and again with them in the horizontal position). By now the crowds were super energized!
Off and running! The weather was near perfect (including the early rain showers). The race route had the best crowd support ever! Everywhere we looked there was someone cheering the runners on. As we traveled past the Nation’s most prestigious monuments, I could not help feeling a sense of awe. Just before we crossed the 13-mile mark, we ran through a quite tree-lined area along the scenic Potomac River where the road was lined on both sides with photos our fallen heroes…this was chilling moment and my music was silenced. Shortly afterwards, hundreds of volunteers where lining the road waving American Flag and cheering us on. This brought out that inner chill of awesomeness!
As the miles ticked down from double digits to single digits fatigue was starting to set in. After we passed through Crystal City, I begin to feel my legs growing tired (no cramps at this point). About mile marker 22 was the first time I actually walked and knew my goal of 3:45 was going to slip by. After some quick inner searching and knowing the reason why I was running this race (to keep the champ), I started moving again…finish line was down the road. Getting to the 26-mile mark was no easy feat, and then there was the final UPHILL battle to the finish line. As I took that left turn and saw the finish line – lined with our family and friends – I knew I had to step up my pace.
Finished at 3:48 – 3 minutes above my stated goal. As I walked to receive my medal from the Marine I could not be happier. This marked my seventh full marathon.
Items that traveled with me for 26.2 miles:
- Garmin 910XT
- Headsweat Visor
- 6 Honey Stinger gels (used 4)
- Salt tabs (used before and every hour)
- Pearl Izumi Road M3
This is my first ever race report and hopefully the beginning a blog.