STRAVA Summary

Friday, November 23, 2012

Back to Back again.

Another long time between blog postings, but here goes as I try to catch up on the whirlwind of events over the past month and a half, as well as what is coming up. Yes that’s right, I’m not quite done yet this year.

It started in the middle of October with Oliver, RickyMac and myself heading down to Dover, Delaware for the Monster Mash Marathon, the first of a back to back weekend. We left Thursday night and stayed in Syracuse before setting of for the remainder of the drive to Delaware. A decent drive and in the comfort of Oliver’s Acura was nice. We shared the driving all weekend and arrived in Dover with lots of time to spare before the expo even opened.
Dover is not a very big place, but it was homecoming weekend (whatever that is) and the hotels were full, luckily Rick had booked ours ahead of time.
This was only the second year for this race and there were a few little things that they could have done better, but generally a good little event. The expo was just a packet pick up, nothing else. We went to the Olive Garden for dinner, across the road form the hotel and after a walk around, retired for the night.

The race starts at in the Dover Speedway on the track and the first mile is around the track. At 7 am we were off and running, that lap around the track is not runner friendly, with an extreme camber to the infield. Once we got out of the stadium it was much better. In to town and around a nice part we hadn’t seen yet. But by 10k we were headed out of town to the country roads for the next 30k. The only complaint I had (other than track) was that the country road section was rather boring. It was a nice day and there was some scenic areas, but generally it was well…. blah. My run went very well, I didn’t see Rick and Oliver after the start until an out and back at about half way and then until the finish. This was my first marathon in 2 years and I felt great, other than a few aches and pains early in the race. I finished very strong with a time of 3:36 outside the speedway. Rick came in next just over 4 hours, followed by Oliver shortly after wards.

We raced back to the hotel to beat the late checkout, showered and were back on the road by a little after noon. We were now on our way to Atlantic City for marathon number two. A two plus hour drive away.
I had attempted to run Atlantic City a few years ago when accompanying KevO for his first back to back. I was injured at the time and never made it through the first mile before my calf seized up. My memories of AC were not fond ones and not just because of my race, the city was a real sleazy hole and the race itself seemed very poorly organized. So I was very hesitant about this year’s race.

We arrived in AC and went to Baly’s for the expo etc.. Already the City looked better, cleaner and things were looking up. It still has a very sleazy side to it, but it looking better. The expo was much bigger and had more to offer. On our way from the expo we wondered through the Casino. Rick tried to spend a few dollars on a slot machine, but they wouldn’t take his bills.
Then for lunch on the boardwalk in the sun, meeting up with fellow runners and a few back to backers. After a couple of beers it was back to the hotel and then off to do a bit of shopping and eat.
The next morning came too quickly and we headed off to the start. It was great being able to stay in the casino and stay warm waiting for the start. It wasn’t cold out, but it wasn’t hot either so it was more comfortable in the Casino.
Soon we were in the corrals waiting for the start. I thought we’d all run together, but once the gun went off I started off at my own pace, a comfortable pace, and left Rick and Oliver behind. We ran along the boardwalk for a bit then into town, through a tunnel and around, before coming back to the boardwalk again. I was a little apprehensive as to how I would feel, but the legs were ok, a little sore at the start, but once we got going they just felt slightly stiff. I was waiting for things to go downhill, but it never happened. I ran well. After the halfway mark we off the boardwalk again and into some more neighbourhoods in the south end of town. A this point I struggled a bit, but once again was able to pick up the pace felt really strong in finishing. Actually I felt stronger finishing this race than I did the day before. Time = 3:41. The finish area was a nice courtyard of the hotel and was a sun trap so it was nice and warm, I enjoyed my free post race beer and some big pretzels (great idea), and waited for the others to finish. They finished in about 4:12 with smiles on their faces as usual, although Oliver’s was more like a grimace. My impressions of this race were that it was very well done was a decent course, flat and fast. I’m not sure about the boardwalk running though. I talked to the race director afterwards and he said that the race has been under new management for the past few years and they have made big changes. I noticed!!!
After changing a nice walk/stretch along the boardwalk to go to the Hard Rock Café for Oliver and have some lunch and then back to the car and off we went home stopping in Scranton for the night on the way back.

A successful B2B weekend.

Next up the Marine Corp Marathon. I wouldn’t be running, only acting as driver, photographer, chaperone for four blonde’s!!! Would I survive? Stay tuned.

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