Summary: The Veteran's Marathon in Columbia City, Indiana became an enjoyable long training run coming, as it did, only 7 days after a hard-run marathon. It's amazing to me it could be so much fun to knock off two marathons in a week's time.
Even after 40+ marathons and ultras now, I find it fascinating that the remarkable thing about a particular marathon is that there was nothing really remarkable about the race. This was a nice long run on a sunny windy day with no pain, no wall, no hassles. It was a small field, so I had only 2 or 3 conversations. Most of the time I was by myself, enjoying the solitude of distance running. So, since my experience was fairly unremarkable, I'll simply make a few remarks and add a few reasonable photos.
|Pre-race with prime number bib|
Since I had a business meeting the day before the race in the same part of NE Indiana, logistics were simple. I booked a room in Columbia City, was up at 5, drove out to stash four bananas next to a fence post which we would pass four times, parked near the start line and lined up on time. The race started with a bang, as a local cannon reenactment group fired off a blank howitzer round. Off we went.
The course this year was simplified, with a single loop of 13.1 miles east of town which the marathoners ran twice.
|Around mile 5|
|Mile 10..wind flipped my cap around|
I finished the first loop in 2:18:17 and got a few smiles from the traffic police as I headed for the second lap, saying "Hey, let's just do this again!" But that's pretty much what we did...just do it again, only this time with fewer people and the 200 or so marathoners well spread out.
My map-reading skills helped the race prep, as the course layout had a one-mile ish segment which we traversed four times. A particular fence post along this stretch was at miles 5, 9, 16 and 20. The four bananas I stashed there were perfect for fuel and made for some funny looks each time I jumped down in the weeds and came up with curved yellow fruit.
The last five miles went quickly for me. The mile splits were all the same as the rest of the second half but mentally they just zipped by. We got back into the heart of town and it was over.
|At the finish line|
I was six minutes slower in the second half than the first (2:24:48) but I noticed both the men's and women's winners, friends Jason Gillette and his sister in law Laura Gillette, also had a six minute slippage over the last half...so I felt OK. Final time was 4:42:46, good for 134 of 206 overall and 12 of 21 in my AG (which stands for Almost Geezer, 60-69...when I turn 70, it'll be JPG, Just Plain Geezer).
|Post-race w/ Andrea and Boris|
I did see quite a few people I know from local races. I snagged this photo with fellow Maniacs Andrea from Wisconsin and Boris from Michigan at races end.
And that's it! Another marathon done. It's been an enjoyable stretch of racing during our fine fall weather, with five marathons, two half marathons, a 15K, a 4 miler and a 5K in 11 weeks. I am fine, though, to not have another race until the HUFF 50K on December 28.
Thanks for reading. Persevere.