The 2016 Huntsville Marathon - Race Report

In an attempt to not be too boring I’m going to intentionally forego some of the more mundane stuff that usually happens at every race, like getting on the bus, picking up the bib and such.

So some quick positive points up to the start of the race. The bus system worked well, the starting area was very well organized and was very pleasant. I hit the porta potties, had my sammich and a banana and ran up the road a few times to warm up.

I was excited and fairly nervous about how well I was going to do. I was thinking that my stomach was going to act up at some point, but luckily it never did.

The starting area had some good tunes and I don’t remember hearing Highway To the Danger Zone or Eye of the Tiger so I was very happy about that.

The gun went off and so were we.

The plan was to finish about 2:51. I was pretty sure that if everything went well that my training could get me that much. Having run most of the course just 2 weeks earlier was very beneficial because I was familiar with how the course profile went and how to strategize.

The first few miles were pretty fast and the parts that were in the shade were actually quite cool. Not too cool, but still a bit chilly.

I was looking at my watch and knew that I was going a little bit fast but thought as long as I didn’t plan on going faster and just maintain that pace that everything would be going okay. This turned out to be a mistake.

Despite the downhill and the perceived effort to knock out each mile, I was going too fast. Such a rookie mistake to make and I, for some reason, thought that I was smarter.

At any rate, the first half was done and gone pretty fast and I was doing okay. I was drinking at every aid station and having a gel about every other aid station. My lungs and energy levels were all good.

At last I was rolling up on the final 7 or 8 miles and I was starting to fade a bit. It was my legs mostly. They didn’t want to move. I think that my breathing was not too bad and I felt that I had energy. It was just my legs that didn’t want to go that fast anymore.

At one point I started looking at my watch and sort of got annoyed with it (this is a recurring theme with me and running) so I kind of stopped paying attention thinking that I just had to move forward and the the watch wasn’t going to help me do that.

The last miles were pretty grueling I must admit. My legs hurt, a lot. My pace was slacking and I was pretty much in just-get-to-the-finish mode. So, while the end of the race was pretty tough I was able to get a good finish time in.

I crossed the finish line in 2 hours 53 minutes and 19 seconds. Which, technically, gives me a PR, but only by 25 seconds. I don’t want to discount that too much though, as a PR is a PR is a PR.

I did get first in my age group, was 5th place male, and 6th place overall. I talked to one of the organizers at the start who said that there were about 400 who had registered, about 50 of those changed to the half from the full and at the end of the day there were 279 finishers (at least according to the posted results). So who’s complaining about top ten? Not me, no sir.

So, it was a good run. I had a good time. I liked the race and I liked the course. It was well organized and executed and wasn’t all that expensive either.

One more note, the themed aid stations weren’t lost on me. I especially liked the cut outs of the presidential candidates with motivational signs. And to the kid with the tray of Skittles; thank you, they were delicious. I’m sorry I knocked some on the ground.

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