What a race! This past weekend, I ran the Hogeye Marathon in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It was a really fun, small, well run race. There were about 130 full marathon participants not including the relay racers. I was scheduled for a 20 miler this weekend and since I want to eventually do one in all of the states, I thought that this race would be a good opportunity to knock one more out while I could still drive there.
A picture of my gear, my pace band (note the frowns), and me rocking the start with my dad's business' sweatshirt on.
The race started off quite well. That is probably because of the MASSIVE downhill at mile two. At one point the hill was steep enough that I had to stutter step down it – I couldn’t make my gait long enough! At the 8ish mile point, the half marathoners and their crazy fast pace peeled off and the marathoners were on our own. So, I went from having a pretty fair number of people around to almost nobody…. Just like a training run! Also, just like a training run, I ate powergel every 6.5 miles and I wore my water belt. I am really glad I wore my water belt because I couldn’t figure out the spacing of the aid stations. So, all that I had to do was fill up around mile 23 and I was just fine!
These miles, like during most marathons, went off without too much to say about them. I was hitting my 3:40 splits, and actually was about 90 seconds ahead of time because of the hills on mile 2. I will say that the minimal hill work that I have done on some of my longer runs really paid off. I was able to keep pace (for the most part) up the hills and speed up a touch on the downhills.
There were 3 separate out and backs which made the course a little ‘interesting’. I’m not sure if I liked them or if I didn’t. They did let my wife see me a few times without moving where she was. She just had to park at the main point where they all met in the middle and hang tight until I was able to run past.
The last thing that was different about these miles (as well as the rest of the race really) was that they were on paved trails. It was actually a little fun. They really reminded me of a trail behind my house which probably put me a bit at ease.
A picture of me running away:
These miles went by as follows: Good, good, blah, blah, SUCK, HILLS. I am pretty sure Boston’s little wussy heartbreak hill’s got nothing on this little ditty... Meh, maybe it does - who knows
One of the smallish hills at the end of mile 26:
So, I still don’t know my official time. At the awards ceremony where I received my tote for finishing first in my age category, they said that I had 3:44:XX (I can’t remember the seconds that they said). If I had one gripe with the race it is that it wasn’t chip timed. The race was SUPER cheap at $55, so I honestly would be willing to pay an extra $10 to get a more ‘instant’ time. I’m sure that the people who had to figure out all of the times would have appreciated that as well!