I am always nervous and excited before any marathon. I don't know why, I just am. My wife has even commented that before a race, my mind is just not there. Case in point: My DailyMile friend Calvin came up to me and my wife and I introduced him as Sam to my wife. As soon as he walked away, I knew my mistake and talk my wife his correct name. I later ran into him at an aide station and apologied. He got a chuckle out of it.
The race started off right on time (which included a very nice redition of the National Anthem).I started off working on running my pace and not getting caught up in the rush of the crowd.
There were lots of great and interesting people on the run. I ran next to a guy who was obviously not from here as 1) he was not familiar with the prevailing wind patterns and 2) was not familiar with what crops where what. There was the lady wearing a plastic bag. It made for a great wind breaker but was so noisy I could easily hear her coming as she passed me. There was the couple from China who were taking pictures right and left (She even gave me a business card).
I have to say the Final Kick Events did a great job with volunteers as they were all cheerful and supportive. They made the race a lot better.
I felt good and strong for the first 1/2 of the race. It wasn't until mile 14 that my weak core began to complain. I began taking short walk breaks every mile at this point.
The wind, coming from the Northwest meant that we started and finished with a head wind. When it got to much for me, I would walk until I felt the wind die down but as soon as I started running, it would pick up again. Around mile 22, my thighs began complaining at I ended up more walking than running from that point on.
Despite this, I was still in great spirits and kept seeing my running friends who really cheered and encouraged me. According to the official timer, my time was around 5:40 for the marathon, even though my Nike+Ipod said 5:39 for 27 miles.
As a come to the finish line, my friend Jon held out the metal like a carrot. So I ran to it, reaching for it. It was pretty funny. As a joke I tried complaining to Wayne and Christie (Final Kick Events) about how my $20 foot pod got a different number than there $1000 piece of official technology used to measure the course, so clearly their equipment was wrong. Sadly the joke was lost on them as they tried to explain the difference to me. (I guess it is like when I tell people that because I have a short finger, that if I learn sign language I would have a speech impediment. People that don't know sign language laugh but people who do know always try to tell me that I wouldn't. Some jokes are just not funny to everyone.)
I did not PR on this race but I felt really good on it and felt I did a good job with fueling. Now I just need to work more on my core and legs. Overall, it was a great race and I had a great time.
I would recommend this marathon to anyone. It is a fun run with pretty sceenery (lots of country side). Another thing I really like is that they don't have an "official" photographer. Instead, several of the volunteers took pictures of everyone. Then Final Kick Events lets people download them for free.