Monday, June 14, 2010

eliot's 1/2 sauer 1/2 kraut marathon race report: guest post

this weekend, while i focused on shorter races, eliot took a ride out to pa for the 1/2 sauer 1/2 kraut marathon. in the it's a small world catagory, at the cook your buns 3 miler friday night, i learned than yuen and zeke were also headed out to run this one on sunday! it turned out to be a hot, soupy day to run a marathon. luckily, i only had a 5k in bridgeport :D

here is eliot's report from the marathon distance :D

The ½ Sauer ½ Kraut Marathon, Wyomissing, PA, June 13, 2010 (Sunday)

My last three races were like an old Clint Eastwood movie. My April Lake Waramaug 50 miler was the ‘Good.’ My May Greenbelt Trail 50K was the ‘Ugly.’ Yesterday’s June race was simply the ‘Bad.’ So, I’ve renamed it in my mind …. The ½ Sore ½ Cramp Marathon. Please do not get the impression that the race was poorly run. It was nicely done. The course, facilities and volunteers were all fantastic. It just wasn’t my day or race.

The inaugural marathon (half marathon) was set up to be memorable race. It would be run on a mostly shaded, flat compacted cinder trail alongside the Tulpehocken Creek and the Schuylkill River (near the Penn State – Berks Campus). The route was a simple out and back starting somewhere in the middle and was supported by aid stations every 2 miles. It was recently certified a Boston Qualifier, good for some …. but for myself, I was looking forward to the Oktoberfest aid station where they served alternative energy drinks (wink! wink!) at miles 11 and 22. I had the pleasure of driving there with George G. (Taconic’s President) and Jolanta Z. (another TRR member who was there doing the half). We hit the road at 3:30 am.

It was a brutal day for me. The weather was really the surprise for everyone. So much so, the RD gave all full-marathoners the option of dropping to a half. The 11 mile mark was the decision point …. simply turnaround at 11 and finish the half or forge ahead to mile 18 (the last turnaround) then home. It was already 73 degrees w/ 95% humidity at 6:45 am when we arrived, so I expected it to get worse as the morning’s overcast sky burned off. The 3 hour drive didn't help, but since I planned for the race, I signed up for that aspect.

At 8:00 am, as soon as the gun went off, the sun came out. It probably went as high as 88 degrees in the afternoon and even managed to rain heavily for a period before noon to soak me and my feet at miles 21- 23. By the way, I knew by mile 2 that it would be tough day .... I was totally drenched with sweat from a 9 minute/mile pace! At mile 11 (the ‘decision point’), I was enjoying my cold beer too much and dreamed about turning/doing only half. But, George pushed ahead so I went along as well. George pulled away quickly as I dropped pace drastically. I had already decided to cut expectations way, way back. By 16 miles, my legs were beginning to say, 'cramping now, take that – you should have turned at 11, fool.' Damn that George …. still 10 miles to go. Haha.

I finished in 5:06ish (est.). Yikes …. I’ve done 50K’s faster than that! My half marathon split was somewhat decent given the conditions ~2:00+ hours, so you know how the second half went. I ran, jogged, walked, chatted, took pictures, texted, ate, drank and finished. Then, there was the 3 hour drive back home with traffic on 287 to boot. But, I did get a good dinner off of George!

So, I'm perfectly fine and healthy today, even smiling. Just wasn't a good day for racing for me. And, I'm fine with the outcome …. really. Not all races will be good ones, so I’ve learned. Live (and learn) to run another day!

Here are some words to me from fellow Marathon Maniac, Rich H., who I met on the course. I ran the final 8 miles on/off with him and his daughter, Lauren. It was their first father/daughter marathon. He wrote, "Thanks for the message. What a day! I have run in some severe conditions but yesterday was probably the toughest. It was also a pleasure to meet and run with you."

So, for myself, I’ve also learned that the runners you meet and know are the ‘silver lining’ in every ‘cloud’ – (bad day/run/race) that comes your way.


Eliot said...

I quickly eyeballed the results today. Your friend Zeke did great. I believe that he was one of only about six that BQ'd on Sunday. And, that was out of the 171 finishers (so, 3.5%). It seems many of the ~300 projected starters dropped to the half. Wow!

rundangerously said...

eliot, i wish you had met zeke - he's a great runner. zeke runs the "spirit of 76" aid station at vermont 100.

Eliot said...

One day .... I'll look out for him. Haha. BTW, I also got a running 'thumbs up' picture of Keith Straw, another 'ultra' guy.

Just_because_today said...

those are some of the worst races, Eliot! when at 2 you know it's not going to be good and you still have 24 more to go. You finished and that is more than many would have done but I can only imagine what it was like running in that humidity. Even the heat is doable, humidity drains you.
But you did get your drink, didn't you?

Eliot said...

Thx Myriam. Yes, the picture above was taken at mile 11 (the 'decision point'). And, I had more to drink when I hit that spot again at 22 miles .... and it hit the spot, again!

Laura said...

I wanted to do this one but missed the signup deadline - now it sounds like it's a good thing with that weather. Any reviews of the post-race food? That and the beer were what were intriguing me! :)