Marine Corps Marathon. Or, as I like to call it, the People's (Republic of) Marathon.
Point in case. Marine Corps:
People's Republic of China:
Maybe the Marine Corps Marathon is called the People's Marathon because it doesn't offer prize money to elites. Or maybe it's a subtle comparison with China, huh? All I know is that when I pulled out the t-shirt, my friend's husband immediately drew the comparison and started laughing.
If our new communist race directors keep the price as low as it is (registration is less than $100), I'm good with it. I'm not really good with the cotton mock turtleneck, but with my registration savings I bought myself a swank t-shirt of my own choosing.
But don't worry about a risk of any actual communists. This guy at the start line was on the case:
|"Only the tea party can save us now."|
The long story: I went out too fast, the first third was hillier than I expected, the spectators were fewer and the course was more desolate than I expected, the cold was more miserable than I expected, but overall it was okay.
- I had a spectator! At mile 23! A friend from grad school made a sign and brought me nuun! It was awesome!
- The course is shaped like a penis! You see it, too, right?
- Marines are awesome. I did not mind having uniformed Marines hand me water, or donuts, or a lunch box at the end of the race.
Do know, though, that the marines do everything at this race, including yelling out the time (in lieu of a clock) at the mile markers. Trying to figure out what "One hundred and thirty two minutes and forty-seven seconds!" meant pace-wise bought me an extra few minutes of distraction.
- I was lonely. I'd planned to meet up with some of Carla's running group at the start, and I did meet up with Ilana - but then I lost her at a porta-potty at the start (although she was faster than me, anyway!). I can run by myself. But I was expecting either crowd support or company and I had neither.
- I was cold. On paper, the weather was perfect. 35 at the start heading up to a high in the mid-40s. Thing is, I haven't run in anything that cold since last winter. I freaked out and bought a long-sleeved shirt during the snowstorm on Saturday, and I planned to wear it along with a skirt. I ditched my throwaway clothes at the start, and my legs were cold for the first 8 miles. And then, they turned immediately from frozen to jello.
- I didn't expect the hills. My own stupidity for not researching the course map. I kept to my 5 hour pace through about mile 10 or 11, when I saw the pace group pace me. I tried to keep up, but I couldn't.
- The bathroom situation was bleak. (This didn't affect me, fortunately.) Lines for porta-potties were long. Around mile 7, the porta-potties were inexplicably placed essentially on the course (they were on the edge, but the lines extended into and completely blocked the entire course for 50 feet, forcing runners to hop a curb and run through a yard). Lines never got shorter, and during the more accessible parts of the course, lines were 20 deep with spectators waiting.
- People are annoying. You probably suspected I was kind of irritated with my fellow runners/spectators from yesterday's post. The spectators were mostly amazing, as always, except I think the cold made them more subdued (compared to my expectations, that is). And the other runners? UGH. I know I was toward the back-of-the-pack, but please. I might be running a 5.5 hour race, but I'm running. Please: don't block the course.
And don't bother telling me I was close. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
Still, it's a cool medal. The middle part (with the globe) spins around.
Hopefully I'll think about this quickly and come to some resolution, since my next marathon is in - gulp - five days?