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The halfway point of any marathon is a good time to assess how things are going, though these on-the-fly assessments can be treacherously tricky. Boston marathoners in particular know the seductive surges of power they can feel cruising invincibly through midpoint Wellesley and how those same siren surges are sometimes regretted a few miles later, in the Newton hills. My self-check-in at the halfway point of my last (most recent and final) marathon told me I was doing reasonably well. Yes, I could feel the accumulating miles a bit, but I was comfortable, breathing easily, legs feeling OK. Better than OK, in fact—I was seated happily in a Lexington, Massachusetts, bistro with a delicious slice of pepperoni pizza in my stomach and the last remains of a cold pint of Sam Adams in front of me at the table. It was noon, and my 26.2-mile walk had begun a little before 7:00 that morning. I would be moving along again soon and probably would be done before 5:00, marathon accomplished.
Each issue, we select an “Editor’s Choice”—an entire article we share with you online. Click here to read the entire article…
Running history often notes Roberta Gibb and Kathrine Switzer as among the first American women to run a marathon. However, seven years before Gibb hid in the bushes and snuck into the Boston Marathon in 1966 and eight years before Switzer ran Boston as K.V. Switzer in 1967, Arlene Pieper had finished the Pikes Peak Marathon in 1959. Pieper not only completed one of America’s most challenging marathons, but also became the first official female finisher of a marathon in the United States. Equally impressive was Arlene’s daughter, Kathy, who ran with her mom that day. Kathy reached the summit in a time of 5:44:52, becoming the youngest competitor at that point to finish the race to the summit.
We first met Arlene and Kathy in 2010 at the Pikes Peak Marathon, and we have enjoyed reuniting with them each year since. Every year, both Arlene and Kathy meet new runners at the Pikes Peak expo, and Arlene signs countless photos of her on the summit of Pikes Peak in 1959. Read more about Arlene and/or order a personalized, autographed photo by visiting her website at Arlene Pieper.
“The 2013 Mankato Marathon keynote speaker was ground breaking Boston Marathoner Kathrine Switzer, the first women to complete the Boston Marathon with a number. In the audience listening to Kathrine was a sister – brother running team who was about to break a barrier of their own, to compete in a full marathon in Minnesota.” Click here to read the full story.
The Dig Deep weekend has earned its place as one of the most highly anticipated race weekends in the UK trail and ultra-running community, with its comprehensive set of races and activities to suit all abilities. With four main races over the weekend, including the Ultra Tour of the Peak District – a brutal but stunning 60 mile course showcasing the best of Peak District trails – to the Whirlow 10k Trail Challenge.
Sponsorship for 2014 has already been finalised and race organiser Ian loombe announced, “We’re delighted to have Mammut as our principal sponsor, with Injinji and Ultimate Direction heavily involved as well. Clif will once again provide the nutrition for the race and Outside will be providing some great retail opportunities giving us a very respectable sponsor package.”
The 2013 event received great feedback, with the goody bags in particular proving to being very popular! Campers were given an overnight bag, which included earplugs, travel pillows and a Mammut cuddly toy. Over the weekend over £1,000 worth of Clif and Injiji freebies and goodies were given out as spot prizes!
Continue reading » Dig Deep Races – Date set for 2014
Finished #HonestAbeTrailMarathon, 6:02ish. Was “supposedly” gentle hills? Umm… I may need to buy the RD a dictionary. Felt like I was climbing the Summit of Mt Everest.
The course was 3 loops thru the Abraham Lincoln National Forest. It was a really beautiful trail. But, the hills were killing me. And, I haven’t been doing any hill training…my bad.
The race had a “strict” 7 hour cutoff. Apparently the RD was not kidding about this because he reminded us runners of it twice by email, and he mentioned it again at the pre-race meeting. He said if we didn’t think we could make the 7-hr cutoff, we needed to drop down to the 14K race option. So, needless to say, I was stressed from the start of the race. Cos y’all know me – I’ll take a DNF trying to finish before I’ll let somebody tell me to back down.
Except for the steep climbs, the course wasn’t really too bad – not overly technical, but technical enough to cause me to slow my pace. I rolled my ankles several times and tripped several times on the tree roots.
I finished the 1st loop in 1:45 – I was VERY happy about that! That gave me a “cushion” & took some pressure off me for the remaining loops. But the first loop also did a fairly decent job of trashing my hamstrings & calves.
Needless to say my 2nd loop came in a bit slower – about the 2 hr mark or so. I was seriously fatigued. I could barely make it up the last huge climb. Met a guy named Pascal. Bless his heart, he had JUST run the Air Force Marathon YESTERDAY!!! WHAT THE?????? Anyway… He and I pretty much ran together for the 2nd & 3rd loops. He was having a worse time on the hill climbs than I was. We kind of went back & forth – at times he was several yards in front of me & vice versa. He was justifiably tired – toward the end of loop 3, he told me to go on ahead. And, I actually ended up finishing the race about a minute before him.
So, the 2nd loop did a superior job of trashing my hamstrings and calves. On the 3rd loop I was forced to stop and stretch often to keep from going into full blown charley horses. I also had to stop twice to empty the dirt & pebbles from my shoes. Guess I was so tired I couldn’t pick my feet up. I was getting all kinds of garbage in my shoes. Had to keep emptying my shoes to keep from getting blisters and cuts.
Finishing loop 2 in 2 hrs gave me plenty of time to do loop 3!! I had over 3 hrs to get loop 3 done. But I had a personal goal of finishing Sub-6, so I gave loop 3 my best effort.
Umm, just so you know, my “best effort” was pretty much crap. I had NOTHING left in the tank…nothing. But I didn’t give up trying to come in Sub-6. I slogged when I could, and walked when I had to.
I was so tired in loop 3 that I was tripping over EVERYTHING. I could NOT pick my feet up. To the onlooker, it may have appeared that I was cross country skiing. I couldn’t walk/run a straight line – I was staggering. I was having trouble focusing. There were times I didn’t even know if I took the right turns on the trail. At one point I thought I was lost. (By this time Pascal was behind me.) Then I saw another runner!!! Yay! I wasn’t lost!! By the way, other than Pascal, this guy was the ONLY other runner I saw the entire day! I kid you not. And I only saw him in loop 3 – about 4 mi before the finish. I mean, I finished in almost last place – you would’ve thought that SOMEONE would’ve lapped me or something!! I can’t understand why I saw no one. That’s blowing my mind.
BUT, anyway, I made it! Didn’t have the strength to finish Sub-6, but 6:02 is pretty darn close!! So, I’m happy!!
They gave me a very nice wooden award with the name of the race carved in – I love it!!
Oh, and there was this:
After I got my finisher award, I may have turned around and walked “face first” into this big-ass wooden sign post… didn’t see it at all. I think my brain was giving me “paybacks” for this race???