Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Make it by Midnight Marathon 2010

Who wants to run a marathon in Georgia on the hottest day of the year? We did! Make it by Midnight is a fun little half or full marathon in a nice gated neighborhood in Macon Ga. You decide for yourself how long it will take, then start at whatever time will get you in by midnight, considering the temperature (hot) and the hills (plenty). I started at 5:30 pm and finished at 11:24:12, for a time of 5:54:12. It’s two or four quarter-marathon loops on blacktop roads, which means that you get back to the start/finish and the goodies table twice for a half marathon and four times for a full marathon. It’s a fun marathon. We loved it.

My Marathon:

  • I really didn’t know how long a hilly marathon would take me at 87 degrees and a heat index over 100. I usually finish in five hours in a “normal” marathon, but since there is no penalty for finishinbg early, except running more in the sun and less after dark (cooler), I decided to give myself 6 ½ hours and started at 5:30.
  • The trick at first was to pace myself, run slower than normal, to avoid overheating. That caught on pretty quick though, and I just walked up the hills and jogged down the other side. Each of the four laps was a little longer than the previous one, but the longest was quicker than 90 minutes, so the total was well under 6 hours.
  • I have taken water with me on just two previous marathons, both of them trail marathons. I took water this time, though, and drank almost 40 ounces on each of the first three loops, and another 20 on the last loop. That is about twice as much water as I normally drink during a marathon.
  • To avoid hyponatremia, I also took eight salt packets, two per loop, and seven Clif Shot gels.
  • I have NEVER been so WET during a marathon, and that was before the thunderstorm. You tend to sweat a lot at a temperature of 87 with a dewpoint ot 74. I had a map of the course in my pocket, but it was paper pulp after one loop.
  • The thunderstorm brought a downpour, soaking everything, though I was already entirely wet except for my shoes.
  • I was worried about running in wet sox, but no problems, no blisters.
  • The right shin bone (tibia?) just below the knee squawked a little on the downhills of the first loop, but it settled down for the rest of the race. No other pains.
  • In loops three and four the left calf threatened to cramp up, but I stretched it out a few times and it never did cramp.
  • In the end, the heat did not cause any unusual problems for me. I guess there was just one guy who needed medical attention, out of about 60 runners, so other people were paying attention to the heat too, slowing down and taking more fluid.
  • Nevertheless, when I was finished I had the same tired, sore muscles that I normally have after a marathon. Despite the slow pace, the heat and the hills made this the real thing.

The Race:
  • Started as early as 3:00 pm, if you like, and the finish line closed at 1:00 am.
  • You win a tiara (!?!) if you finish by midnight, else a pumpkin. I'm man enough to wear a tiara, so I chose a pink one.
  • You can park very near the start/finish, so you can use your car for resupply.
  • There are NO porta-potties. You can use regular rest rooms at the start/finish and at a home at the half-loop aid station.
  • You are required to have a flashlight after 9:00 pm, and you need one. I had one during loops three and four. I saw some heroes running without their lights, and it seems to me that’s a great way to step in a hole and twist an ankle.
  • The roads do have a little traffic, and there are no shoulders. Cars may or may not see runners, and may or may not give them space even if they do see them. Some drivers were quite polite and some were jerks. Few of them expected pedestrians. Wear reflective clothing!
  • The water at the aid stations, even the unmanned ones, was COLD! That helped a lot in the heat.
  • This is not a marathon for making a PR or even a fast time. It’s for having fun, and we did.
Marathon number 45, state nunmber 28.

87 at the start, 78 at the finish, dew point over 70 all the way through. Laps: 1:19:33, 1:21:48, 1:26:09, 1:29:22, total 5:36:52 running time, plus 17:20 bathroom and to/from the car for water and gels, total 5:54:12.

Just before startingJust after finishing


Holly said...

Thanks for the blog!! I'm running this race this year!! I've heard it's a blast!

I just want to say you are amazing! Running with a blood cancer, you are a true rock star!!! I have a friend with Leukemia and to see what the blood cancers can do to a person is humbling. People like you are what give me inspiration to keep fundraising for Team in Training to help find a cure!

Good luck in your running from Marathon Maniac #3444!

Don said...

Thanks Holly,

If you are in TNT, you are my hero. You are saving my life!