Sunday, October 21, 2012

Duke City marathon, Albuquerque, NM

It's done. Marathon number 69, state number 49. The Duke City Marathon is a nice one - I liked the course, the organization, the volunteers, and the spectators. I recommend it.

My Race:

I ran the whole way with friend Jackie, who is faster than me but who ran my awkward run/walk pace anyway, and waited for me at the too-frequent bathroom stops, bless her heart. That was fun, running with her. She took some video, too, for use in the eRace Cancer campaign.

We were also delighted to run into friend Shannon, from Minnesota, not aware that she would be in the race.  Shannon slowed to chat with my sweeties along the way and still finished first in her age group with time to spare!

A beautiful start to the race
The temperature was about 45 at the start, and I think close to 75 at my finish, with a clear sky and unrelenting sun, apparently normal for Albuquerque. I took five gels along the way, and at least that many salt tablets. Time was 5:20:34 - first in my age group. That sounds good, except there was only one other guy in my age group and he was just ten minutes back.

I enjoyed the race, though, especially in the first half when the temperature and the sun were both low. Albuquerque is, after all, a mile high, which makes any endurance sport more difficult for us lowlanders. In the second half I was pouring water on my head at every water stop, struggling to maintain the pace, and finally cramping up (calves) in the final two miles. Oh well, that happens and I finished it!

Duke City Marathon:

Good Stuff:

The start was on time and low-key, just before sunrise I think. Roads were closed to vehicle traffic the whole way. After a couple of miles in Albuquerque's downtown area and close-in neighborhoods, we left the roads for a very nice, wide, new, bike trail, clear out to the 13.1 mile turnaround, then back on the reverse route. Outbound we saw wonderful fall color, the Rio Grande River, and even hot-air balloons rising gracefully from the ground into the slight breeze above us. The route was not hilly - I know hilly, and this was not it. It's not quite flat, but close enough. We enjoyed aid stations every mile - that's lovely.


There were no medals for half-marathoners. That's chintzy - we've only encountered it once before in four dozen half marathons. The wonderful, colorful, but shade-free trail seemed very long indeed on the way back, in warmer temperatures and blazing sun. I do like out-and-back runs, but this one may be an exception.


30:02 (3 mi), 11:01, 11:39, 12:41, 10:51, 38:49 (3 mi & bathroom), 51:45 (3 mi, slow), 10:28, 13:09, 12:04, 12:32, 11:22, 11:02, 14:09, 11:42, 15:05 (bathroom), 13:09, 30:03 (5:04:42),15:53(1.2 mi), total 5:20:35. There were other bathroom breaks, but I'm not sure where. According to the results, time on the return was 2:56:31, thus the outbound must have been 2:24:04, for a difference of 32:27.  A difference was to be expected, as we knew that the temperature and sun would be much more favorable for running on the outbound, but I'm surprised at the size of that difference.

Hawaii is next, in December.

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