Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Des Moines Marathon Review

Sunday, October 16, 2016:

They don't get any better than this.  I run & walk near the back of the pack, where runner support sometimes fails, but I have never felt more supported than in this marathon.  Volunteers on bikes came by frequently, asking whether I needed anything, I always said no, but I think they had a lot of stuff in their little bike baskets, like water, food, petroleum jelly, salt, whatever.

Picking up bib

My Marathon:
This was my 99th marathon, and I finished in 6:32:17, third of three in my age group.  The other guys were LOTS faster, which is always nice - means that it wouldn't have done any good for me to try a little harder.

This might have been a time that I actually could have gone a little faster, though.  I finished the last 10k just one minute slower than the first 10k.  In fact the last 9 miles were all faster than the average pace per mile in the race.  In fact every mile split that didn't include a nature break was under the 14:59 average pace, and this race included some hills.

At the start
Best of all, I feel great!  Nothing hurts.  Back, knee, Achilles' tendon, all are fine.  Muscles are a little stiff, but that's probably because I ran a marathon!  I'll be walking & running again in a day or two.

Six Clif Shot gels along the way, about that many salt tablets, and at least one magnesium capsule.  No cramps, no sign of cramps.  Yay!

The Des Moines Marathon:

These folks have the marathon figured out.  It's entirely on trails or streets that are closed to traffic.  We went around Iowa's most-visited lake (Gray's Lake), once around the 400-meter outdoor track at Drake University, and around the gold-domed Iowa State Capitol building.

With newfound friend from Two Harbors MN
There are a couple of hills, but this is not a “challenging” race course.  Middling between flat and challenging.

I have never felt more supported in a marathon.  I didn’t look at the map to see whether aid stations were planned for every mile, but it seemed that there was one about that often, and I drank at least a little at each one.  Because of the warm weather I carried water, but barely used it and could easily have gotten by without it.

Des Moines is a very nice town.  The course took us through neighborhoods with families out watching the silent parade go by.  I got to high-five quite a few kids and joke with people along the way.
Finished!  Don has yet to pick up his medal

I would definitely do this marathon again, and in fact we very well might.  Stay tuned.

As an aside, we stayed at the Residence Inn Downtown Des Moines, and were just delighted.  Easy walking distance to the race start and finish.  Quite new, very modern, and clean. And they didn’t pay me to say that.  I never talk about the hotel, but this one is worth the mention.

Splits: 13:41, 30:18 (2 mi), 13:37, 14:38, 44:50 (3 mi), 15:28, 18:14 (major nature break), 28:51 (2 mi), 14:44, 14:39, 29:47 (2 mi), 16:17, 14:35, 14:51, 14:54, 14:37, 44:54 (3 mi w hills), 14:24, 14:00, 3:59 (0.22 mi), total 6:32:17.

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