The Carmel Marathon weekend was a Team Tough Chik event and I was excited to go meet some of the ladies who I had previously only known “on line”. We did dinner. We talked. And then we ran. Perfect meet-up!! Plus I’m just loving the Team Tough Chik run singlet this year so it was the perfect excuse to make it’s debut at the first warm race of the season!!
I also was able to hang with Katie, From Ice Cream To Marathon, once again and we always have fun!! Plus my friend, Julie made the trip with me so that she could knock Indiana off her 50 States quest! And of course we saw, Mike (Run Nerds Rock) since this is a hometown race for him. Good times pre & post race!
The Carmel Marathon was a new one for me. I had heard good things about it from past participants and the early bird entry fee was low, like really low. Maybe $30 for the half and $40 for the full? So I signed up around Thanksgiving of last year when they were doing a registration blitz and I heard that several other Toughies were going. It’s a small race with 833 finishers for the full marathon and 1431 finishers for the half.
Parking was free and close to the start. Since we were “newbies” to the race, we parked at the first parking spot we came across and this resulted in us having about a 15 minute walk to the start. This also put us a bit behind schedule because the start area was jam packed with people, runners and family members alike. We headed to bag check and found a very long, single file line, with probably 40 people in front of us. Bags were just being accepted and tossed to the ground. There was no attempt at any sort of initial organization. That bit me in the butt when I realized that I left something very important in my check bag. I tried to retrieve it, they just stared at me blankly and told me that they had no idea where my bag might have gone. Boo for me!
Then we hit the potties. Long lines there too and not nearly enough potties for the crowd. We were, in fact, still in line to potty when the start gun went off. Boo for me and hundreds of other people.
Then we finally got thru the potty line and headed to the start. People were still streaming thru the start line so no worries on our part other than we had hoped to run with a pace group. The course was flat with a few very small inclines. Good terrain with all of the course being on paved forest preserve paths, thru neighborhoods or on busier streets where they reserved one lane for the runners. Aid stations with water every 2 miles. Gatorade at every other stop. One food station which offered bananas. No gels offered on course. Very little crowd support despite a super sunny day and warm temps which inched up toward 70 degrees. Friendly volunteers and police support but some seriously unhappy residents that we were blocking traffic.
Overall, this is the race you want to run when you feel great, don’t need much help and are looking for a clear course to just bust a move. If you are a person who needs a little love from the crowd to boost your mood or help propel you thru the end miles, then maybe find one a little bit larger or with a community that is fully invested in a marathon on their city & neighborhood streets. There were a lot of people really hurting toward the end of this race. Not a lot of people were talking. Nobody was singing. This is one of the very few places I’ve been where almost everyone was walking at the end. It was warm so I know that was an issue for many. Then there just wasn’t much support out there for those of us at the back of the pack. It was a good race, that was done well but it was a drag and those end miles REALLY drug out forever. Cool swag though:
Lastly, this was my 2nd marathon in 7 days. Last week’s ultra was only 3 seconds slower per mile than this marathon. My legs are definitely tired. In fact my quads feel like hamburger and my right hip is irritated. I am facing down 2 more marathons this month to finish my 4 for 40 quest. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy but a challenge is never easy or it wouldn’t be considered a challenge. I’m hoping for a
party awesome atmosphere this weekend at the Derby Marathon so that I can get a little help from the crowds to carry me thru to the end! I know #3 will be the hardest so I’m crossing my fingers that Louisville will be out in force to help me get this done!
Let me know if you are headed to Louisville for the Derby Marathon this weekend. I would definitely love to know a few people out on course!
** Questing for 4 Marathons in the 4th Month of 2014 for my 40th Birthday ** Amanda – TooTallFritz