Time: 3:22:46 Place: 11/177
Baltimore Marathon is on my bucket list but to run that one you had to pick up your number on the Friday before the race. This marathon was the same day and had race day packet pick up. I also hadn’t run in Delaware so it was an opportunity to tick of another state.
This was to be another training run as part of my build up towards Hawaii marathon in December. The course is flat and looked fast but having only had two weeks to recover from Ironman Maryland I didn’t want to push hard.
The drive was just over 2 hours to the start so race breakfast was a PB&J bagel in the car, followed by a sticky bun and coconut water. The race starts and finishes at the Dover Downs Speedway track so there was plenty of parking. Race registration was well organized (in a tent by the start line) and there was access to restrooms in the race track.
After a race briefing we were led into the track for the race start. The first mile is around the Speedway track which was interesting (I didn’t realise how steep the banking was – though you ran at the base of it). The marathon and half marathon started together and given my race strategy I ignored other runners and tried to keep to my own pace. After the race track the course loops through Dover (which has some interesting buildings) before heading out into the countryside. At around mile 5 I caught up with a runner from DC who was training for Richmond marathon and we ended up running together for the next 15 miles or so. There were plenty of aid stations and they were well spaced, apart from one long out and back stretch around the 12 mile mark.
I was running an 8 minute mile pace and feeling good, so at mile 20 I decided to pick it up and push to the finish, running 7:20 for the next 4 miles and then picking up the pace further and running sub-7 for the final 2, passing another runner on the nasty climb to the overpass at mile 26, before the finish in front of the Monster statue outside the Speedway track.
There was free post race pizza for runners, massage, food trucks and a craft market. There was a great atmosphere amongst the runners at the finish and many runners had done the race multiple times.
Fueling consisted of a packet of clif shots and three gels.
A good training run and reinforced the importance of comfortable early pacing to ensure enjoyment of the final part of the race.