Marathon · Ultramarathon

66) Mainly Marathons 50k, Matamoras, PA July 1st, 2018

Time: 4:22:53 (3:42:34 for marathon) Place: 1/2 (2nd for marathon)

This was a free weekend and my training plan for #Edinburgh24 had me doing 50km and 60km runs back to back. A weekend of racing was in order. Mainly Marathons seemed a great option due to location, the multi lap course and the fact that they offered a 50k so I would just run a few miles before and after to hit the 60km.

Preparation

I did nothing specific for this race and my taper consisted of running the Finger Lakes 50k the day before, then driving to Matamoras, where I planned to camp.

There were limited food choices so I selected the brewery thinking American bar food was a safe bet. It wasn’t (for vegetarians). I paid over the odds for very little food so headed straight to the supermarket afterwards.

Race Morning

The race had always advertised an early start (5am or 6am) but with very warm weather forecast, a 4am start was added. I decided to go with 5am start time to give me longer to get back home, and allow me to fit a few miles in before the race.

I had my usual pre-race breakfast of a pb&j bagel as I was getting ready. I drove to the start (My plan to run to the start was thwarted by a lack of sidewalks on the interstate bridge across the river). After registering, I set off on a short out and back through the streets to stretch my legs, covering just over 2 miles.

The Race

The course is an out and back with one large aid station. For the 50k I had to complete 16 laps and a partial lap. Most people were running the marathon or half marathon (I didn’t know if anyone else was running the 50k) so all I could do was run my own race and see how my legs had recovered from the Finger Lakes 50k.

In terms of race strategy, I decided to help myself to something from the large aid station every lap and to drink as well and this worked all the way through the race. I had brought gels but ended up not using them as the selection of snacks at the aid station was ever changing but always included fig rolls and oreos which have become my go to. I had left a bottle of coconut water and a bottle of tailwind at the aid station so was using that, as well as coke towards the end of the race.

I felt pretty good considering the race the day before and was managing a steady pace, passing a lot of people so assumed my marathon split would put me pretty high up the field, though I didn’t get carried away and push the pace. My tired legs made sure of that.

I completed the marathon in 3:42 then just carried on at the same steady pace for the remaining laps to take me to 50k. There was no fanfare at the finish, my time was recorded and I recieved a medal, which I put in the car and then set out to run another 4 miles through the streets of Matamoras, ending up along the river.

Learning points

Mainly Marathon events are fun and the short courses encourage a good atmosphere amongst the runners (many of whom were on their 8th marathon in 8 days!)

My body felt good, rounding off my longest ever training week, so I feel like I’m in good shape for #Edinburgh24. Now to taper.

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