New England Marathons Fall 2020

Looking for a great fall marathon in New England? This extensive listing of marathons all over New England is continually updated and features registration discount codes.

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With all of our spring races getting cancelled, Fall is looking like a pretty good time to run a marathon!

Autumnal equinox will be September 22, 2020. The days will continue to grow shorter and cooler until the Winter Solstice on Saturday December 21, 2020. Winter Solstice is the day of the year with the fewest minutes of day light. 

Fall is a great time for marathon running in New England. In late September the air begins to cool and we usually do not have many major storms. By the end of Autumn on December 21st, the leaves have all fallen and the air has a crisp coolness to it.

Looking for a winter run? There aren’t many marathons in New England over the winter but check out New England Winter 2019 marathons HERE.

GREEN RACE – I am designating any race that makes a serious effort to reduce waste and keep recyclable materials out of a landfill.

Let your friends know about these great fall marathons! Click To Tweet

New England Marathons Fall 2020

Cape Cod MOVES “Y-Not” Trail Races

Sandwich, MA | 26 September | Saturday | 8:00 AM

GREEN RACE

The course is rolling with a nice variety of single track and double track. There are some short paved road sections. The course is a 5K loop almost entirely set on the YMCA Camps Hayward and Burgess. Some sections have sticks, roots and ruts. Trail shoes are recommended but not needed for this course.

There will be a short loop to make up the distances needed for the half marathon and marathon.

Base Camp for the race will be Camp Hayward, 52 Pinkham Road, Sandwich, MA.

This event has something for everyone. Ranging from a 50K to a 5K and a marathon relay.

EVENT RESULTS 2019

Stay by the Race!
Three season cabins will be available for rental! These will be for $25 per person, per night. They have electricity but no heat. There are showers on the property. These can be reserved when you register.

This is a Green Event!
There will be no cups allowed on the course! We will be composting out of the race and using only compostable materials (e.g. forks and spoons!). Bring a container to fill with fluids.

Race shirts were available for $10.

Registration is open: $50 for the Marathon and $40 for the Half. 10K is $30 and the 5K is $20.

The Ultra 50K is $60 and the 8 person marathon relay is $75.

Prices increase on April 30th.

Clarence Demar Marathon and Half-Marathon

Keene, NH | 27 September |  Sunday

Start times: 7:00 AM FULL, 8:00 AM HALF

new england fall marathons, Clarence demar, New Hampshire MarathonThis point to point marathon is almost as legendary as the man. In Melrose we run by the monument to Clarence Demar on our winter running route and on many Sunday Long runs as well. Many runners in my club make it a point to touch the monument as they run by.

This race encompasses an entire weekend if you want it to. You can drive up to Keene Friday night and pick up your bib at Ted’s Shoe & Sport on Main Street. Drive the course or go for a short run on Saturday. Saturday night there is a pasta dinner at the Courtyard Marriott.

On Sunday buses take runners to the starting line in Gilsum. Marathon buses leave at 6:15, Half-Marathon buses start leaving at 6:30AM.

If you have never heard of Clarence Demar here is a brief bio.

The Clarence Demar Marathon is USATF Certified, a Boston Qualifier and a  Runner’s Choice Award recipient from runnersgoal.com!

Registration is open: $90 for the full and $60 for the Half. Frees increase by $10 for race day registration.The field is limited to 600 runners for each race.

EVENT RESULTS 2019

Fly to Pie Kingdom Marathon, Half and 10K

Newport, VT | 3 October | Sunday | 9:00 AM

Fall New England Marathons, Vermont races, Vermont marathonRun it – Bike it – Hike it – But do it!
Doin’ the dirt through “the gut” of the Northeast Kingdom – 26.2 miles, 17 miles, 13.5 miles and 6 Miles courses.

2020 Registration is open:

Marathon Distance and 17 Miles: $75

Half Marathon is $60 and the 10K is $25.

Registration is limited to 50 runners each for the marathon and 17 mile Iconoclast. The half marathon and 10K are limited to 75 runners each.

There are four great routes, offering four very different options to all types of athletes, runners, bikers, and hikers of all ages and all abilities.

A tough, “vista riddled,” and spectacularly beautiful full marathon that will challenge the best marathon runner.

The 13.5 distance is also the course for the family bike challenge is perfect for kids and parents of all ages.

The 17 mile Iconoclast for something just a little different. (It’s a great training run for the NYC Marathon) And, new in 2016, a 6 mile walk, run, or bike from Irasburg Common to Parker Pie.

For one day in September, we fill these dirt roads through “the gut” of The Northeast Kingdom. Everybody but the 6 milers start at Lakeview Aviation at the Newport Airport in Coventry and heads one way or another to Parker Pie in West Glover, with a great pizza party, great beer, and great music. 6 milers start at Irasburg Common. Shuttle service back to the start is provided by our friends at Jay Peak.

EVENT RESULTS 2019

28th New Hampshire Marathon, Half-Marathon & 10K

Bristol, NH | 3 October | Saturday | 9:00 AM       

New Hampshire Marathon, Fall New England Marathons

This event features a Marathon, Half-Marathon, 10K, and Kid’s Marathon. Truly something for everyone.

This is a hilly race with less than 200 finishers in each of the past four years and less than 10% of marathoners BQ.

You may want to drive up Friday and enjoy the pasta dinner at 5:00pm at the Union Lodge, and get a good night’s sleep.

This race takes place around Newfound Lake, and lodging options are listed on the race website.

The New Hampshire Marathon is a Runner’s Choice Award recipient from Runnersgoal.com!

All three races are USATF Certified and the New Hampshire Marathon is a Boston Qualifier!

Cash prizes for the top finishers of all three races!

Viewtherace.com NH Marathon course video

Registration is open: $70 for the marathon, $55 for the half and $30 for the 10K.  All prices increase by $5 on September 1st and an additional $5 on October 3rd.

EVENT RESULTS 2019

Hoop City 5K, Marathon & Half Marathon

Springfield, MA |  October 2020 | Sunday 8:00 AM

Hoop City Marathon; Springfield MAUnfortunately the half and full marathon were postponed by the city for 2019.

They did run the 5K.

Run the inaugural running of the Hoop City Marathon & Half Marathon through beautiful parks, pass by historical landmarks, and share in the community spirit that is Springfield, Massachusetts.

Springfield, known to some as “Hoop City”, is the city of firsts, the birthplace of basketball, and the revitalized urban center of the Pioneer Valley.

The event features a marathon, half marathon, marathon relay and a 5K on Saturday October 5th.

The races benefit GRIFFIN’S FRIENDS CHILDREN’S CANCER FUND.

2019 5K RESULTS

NipMuck Trail Marathon and Relay

Ashford, CT | 4 October 2020 – Sunday – 8:00 AM

The NipMuck Trail Marathon is a classic old-school trail race taking place along a northern section of  the Nipmuck Trail. The race aims to preserve many of the qualities from the early days of the New England trail racing scene.

The race site warns of rough terrain and that in some areas an injured runner may wait an hour or more for medical assistance. This is not for the casual runner!

EVENT RESULTS 2019

87 runners finisher the race in 2019.

Registration is open! 

$35 for the marathon and $60 for the marathon relay. On August 1st the marathon goes to $40 and the marathon relay to $70.

Maine Marathon Half-Marathon and Relay

Portland, Maine | 4 October | Sunday | 7:45 AM

Maine Marathon, New England Fall Marathon, portland marathonBoth races are USATF Certified and the marathon is a Boston Qualifier.

The marathon has some nice prize money!

All three races are on an out and back course with rolling hills and views of the Portland skyline, the Atlantic Ocean, and plenty of fall foliage.

All participants are together for the first 6.5 miles before the half marathon breaks off and returns to Portland. The marathon and relay continue along Route 88 to Yarmouth before the return trip to Portland.

This is a Maine Track Club event and approximately 40% of gross revenue is donated to charities each year.

Registration is open –  The marathon is $80 and the half is $55. The Marathon Relay is $140. 

Next price increase is April 30th, 2020.

Exclusively for Omni Running readers – get $5 off registration when you use code MaineOmni2020. Click here to go to the registration page. Offer expires April 30th.

The combined races are capped at 3,500 runners. 

Viewtherace.com Maine Marathon course video

EVENT RESULTS 2019

Joe English Twilight Challenge

Amherst, NH |  TBD October | Saturday   

The Joe English Twilight Challenge is an evening/night trail run hosted by Freestyle Farm in Amherst, NH. The event consists of a marathon, a half-marathon and a 6-hour ultra-marathon. The marathon and half-marathon may be run individually or by relay teams. The relay teams (half or full marathon) consist of 2 or 5 runners completing either 5 or 10 laps on a 2.62-mile loop beginning at 7:00 p.m. The 6-hour ultra-marathon begins at 5:00 p.m. and ends at 11 p.m. Ultra participants run the 2.62-mile loop continuously for 6 hours.

Most of the race will be run at night on the groomed equestrian trails at Freestyle Farm.

The event is expected to draw 350 runners ranging from casual athletes to experienced ultra-runners. The event is set within a unique venue with high quality trails around a 50-acre pond. The course will be marked with fluorescent light sticks, ground flags and signal fires.

joe-english-challenge, ultra marathonRegistration for 2020 is not open

Medals will be awarded to the first and last place finishers.

All proceeds benefit the Amherst Land Trust.  The trust protects rural, scenic, and open-space lands for future generations. Founded in 1975, the trust has worked to educate the public about conservation and protect thousands of acres of land similar to the lands across which most of the challenge runs.

This race is USATF Sanctioned. 

EVENT RESULTS 2019

Hartford Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5K

Hartford, CT | 10 October | Saturday | 8:00 AM

GREEN RACE

hartford marathon, new england fall marathons2020 marks the 27th running of the Hartford Marathon. I ran this marathon in 2012 and can verify that it is very well-organized with lots of community and spectator support.

You can read my race recap HERE.

All three races start at 8AM. The kids fun run, HMF FitKids Run starts at 9:30AM.

Registration is open! $105 for the Marathon, $100 for ages 16-22, $80 for the Half, $75 for ages 12-22 and $30 for the 5K.

Additional price bands are available for younger 5K runners. $10 for the HMF Kids Run and don’t forget the Marathon Relay if you don’t feel up to a full marathon. There is no race day registration.

They charge $18 to mail your packet and strongly encourage you to visit the Expo Friday to pick up your packet and visit all the cool vendor booths. There is no race day packet pickup. My 2012 race was a bit of a mess because of this, so pay the fee or pick up your bib!

Check the registration page for relay team and youth prices.

The Hartford Marathon Foundation takes sustainability seriously. Click HERE to see how they are making their races eco-friendly.

2019 EVENT RESULTS

Amica Newport Marathon & Half

Newport, RI |  11 October | Sunday | 7:30 AM

New England Fall Marathons, Newport Marathon

Race along the ocean and help support six local charities.

The Amica Newport Marathon was voted as the “Best Marathon in Rhode Island” and a “Top 20 Half Marathon in the USA” in 2018. In 2016 the race was voted as the “Best Half Marathon” and “Best Race Swag” in the Northeast.

Registration for 2020 is open:  Marathon $97, Half Marathon $77. Second price increase is July 31, 2020.

Both races are USATF Certified and the marathon is a Boston Qualifier.

Shuttle service to the start begins at 5AM. FREE PHOTOS and bag check will be available.

ALL EVENT RESULTS 2019

Green Mountain Marathon & Half

South Hero, VT  | 18 October | Sunday | 8:30 AM

The marathon and half-marathon begin and end near the house where Clarence H. Demar, 7 time Boston Marathon Winner, once lived.

vermont marathon, fall new england marathonIt is out and back on the west shore of South Hero and Grand Isle; a land of farms, apple orchards and summer cottages. The terrain is flat to rolling and about half dirt road (hard packed and well maintained).

The half marathon course is an out and back that finishes at the Folsom School (same as the full marathon).

Infinite Pasta-bilities Dinner is Saturday night  at Folsom School, 4 – 7PM.

This is a race for runners by runners and has a reasonable registration fee of $60 for the marathon and $40 for the Half. Day of registration is $70 and $50, respectively.

Registration for 2020 is open!

Field is limited to 750 runners.

CircumBurke Trail Challenge

18 October | 8:02 AM 

Burke Mountain, Sherburne Lodge,East Burke, VT

Circumbruke Trail Challenge, fall new england marathons, vermont marathonThe Marathon Trail Run is one 27 mile lap and start at 8 AM. The CircumBerzerk Bikers
MTB Challenge starts at 10 AM.

This 27 mile circuit brings athletes through single track and logging trails on Burke Mountain, the Victory Hill Sector and Kingdom Trails.

The one lap event is for runners or bikers. The two lap “CircumBerzerk 50+ miler is for bikers only.

Elevation gain on the course is more than 3,000 feet.

Registration is not open yet.

Late (onsite) registration is $160. Number pickup & late (onsite) registration is at Sherburne Lodge from 5:00 to 7:30 PM and on race day from 6:45 until 9 AM. TRAIL RUNNERS register at ultrasignup.com

All proceeds go towards building and maintaining trails along the route!

Start/Finish Venue: Burke Mountain, Sherburne Lodge, East Burke, VT 05832

EVENT RESULTS 2018

Mohawk Mountain Races

Cornwall, CT |  17 October | Saturday | 8:00 AM

In cooperation with Mohawk Mountain, the Mohawk Mountain Race is sponsored by Steep Endurance at Mohawk Mountain in Cornwall, CT.

Normally a ski mountain in the winter, the mountain will be transformed into a super fun course! With its challenging ascents and descents on the ski mountain, it is sure to be a race to remember with sweeping viewpoints of the popping Fall foliage at every turn. With several distances to choose from (5K/10K) and NEW this year, Half Marathon/Marathon options, there’s something for every member of the family!

Registration is open – $70 for the Marathon, $60 for the Half, $40 for the 10K and $30 for the 5K.

Prices increase on August 1st, 2020.

Trapp Lodge Mountain Marathon

Stowe, VT |  17 October | Saturday | 8:00 AM

This race will challenge you! Although Trapp lodge has some of the smoothest, most runnable trail around, they also boast some incredible single track. Steep climbs and descents and a newly updated climb to the highest point on the Trapp Lodge Property; Round Top Mountain!

The 13.1 mile loop course is approximately 2/3 double track wide trails and dirt roads, and 1/3 serpentine, rugged single track. Full marathon racers will traverse this loop twice. This is a challenging trail race with significant elevation gain and loss and some steep scrambling segments.

Registration is open! Full Marathon is $90 and the Half is $75. 

2019 EVENT RESULTS

Mount Desert Marathon, Half and Relay

Bar Harbor, ME |  18 October | Sunday – 8:00 AM – Marathon and Marathon Relay,
Half begins at 8:30 in Northeast Harbor

MDI Marathon, Maine Marathon, fall new england marathons

Named ‘Most Scenic & runner-up Best Overall Marathon’ by Runner’s World

New England Runner Magazine’s Race of the Year! And many other accolades, too many to list here.

The Marathon and Marathon Relay begin in Bar Harbor, hits the half-way mark near Northeast Harbor and ends in Southwest Harbor.

Miles 12 through 19 are run along the eastern shore of Somes Sound, the only true fjord on the Atlantic Coast. While the entire island is beautiful, Somes Sound has always been one of my favorite areas on MDI.

The Half Marathon begins at 8:30AM in Northeast Harbor and runs north along Somes Sound for five miles.

The marathon had 737 finishers in 2018, and the half had 632 finishers. The Marathon is USATF Sanctioned & Certified: ME12018JK. 

Registration is open. $105 for the Marathon, $90 for the Half, Two-person relay is $95, three-person relay is $85. 

PAST RESULTS – All races

Baystate Marathon & Half Marathon

Lowell, MA |  18 October | Sunday | 8:00 AM

baystate, bay state marathonThis marathon always sells out. There are very few flat marathons in New England, but Baystate is one of them.

If you are looking to qualify for Boston, this is a good choice. The race is mostly flat with the bridges over the Merrimack having the most elevation gain. Part of the course is a double loop, so it can be challenging to see the “Mile 22” sign when you are at Mile 12 and starting to feel it.

This is a well supported race with local high schools competing to have the best water stop! There is plenty of parking at the Tsongas Arena garage.

This is a favorite race for many GBA runners and had about 1,300 finishers in 2018. I’ve run Baystate four times. Baystate Recap – 2014

Registration is open – $110 for the marathon, $90 for the half and $130 for the Half Marathon relay. No race-day registration.

Next price increase is August 1st.

Viewtherace.com Baystate Marathon course video 

EVENT RESULTS 2019

Ocean State Rhode Races

Narragansett, RI |  25 October | Sunday | 7:30 AM

GREEN RACE

rhode island marathon, fall marathons

The Marathon starts at 7:30AM, Half at 8AM and the 5K at 8:15AM.

These races feature FREE PHOTOS and a secured bag check at the start.

Registration is open –   $90 for the Marathon, $60 for the Half and $28 for the 5K.

Exclusively for Omni Running readers – get 15% off of registration when you use code OMNIFAN. Click here to go to the registration page.

First price increase is July 5, 2020.

The Marathon is a Boston Qualifier. The Ocean State Rhode Races Half is the final stop of the Rhode Race Series, a four stop series of Rhode Island Half Marathons.

This race harkens back to the original Ocean State Marathon with the start in Narragansett Beach.

It follows beautiful Rt 1a and showcases wonderful ocean views, old stone walls, working farms, estuaries and kayak stands. It really is a pretty one.

It is a smaller marathon so if you are looking to BQ – you won’t have to fight through crowds of people at the start.

Rhode Races & Events is committed to recycling at this year’s Ocean State Rhode Races. Road Races create a lot of waste, but we’ll reduce our footprint by diverting hundreds of pounds of cardboard boxes, water jugs, and plastic bottles from the landfill.

To learn more about our race day efforts and how you can help – please click this link.  Additionally – all clothing discarded at the start of the race will be donated to North American Family Institute.

Rhode Races offers a variety of discounts and packages for companies looking to foster their corporate health and wellness initiatives.  Employees training and participating together helps promote team camaraderie, increased branding and a sense of goodwill.  Join our Corporate Fit Challenge and compete to be the “Most Fit” or the “Most Philanthropic” business. Learn more 

2019 EVENT RESULTS

Cape Cod Marathon and Half Marathon

24 October | Saturday – 8:00 AM – Half Marathon
25 October | Sunday – 8:00 AM – Marathon and Marathon Relay

Falmouth, MA

GREEN RACE – see what they are doing

cape cod marathon, new england fall marathons, Massachusetts marathonThe marathon course was changed in 2019 to a flatter, faster, safer and more scenic course. In 2019 The Cape Cod Marathon was the USATF – New England Marathon Championship race in their 2019 Grand Prix Race Series

Marathon registration is open.  $90 through June 30th. The field is limited to 1,000 runners.

Marathon relay registration is: $225 for 2 to 5 person teams. The field is limited to 200 teams.

The marathon was named “The Best Marathon in Massachusetts” by the RaceRaves in 2018.

If you want to run with the big dogs, this is the marathon for you!

2019 MARATHON RESULTS

Cape Cod Half Marathon

24 October | Saturday | 8:00 AM

The Cape Cod Marathon Half race course is a fast and scenic route that hugs the Falmouth coastline of Nantucket Sound. Designed to maximize runners’ view of Martha’s Vineyard and the beautiful waters of Nantucket Sound this out and back course is limited to one hill.   But don’t be alarmed this one hill occurs at miles 3.5 and 9.75 and is over before you know it.

Registration is open. $75 through June 30th or when the 1,750 runner limit is met. No Race-Day registration.

2019 HALF RESULTS

Clam Chowdah Challenge

Falmouth, marathon, half, clam chowder, chowdah

Why not make a weekend on The Cape out of it and run both the Half Marathon on Saturday and the Marathon on Sunday?

For $185, 100 lucky runners will get to face the ultimate challenge and go for the Clam Chowdah Challenge mug. There is no race day registration for this event.

All finishers of the Clam Chowdah Challenge will receive a chowdah bowl and “medal” spoon, medals for both races and a race shirt.

Previous Marathon and Half Marathon results

In 2019 the organizers implemented changes to minimize the environmental impact of these races. They are reducing waste by:

Replacing plastic bags with Eco-Friendly for Number Pick Up bags
Providing compostable cups at all water stops
Replacing single-use plastic water bottles with reusable water bottles at the finish lines
Creating Compost/Recycle/Trash stations at the finish line
Providing compostable bowls and spoons for the soup and chowder at the marathon and relay finish line
Recycling left over medals when needed

As runners it is up to us to make these efforts work. Don’t throw your trash in the recycle or compost bins. Think before you toss!

LOCO Half and Full Marathon

Newmarket, NH | 25 October | Sunday | 8:00 AM

loco marathon, new hampshire marathon

The 7th Annual LOCO half and full Marathon is a spectacular 13.1 mile loop course run completely on tree-lined rural roads.

It travels through four local coastal towns:  Newmarket, Lee, Epping and Newfields New Hampshire.

Not only is a scenic course, it is designed to be fast and easy. Half marathoners run one loop. Marathoners run a second loop.  For the past two years over 32% on average of marathoners qualified for the Boston Marathon.

The Marathon is a double loop of the Half-Marathon. It’s all country roads and 3 miles of rail trail.

This is a runner’s race. The finish time cut-off for 59 years and under is 4:30. For 60 and older it is 5 hours even.

Most marathons have a 6 hour cut-off time. If you are running to see the foliage, you may want to pick another race. If marathon runners cannot make the half-way mark by 2:15 or 2:30 for 60+ years, you will be pulled from the course!

Oh, and marathon runners MUST bring photo ID. So no faking 60+ to get the extra 30 minutes to finish the race!

Cut-off time for the Half-Marathon is 2:30.

The course is USATF Certified at 13.10938 miles. Combined registration is limited to 1,000 runners. Finisher’s medals for all marathon finishers!

Hot food will be served after the race and Smuttynose Brewing will be pouring!

Registration is open $89 for the marathon and $69 for the half marathon. 

2019 EVENTS RESULTS

Nor’Witch Halloween 25K, 50K and 100K

Norwich, VT | 31 October | Sunday | 9:00 AM

Challenging in true Vermont tradition, expect elevation gains between 1400′ and 3550′ !

The course is not, repeat, NOT certified! Being hilly, you can also expect to run between 30-45 minutes slower than your average flat marathon time making a BQ pretty unlikely for many if not most.

The Half’witch time limit of 6-hours and gentle downhill final portion of the course are a great combination for walkers, even with all those 1,400 feet of hills thrown in! You’ll feel like Superman or Wonder Woman at the finish line!

Registration is open: 100K – $150, 50K – $95, 25K – $60

The Roxbury Marathon and Roxbury Half Marathon

Roxbury, CT |  November 2020 8:30 AM

The Roxbury Marathon and Roxbury Half Marathon are hilly, no-frills foot-races that are run over some of the roads used by the Roxbury Races annual series (about 40 races from February into early December each year).

The entry fee is $35 for the half marathon and $40 for the marathon to cover costs.

Registration opens July 15th

Manchester City Marathon, Half, Relays & 5K

Manchester, NH |  8 November | Sunday | 8:50 AM

The largest New Hampshire marathon, Manchester is USATF Certified and a Boston Qualifier.

manchester marathon, new england fall marathons, new hampshire marathonThe web site describes the race as hilly, challenging and scenic. Many friends have run this race and only had good things to say about their experience.

Registration is open – $90 for the Marathon, $75 for the Half, $160 for the 4-way Marathon Relay and $110 for the 2-way Marathon Relay. The 2-way Half Relay is $95. The 5K is $25.

Next price increase is May 29th.

The first 2,000 runners will receive a long sleeve event shirt. All runners will enjoy Sam Adams beverages as well as flat bread pizza, Dasani water and Stoneyfield yogurt.

Free race photos and bag check will be available.

EVENT RESULTS 2019

Viewtherace.com Manchester City Marathon course video

The Millinocket Marathon & Half

Millinocket Marathon, New England Marathon, Maine marathon

Millinocket, ME |  5 December 2020 –  Saturday

Marathon starts at 10AM
Half Marathon starts at 10:10 AM

There is no registration fee for this race. This New England Marathon was conceived of as a way to help the economy of a Northern Maine former mill town: Millinocket.

When I was growing up the paper industry made Millinocket a bustling town. While I was attending college at The University of Maine the mill was on it’s last legs. Everyone knew that hard times were coming, just like they did in so many other mill towns across America.

Just like other mill towns across the country, Millinocket is working to reinvent itself.

This race allows you to be a part of that revival and run a great marathon or half marathon.

This race is at least five hours north of Boston. Throw in some traffic or weather and you’ll be well beyond five hours. Just keep that in mind.

Oh, it it’s guaranteed to be cold. It’s just a question of how cold. Keep this in mind before you register.

A note from the Race Director:

Important: Please don’t register unless you are somewhat serious about traveling to Millinocket in the first place. Although our race is FREE, we still prepare bib numbers and accrue expenses to prepare for your participation. We totally understand that life happens, but if you can’t come, don’t just NOT show up; it’s very important to officially cancel your registration in a timely manner so that those volunteering their time and funds do not expend them unnecessarily. Thank you for your understanding — we can’t wait to see you in the Magic City!

2020 registration is open!

Looking for a Winter 2019 marathon? Click HERE.

Run well my friends!

Andy

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2019 Race Directory Updates

2019 Race Directory Updates are on-going. Be sure to check back for updates and additions as the year goes on. Have a great 2019 running year and run well my Friends!

As we roll into 2019 I’ll be making Race Directory updates with new dates and hopefully a few new races.

The most popular race directory that I keep is the New England Marathons Fall. I started tracking these marathons in 2015 and last year the post just took off.

Now that winter is officially here I’ll be changing the name to New England Marathons Fall 2019 this week. Not to worry, I will keep the same URL for the blog post. If you have it book marked you won’t have to make any changes.

I’m glad that the Fall Marathons directory became popular and not the Summer Marathons post. Fall has enough marathons in New England to keep things interesting without it becoming a full time job for me.

5K Race Directory Updates

I will also continue to update the 5K race directories for local cities and towns. Just like for the marathon listings, I’ll keep the same URL and change the title only.

Unlike most directories published by the big web sites, I will not inundate you with ads and pop ups. I will mention the My First 5K medal on occasion. Many 5Ks only award the top three runners over all and often age-group winners.

Unlike the corporate web sites, I often speak with the race director. This lets me get dates listed quicker and get the latest updates.

Without all of the ads and clutter, it is much easier to find a race in your town on my directories. Here are two popular listings that I will be updating shortly:

Somerville 5K Race Directory

Cambridge 5K Race Directory

GBA St. Patrick’s Day Races

Most other cities and towns only have a handful of races, so it’s hard to put together much of a listing. I may consolidate some of these other directories into regional directories.

Boston Marathon 2018 Race Weekend

Boston Marathon 2018 Race Weekend

As a GBA local I got to have an entire Boston Marathon weekend experience. On Friday afternoon I got to go to the Boston Marathon Expo and be among the first few thousand people to walk the floor. The vendors were generous with samples and the crowd was just trickling in.

I picked up my race packet and shirt and walked the Expo floor. One of the first vendors I saw was “KT Tape.” There was a small line of people and someone was sitting in the booth talking to people. I thought I recognized the guy.

Meb Keflezighi, Boston Marathon 2018As I looked a second time I saw that he was signing autographs and that it was Meb Keflezighi! He won Boston in 2014, the year after the bombing. He became an instant American hero!

I almost kept walking, but I noticed that the line wasn’t long. It was cool standing in line and watching Meb talk to everyone. He was patient and seemed genuine as he spoke with each person.

Everyone was excited to meet him and had a story to tell. I felt star-struck. When it was my turn to sit with him I tried to explain that I ran in 2014 when he won. When I crossed the finish line they said an American had won, but I didn’t find out who for almost an hour.

I asked if he would sign my Marathon bib, and he wrote a nice note. I was so happy to meet my marathon idol!

BAA 5K

On Saturday I ran the BAA 5K. Nineteen people from my running club also ran. My buddy Derm Cahill dropped his car at my house and we parked at my office in Cambridge. It’s a quick walk across The Longfellow bridge to The Boston Common and Charles Street.

There wasn’t a whole lot to do before the race so we picked up our shirts, went to the bag drop and then to the porta-potty line.

The lines weren’t too bad and moved along quickly. It was a beautiful spring day in Boston and everyone was in a good mood. As we headed to the start area we ran into fellow Melrose Running Club member Regina Curran. She was in line so we spoke briefly and headed towards the start area.

Derm is recovering from a really messed up shoulder injury from last fall! He though he just broke ribs but recently had to get treatment for his shoulder. I had the Marathon on Monday, so neither of us were looking to PR.

As we walked up the sidewalk to a slower corral we kept seeing people moving forward. Many of them did not look like 6:00 pace 5K runners, but that’s where they were heading. We didn’t wait too long before they played The National Anthem and we all stood silently. There were plenty of American flags to look at.

We were in the 9:00 pace group and planned to take it easy. The first group took off and our group began to move up. Instead of stopping us at the line, we just crossed the start as we got there.

The start was still crowded but so much better than starting in Copley Square. There were still people walking three and four abreast. The same people we saw walking forward to the faster corrals. I tried not to get pissed, but I did say a few things mostly under my breath.

We ran out Comm Ave to Charles Gate West and turned around. One of the coolest parts of this race is that we got to take a right onto Hereford and a left onto Boylston Street. As we ran towards the Boston Marathon finish line I could feel my excitement building!

There were very few people around but it was still cool to cross the freshly painted finish line.

As much as we tried to hold back, we failed. Mile one came in at 8:56 which was mostly due to the crowding. Mile two came in at 8:22 and mile three came in at 8:00. Our race average pace was 8:26. Nothing crazy but still faster than we needed to run. The BAA timed us at 8:35 pace and 26:37 total time. Pretty close.

After we got our medals and walked along we found another MRC runner, Michele DiAngelo. We missed just about everyone else.

As we were heading out we met the Tysall family. Charlotte Tysall ran a 20:28 race and she is only 14! She was disappointed not to break the 20 minute barrier. I’m sure she will soon.

Boston Marathon Expo Volunteering

The Melrose Running Club had about twenty people volunteer at The Expo. Most of us did number packet or shirt distribution. Mike Quigley and I volunteered to give directions and information.

We stood a few feet away from the shirt distribution tables, the last required stop before runners headed for The Expo. Since I had walked The Expo on Friday, I was somewhat familiar with the vendors. The also gave us a map and directory.

I think I only sent a few people across the hall to the wrong place. I felt bad but I was a volunteer with a crash course where everything was. Sorry folks!

It was a lot of fun talking to people from all over the world. Some people just needed directions but a few people were asking for running advice.

One guy from California was really concerned with what to wear. I must have talked to him and his wife for ten minutes. Lots of people were looking for any vendor who still had gloves, sleeves or anything water proof.

As I took a walk around the Expo floor to stretch my legs I checked in with a few vendors. The guys at Brooks said they brought everything they had, but the winter season is over so they didn’t have much to sell. Everyone else was sold out also. I found one booth selling headbands. That was it.

The lady who was managing our group of volunteers told us to grab a drop bag. She said that near the end of the Expo many vendors will be looking to get rid of any food items they had left over. She wasn’t kidding.

The Expo ended at 6 PM, but by 4 PM the crowd hid thinned considerably. So around 5 PM I took a walk about. It was like Halloween for a runner. Almost all of the vendors were opening cases and putting out bottles and bars and other samples for us to take. One vendor saw my volunteer credentials and gave me a box of breakfast bars.

Before we left we had to check out and receive our volunteer pin. It was a nice silver BAA logo pin. I had so much stuff to carry that I almost forgot my jacket! They gave us volunteer jackets so a jacket really wasn’t on my mind.

A fellow “information desk” volunteer Wey gave me a ride back to Cambridge to pick up my car. That was awesome as I wasn’t looking forward to the T ride back to Cambridge. He was driving one of the new Teslas. It’s weird not hearing an engine start or run.

A great Boston Marathon 2018 weekend Experience

I had a great time helping out at the Expo, like I always do. If felt great to help runners who were probably a little nervous. To talk to a local person who’s run the race seven times probably helped ease their nerves. I know it would make me feel better to talk to someone who knew a little bit about the race and how things worked.

I also had a great time running the BAA 5K with Derm and running into some of our friends.

With those great experiences I was feeling great and looking forward to Monday. We started following the weather over a week before the race. It didn’t start well and it kept getting worse!

Friday at work we were seeing a 100% chance of rain. Possible gusts up to 40 mph and on-shore winds. On-shore winds come off of The Atlantic and are colder than off-shore winds.

I kept checking the weather on Saturday. It said temperatures would be in the 40’s and maybe 50’s. But the rain was still coming and the on-shore winds were still predicted to gust up to 30-40 mph.

Of course, the weather started getting worse Sunday night.

Check back for my 2018 Boston Marathon recap hopefully tomorrow.

Run well my Friends!

Andy

Medford Long Run

The Melrose Running Club has a Sunday Long Run program for spring and fall marathon runners. In 2017 my marathon was in December and well after the Sunday Long Run program ended.

Without an organized program I had to come up with my own runs and one was the Medford Long Run.

 

Medford Long Run Destination Unknown

I’ve lived in Medford for about 15 years and know the area fairly well.

I also know most of the Melrose long run routes by heart. The challenge for me is stringing the two together. Starting from a different place and running to a familiar space can be disorienting.

I like to visualize my run before I go out. But when I change things up I can find it difficult to string things together. If I imagine one intersection incorrectly I could have an extra long run!

Where was I and how did I get there?

How many times have you been driving and suddenly realize you’ve arrived but don’t recall the journey?

While running it’s easy to focus on your shoes and not notice the surroundings. This is especially true on a long, difficult run. And just like driving, you can finish a run and not recall the turns. Some of this is from the shoe thing and some is from runner’s amnesia. Exhaustion and pain tend to make the mind focus inwardly and blur the world.

Sometimes a landmark gets torn down or painted. Its amazing how differently a street can look from the opposite direction. It’s amazing how different a street looks from your car as apposed to running.

I tend to notice these things more when I’m running, but only if I’m tuned in. It can be disorienting to suddenly realize that some building is gone but not be sure what had been there.

Starting from a different place, I felt disoriented trying to visualize the entire route. I was not entirely sure where I was going!

I was running into the unknown.

Starting the Medford Long Run

Medford-Long-Run, marathon trainingI left from my front door step, ran past the Crystal Campbell Memorial on Riverside Ave and through Medford Square.

From the Square I ran up High Street past the library and St. Joseph’s. At the rotary I stayed left and continued to West Medford down High Street.

In West Medford I crossed the Commuter Train tracks and passed St. Raphael’s.

A lot of West Medford seems out of the 1950’s. The square is full of small shops, there is a train stop and the houses are large early 1900’s style and look to be mostly single family still.

So far so good, I knew exactly where I was.

Medford Long Run Mystic Valley Parkway

At the rotary below the Lower Mystic Lake I took a right onto the Mystic Valley Parkway. As I approached the turn I saw several cyclist turn up the Parkway. This is a great road for cyclists and runners. On the lake side of the road there is a gravel path which isn’t too dangerous to run on.

Just before the turn my watch chimed 3 miles. My average pace was 8:50. I told my self that I would get in at least a 6 mile run now. It was beginning to feel like a run but my pace was still good.

As I ran up the Mystic Valley Parkway I met other runners and several walkers. It was nice to see so much activity in my home town. I even saw an un-manned water stop for The Tufts Marathon Team.

As I got to the end of the Parkway I crossed the street near the Wedgemere commuter rail station and took a right onto Bacon Street.

I was still on my mental map!

Into the Wilderness

I’ve run this area many times and knew where I was. But I was having difficulty visualizing the next turn. I knew how to get home from here, but I wanted to get in more miles before heading home.

At the next rotary I recognized Symmes Corner and knew that I wanted to turn left onto Main Street. However, I still could not visualize my next turn. I took it on faith that I would know which way to go when I got there.

When Main Street split into Main and Washington Street, I went down Washington. I saw a sign for Rt. 38 and knew that went to Medford. It felt like dead reckoning.

At mile 7 I was in the Winchester Highlands. I’ve been here many times and recalled that I never recall the street to turn right onto. Each corner looks the same to me: houses and maybe a business of some kind. As generic as a Florida intersection.

Instead of turning right onto Forrest Street I continued into the Montvale section of Woburn. This is the southern edge of Woburn but the farthest distance from my house. I did not want to get turned around here! While running down this road I saw a sign for Tyngsboro! That caught my attention. Tyngsboro is on the New Hampshire border.

Around mile 7 I took my single gel. At the corner of Washington Street and Montvale Ave I found a Wendy’s and put my empty gel packet into a trash can.

While wandering across the parking lot like a zombie I took out my phone and checked my map. I wasn’t too far off of the beaten path, but I had missed that turn onto Forrest Street. It was time to find the most direct way home. I noticed that my water was well over half gone, but it never occurred to me to go into Wendy’s and get a drink. Too focused on that map!

Medford Long Run Home

All I had to do was turn right onto Montvale Avenue and head for the Stone Zoo. Going down Montvale I had to cross the ramps for Rt. 93, both north and south bound. Fortunately traffic wasn’t too bad and I never feared for my life!

After I ran that gauntlet I decided to check my map again. I recalled seeing a street that cut off some distance, but didn’t recall the name. Fortunately I was on the right corner and turned down Maple Street.

Maple started out okay and then turned into a bitch of a hill. I went up 100 feet in less than half a mile. I wasn’t even sure where I was going and this hill was kicking my ass! What a waste if I got it wrong!

Fortunately Maple ended at Main Street in Stoneham which is also Rt. 28 which goes to Medford. I was feeling a little better.

When I got to the corner I recognized the area and knew to turn right and head south. I didn’t really recognize anything running down Main Street. Then I got to the four-way intersection of Main Street, North Border Road, South Street and Fellsway West.

I saw the Friendly’s on the corner and the Fellsway West right in front of me. I knew where to go.

The Fellsway West has several long slow hills that just burn you up. They’re not steep, they just go on for ever. I knew where I was but had to figure out how to get home.

Normally we take a left at Elm Street off of the Fellsway and hit the last water stop before heading back to Melrose.

I did not want to go to Melrose this time!

As I passed my usual turn I entered very familiar territory. I was now in the Fulton Heights section of Medford and running past St. Francis. This was our parish when my kids were in elementary school.

The Fellsway West comes around the back side of Spot Pond and passes in front of St. Francis. Shortly after passing Fulton Street, mile 13 chimed in at 9:01! Not bad for being this deep into a greater Medford long run.

I wasn’t sure how much further I had to go distance wise, but I knew exactly where I was going. As I made my way down Spring Street mile 14 approached. I was spent and decided to walk after mile 14.

I never planned to run this far in the first place! Just before the turn onto my street mile 14 chimed in at 9:12. Still very good.

I walked the last quarter mile and lengthened my stride to stretch my muscles a little bit. I felt a little funny walking past the neighbors homes in my running kit and, well walking! My shirt was so thoroughly sweat through that the entire shirt was now several shades darker. The uniformity of color probably looked like I hadn’t even broken a sweat.

This was a great run for my training for The Honolulu Marathon and my memory turned out to be much better than I thought.

Run Well my Friends!

Andy

Honolulu Marathon 2017

Hawai’i Dreamin!

On occasion I’ve written about destination races. In 2017 I finally signed up for and ran my first official destination marathon: The Honolulu Marathon!

Hawai’i always seemed too far to travel and has a reputation for being expensive. Lucky for me, my sister recently moved to Hawai’i and I was able to book a reasonably priced flight. So the Honolulu Marathon turned out to be relatively inexpensive. Relatively.

Honolulu Marathon Training

I’ve run enough marathons to respect the distance. You can’t just will your self to complete a marathon. It will break you both physically and mentally. Grown men have been known to cry and I’ve seen more than a few runners hauled off in an ambulance.

As I was starting my training for the Honolulu Marathon the Sunday Long Run (SLR) program was winding down. The last one was October 15th.

Knowing that I wouldn’t have an organized long run each week, my plan was to run half marathons as often as I could.

The last of the SLR runs were 22 and 14.8 miles. One of my top goals was avoiding injury so I skipped those runs and ran the Smuttynose Rockfest Half Marathon on October 1st and the BAA Half Marathon and on the 8th. I ran the last SLR on the 15th and it was 14.05 miles.

Then on October 22nd I did a 14.26 mile run from my house. Getting out of the house by my self was the real challenge for that run.

Four good long runs over four weekends, I was off to a good start.

Then I didn’t run further than 6.6 miles at a time until the Howling Wolf Half on November 12th. That was the first long-distance race of 2017 where I ran under 9 minute miles. Running a 1:53 Half and not being beat up was the confirmation of my fitness level that I needed.

Just the week before, I face-planted at the Friends of the Fells 10K. During the Howling Wolf Half my right hand and wrist still hurt and I had a massive shiner under my right eye. The fact that I was able to run that half marathon confirmed that everything was okay.

On November 19th I ran The Cambridge Half Marathon at 1:56. That race didn’t beat me up too much either and the crowds kept me from going out too fast.

I ran most of the Sunday Long Runs over the summer so picking up my training for a marathon wasn’t that difficult. I was a little heavier than I wanted to be but in fairly good shape.

To avoid injury, I didn’t push my self too hard. I managed just over 100 miles in October and just under 86 miles for November. The first week of December I managed two short runs.

I was happy with 100 miles in October but wanted to get in 100 miles for November also.

For many runners, 100 miles a month is taking it easy. For a casual runner like me it took planning to hit those numbers.

The lesson I learned from this training cycle is that half marathons are a great way to train. While they never go beyond 13.1 miles, I always run harder at a race and I never stop for water or a bite to eat.

The next time I have an off-cycle marathon I plan to run a half marathon each weekend if I can. Four halfs was pretty good, but with better planning I could do a lot more.

Honolulu Marathon Morning

I flew into Honolulu on December 6th. This gave me a few days to acclimate and adjust for the 5 hour time difference.

My sister and I had a few days to tour Oahu and catch up. We haven’t lived in the same time zone for quite a few years.

Honolulu Marathon 2017, Hawaii marathonDecember 7th turned out to be a low key day. To see any of the ceremonies at Pearl Harbor, you had to be at the stadium by 5 AM to be shuttled to any of the ceremonies. While I really wanted to see a Pearl Harbor Day, I was there to run a marathon.

On Marathon day my sister and brother-in-law drove me into town and dropped me off near the start line around 3:15 AM.

The marathon starts at 5 AM and it was supposed to be in the 60s before the race, so I wore an old shirt to keep the “chill” off.

The temperature turned out to be quite comfortable even though I was wearing running shorts and a singlet under that old dress shirt.

The humidity wasn’t bad either. Reports on December 9th predicted a cooler than usual day for the race and possible rain. They also predicted a record finish for the race as well.

I really expected it to be much warmer. It was Hawaii and the race web site had all kinds of warnings about the heat. They even cautioned veteran runners. I guess I was expecting jungle conditions. Starting at 5 AM before sunrise didn’t hurt.

The Honolulu Marathon starts on Ala Moana Boulevard, which in Hawaiian means “path by the ocean.” This phrase is an appropriate description for the entire race course. At the Starting Line is Ala Moana Beach Park, a local recreation area encompassing over 100 acres of park, beaches, swimming and surfing spots.

Honolulu Marathon 2017. Oahu MarathonsMost people took a bus from the Honolulu Zoo to the Ala Moana Park near the start. When I showed up most of those people were still in the park. I found a place to sit on a low cement wall and waited for the start.

The MCs for the event were the anchor from the local TV station and a Japanese woman making the same announcements for the Japanese runners.

As I sat on that wall waiting for the race to start I joked around with the runners next to me. They just smiled and nodded. Before long it dawned on me that they were Japanese and didn’t speak English.

For the past 30 years, Japanese runners have been more than 50% of Honolulu Marathon runners on average. In 1991, 70% of runners were from Japan.

Japan Airlines is the primary sponsor. I am guessing that they sell a travel package to Hawaii that includes the marathon.

Honolulu Marathon 2017, Porta PottiesThis was the 45th running of this race and they were well organized. There were plenty of porta potties and they assigned waves based on self reported finish times.

I was in the third wave behind the elites and the first wave. While I was in a good position near the front of my wave, runners from other waves kept walking past me to the front.

I guess there is no honor among runners with the honor system of self seeding!

As 5 AM approached the announcers kept calling the runners from the park to the start area. It took a long time for the area to fill up. Around 4:15 the announcers told us to clear the road so the wheel chair atheletes could get to the starting line. Around 10 atheletes made their way through the crowd.

Running Honolulu Marathon

Around 4:30 I got in line for the porta-potties one last time. The line was short and moved quickly. I was starting to make my way to my wave as they played The National Anthem. I walked across the grass median to the right side of the road. Somewhere in all the announcements I heard them say the Moana (ocean) side was for the 10K runners and the other side was for the marathon.

While there were a lot of runners in front of me, there must have been 30,000 behind me. The announcer said this was the 4th or 5th largest marathon in America. And I was in the 3rd wave! I’d never get this in Boston!

At 5 AM they announced the start with a volley of fireworks! The elite runners took off and we began to walk forward.

It took about four minutes to cross the start line. Like most big races, it was very congested at the start. A lot of those people walking to the front were not supposed to be there and some of them were walking already.

While Hawaii may be a chill California, I’m from Boston. I tried not to run into anyone but did brush a few shoulders as I squeezed between runners and walkers. I kept my comments mostly under my breath.

Honolulu Marathon Starting Loop

As we ran through downtown Honolulu the fire works continued. We were well into the loop back before they stopped.

In many ways downtown looked like any other downtown. They even had a few pot holes to look out for.

Even at 5 AM there were people cheering us on. Everywhere I looked there was something new to see. Running is a great way to tour a city!

The temperature and humidity were mild, but by mile two I was sweating. I had a 500ml bottle of water with me and took the occasional swig and avoided all of the early water stops.

To keep my self from over-heating even before the sun came up I took off my hat a few times. Occassionally we got a nice breeze off of the ocean. It felt so good!

As we crossed the Ala Wai canal into the Waikiki neighborhood I started to think about sun rise. How hot would it get? Would it rain?

As we approached Diamond Head we took a left onto Monsarrat Ave and passed the Honolulu Zoo. It was a unique experience to be running up that hill in the dark in the warm musky air. We had some elevation gain in mile two in downtown, but at mile 7.5 we climbed 131 feet in about a half mile on Monsarrat Ave.

We only had the left side of the road and volunteers held yellow tape to keep us on one side. I stayed to the right of the pack and managed to keep up with everyone.

Mile 8 came in at 9:24. All my previous miles were in the 8:40 range. I was doing good.

Doesn’t that diagram look frightening? The first big hill is that 131 foot climb around Diamond Head. It was a good climb but I felt very comfortable. Then we had about a mile of downhill with a net loss of 60 feet. The hill at mile 9, after Diamond Head, looks killer also but was actually a net loss of 50 feet. Miles nine and ten came in at 9:00 and 9:04 respectively.

Honolulu Marathon, hawaii, elevation map

Diamond Head, Honolulu MarathonOn the way out we took a left and stayed on Diamond Head Road. This took us behind the extinct volcano and back into residential neighborhoods. Then we took two consecutive rights and went through the Waialae Kahala neighborhood and headed for the H1.

I had envisioned seeing the sunrise as I crested Diamond Head and hearing “Let The Sun Shine” blasting from my internal boom box. Alas, it was all a romantic notion.

We ran around Diamond Head in the dark. When the sun came up around mile 12 there was a bank of clouds on the horizon shielding us from the full fury of the morning sun. It turned out to be a blessing from the cloud gods.

At this point in the race I was carrying my singlet and my shorts were totally drenched with sweat.  While I had two 9 oz bottles with Hammer Head mix on my belt, I was now taking water at the stops. I also took my first kit of salt capsules and Hyland cramp tablets.

When we hit the half marathon mark it was daylight, getting warmer and beginning to feel like a race.

I felt okay and my energy level was still good. I had five Honey Stinger Gold gels with me and had taken two before the half-way mark. It’s always better to fuel early then to hit the wall early.

The H1 just ends and turns into the Kalanianaole Highway. Starting around 11.5 miles, the Kalanianaole Highway ran along the Maunalua Bay. The funny thing about Hawaii is that you can’t smell the ocean even when you are right next to it.

I could see water once in a while, but as we approached the half-way mark I was more focused on my running. Even with a relatively flat course my pace was dropping. My average pace was now around 9 minutes and I was getting worried about hitting my goal.

Honolulu Marathon 2017, destination marathons

Around mile 15 we took a left onto Hawaii Kai Drive which took us through a development that looked like Florida. Lots of water ways, docks and boats. As we made the turn I noticed the line of porta potties.

As we ran through the development my stomach began to really act up. I kept taking water and a little Gatorade once in a while.

My left knee was also acting up and I had to walk some. Mile 17 came in at 9:45. Not good. When we got back to the intersection where the porta potties were, I had to make a stop. Mile 18 came in at 11 minutes even. I told my self I lost two minutes in the porta pottie.

When ever I walk late in a race my muscles always tighten up. I know this and try to avoid stopping. But I had to stop this time. Some things just cannot be avoided.

Between my knee and tightened muscles, mile 19 came in at 10:04.

As we made our way back down Kalanianaole Highway it was now daylight. It had been raining for a while now and it felt good.

I had wrapped my toes in tape to prevent blisters, but something was going on in my right shoe. It felt like something was loose in my sock. Had the tape slipped off? Had I lost a toenail? As I ran I watched the water fling out the front of my shoe and waited for it to turn color. Thankfully it never did.

Mile 20 and 21 came in at 10:54 each. At mile 21 my time was 3:17 and I had 5.2 miles to go. There was no way I was going to run 8 minutes miles to the finish and get my four hour marathon.

Between mile 21 and the finish I had to make two more porta pottie stops. I used my second kit of salt capsules and cramp tablets, but they didn’t seem to help.

My knee hurt, my bowels were in full revolt and I even had stomach cramps. My energy level was typical for this stage of a marathon. This is the time when a runner normally has to muster their courage and inner strength to push on and give their best effort.

When your body has pain that cannot be ingnored and you are worried about shitting your shorts, there isn’t much you can do. Will power cannot over come these issues. I wasn’t going for a gold medal or a big check, so I wasn’t willing or sufficiantly motivated to be that guy running to the finish with shit running down his leg.

Finishing the Honolulu Marathon

I walked most of the hills on the way back. Normally I would have dug deep and passed a lot of runners on those last hills. I’m a pretty good hill runner. My knee was so bad that I even walked some of the down hill. The pounding was just too much.

I did my best to avoid injury while training, but something is going on with my left knee. I knew this when I signed up for this marathon. I used all the tricks I know to minimize issues with my knee, but in the end it wasn’t enough.

I’ve walked a lot of the last few miles of the Boston Marathon before in great pain. Over the years I’ve figured out how to eliminate those pains. This knee pain was something new and something I need to have checked out.

When we hit mile 25, I was that guy walking. So close to the finish, but no way to make a go of it. Every time I started to run I could barely lift my feet and the pain was unbearable.

I made up my mind to walk to mile 26 and then jog to the finish line come hell or high water.

As we entered the Kapiolani Park I started jogging and looking for the finish line. As I got closer I could hear the finish line announcer. We were running along Waikiki Beach, one of the most famous beaches in the world, and I couldn’t have cared less.

The clock had something like 4:43 on it, but I knew that I had crossed the starting matt atleast four minutes after the clock started. I had finished the Honolulu Marathon with my dignity, but I had missed my goal by a wide margin.

I managed to get a cold bottle of water and found the finishers medals and people giving us shell necklaces. The area had lots of temporary fencing, so you had to walk a laborynth to get to the shirts and malasadas.

One of the many cool features of this marathon is that you did not get a finisher’s shirt untill you finished the race. Why give shirts to people who havn’t even crossed the starting line?

The malasadas are a local donut and sometimes have a fillling.The one I got was hot, greasey and covered in granulated sugar. Perfect! I could have gone back for another but there wasn’t any filling and I was worried about how the grease would effect my stomach.

It was one of the best damed donuts I’ve ever eaten. But I knew better. When I was making my final approach I was thinking more about finding a porta pottie than I was about getting water. I even worried about throwing up. It was that bad.

I knew that my sister and her family were somewhere in the park, but I was too busy to check my phone. I finally wandered out of the park and ended up sitting on a bench in front of the Starbucks at Waikiki Beach. When I tried to tell her where I was the street names looked the same to me and I couldn’t make them sound different when I read them outloud. It was like I was totally hammered.

I was on the corner of Kalakaua Ave and Kapahulu Ave. I just couldn’t make those words sound different when I said them.

I finally told her I was in front of the Starbucks. Soon enough I could see them walking towards me.

They had parked in a garage just a block or so away and the walking was good for me. I still didn’t have a shirt on and I didn’t really care. I wasn’t bleeding and that was the important thing.

Honolulu Marathon, Waiola Shaved Ice, Hawaii Five-0We drove to Waiola Shaved Ice which is supposed to be the best one on Oahu. It’s so popular that the show Hawaii Five-0 actually shoots street scenes there.

The owner told us that he had run the Honolulu Marathon a few years ago. We had a few laughs but no comp for my shaved ice on ice cream.

It was delicious and cold.

Hopefully I didn’t horrify my nieces with my flabby middle-aged gut.

Out of 20,350 finishers, I came in 3,038. In the Mens 50-54 group I came in 277th out of 1,204. All things considered, that’s not a bad finish. FULL RESULTS.

4,283 runners finished the 10K. Nine athletes completed the wheelchair division marathon.

I could write another 5,000 words about my trip to Hawaii and my time with my sister’s family. I will always have so many great memories from this trip. It was a moment in time.

Mahalo and run well my Friends!

Andy