Bay of Fundy International Marathon

Bay of Fundy International Marathon

Our alarms went off around 4:45; I had been waiting for them. My mind was foggy but I knew I had to snap to and get going. I turned on the coffee pot and headed to the bathroom to change into my running gear.

While Sue used the bathroom I had some coffee and broke out my blueberry scones. I doubled checked my gear, made some changes and packed my bags. After a few minutes we were all packed and out the door. I think I woke up the lady in the motel office when I went to drop off our key. We stopped at the Dunkin Donuts across the street so I could get a large coffee. I barely remember this.

Off to the races

We had driven back and forth between Lubec and East Machias twice, and estimated it would take 30 minutes to get to the high school. The road was clear of traffic and we made good time. I parked in front of the high school, Sue gave me a good luck hug and I headed for the first bus. They had to check if there was a seat available. I headed for the back of the bus and we were off in a few minutes.

I chatted with the runner next to me and everyone was in high spirits. It was a short drive to West Quoddy Head State Park. We tumbled out of the bus and headed towards the assembly area. There were six porta-potties and an out-house for the park. I wandered around and headed down to West Quoddy Head Light to get some pictures. The dawn light was perfect. What a great start to a great day.

 

After taking a few photos and enjoying the spectacular view, it was time to get down to business. And I mean get in line for the porta-potty.

The line was short. There were only about 200 of us and six porta-potties plus the out-houses. I still used my well honed routine to get in and out as quickly as possible. I even got through the line twice. I saw Daniel and Dan and we got a few quick photos. Daniel was excited to run and I made sure he had some food with him. He had a decent breakfast which was helpful. I was still a little worried about the guy.

While we waited I spoke with a lot of the runners. There were only about 200 of us. I saw many people from dinner the night before, or from walking around Lubec. There was a level of intimacy and comradery  that you just can’t get at a large race. Some people I had not spoken with previously. But we were all runners getting ready for a challenging race, we were in this together. The tribe was assembled.

At 10 of, they announced the time and again at 5 of. Someone sang the Canadian National Anthem, but the person who was supposed to sing the American National Anthem had not arrived yet. They asked if anyone knew the words and sure enough a runner stepped up and did a pretty good job of it. I even mumbled a few lines my self. As they called the 5 minute mark Dan came back to hang with us and he said it was he who sang the anthem. Another cool happening. The guy I had dinner with sang the National Anthem on a moments notice. He said he knew several other national anthems as  well.

At 1 minute to start time they announced that they would not do a count down but that they would fire a cannon. I think we were all puzzled by that and not sure what to expect. Everyone was busy checking their watches and wishing their friends a good run when this huge Ka-BOOM went off. They had fired a cannon and we could see the cloud of smoke. We were a little startled, laughed and started running. As I ran by the spot where the cannon was I could see a small black cannon pointed into the woods. How cool is that? It was still smoking!

There was a  bit of an incline coming out of the start area but the next five miles to Lubec were relatively flat. While on Quoddy Head Road, we passed an older guy sitting at the end of his driveway with a six-pack of Coors Light bottles. I wondered out loud who the hell starts drinking at 7AM. Someone else said, maybe he isn’t starting! Laughs all around.

Lubec,FDR, bay of fundy marathonWe took a right onto South Lubec Road and headed East. There were people in front of their houses and standing at intersections cheering us on. It wasn’t Wellesley College, but it was great to see people come out of their homes for us. As we came into Lubec they had cones set up to separate us from traffic and direct us to the right towards the Franklin Delano Roosevelt International Bridge. The name is almost as long as the bridge.

I saw Sue and she was trying to take a picture, but it didn’t work. I also saw Dan’s wife Marty and said hello. She recognized me and wished me well. There were at least a hundred people on the street at 7:45 in the morning. An impressive turn out in this little town.

FDR Bridge,CampobelloThe first hill was the bridge. We ran through US Customs – how many people can say that – and within 100 feet the rise began. We were all pretty fresh still, so no big deal. As we left the bridge the road leveled off at Canadian Customs. The Agents waved to us as we ran through Canadian Customs! The Canadian’s are the friendliest people you will ever meet, but I bet on a normal day if you tried to run through customs someone would be pointing a gun at you! Another unique experience.

FDR,Campobello
Roosevelt Campobello Int. Park

As soon as you come over the bridge you are in Roosevelt Campobello International Park. There are houses along the road but very few businesses. The hills also began as soon as we left the customs area.
This diagram does not do the hills justice:

bay of fundy, elevation map
Map or EKG?

You can see the sharp incline as we ran out of the rest area in the park. The first few miles were mostly down hill, though it didn’t feel like it. The dip around mile 5 is probably the east side of the bridge. The race organizers say we were never more than 200 feet above sea level, but the multitude of hills had an accumulated rise of over 2,400 feet. Their words “ it goes up and down rather a lot..” I think that’s the ever polite Canadian way of saying, “there’s a lot of fucking hills out on this course, eh?”

After mile 8 in Welshpool we took a sharp right. There was a police car and a Canadian Officer from some department or another. I think we had Park Police, Local Police, RCMP and probably some Customs Agents out on the course. He very politely pointed me in the right  direction, which was a sharp right, keeping us on Rt. 774.

Robert Callanan ,Marblehead
Robert Callanan – Marblehead

Just before Mile 9 we passed the road into Herring Cove Provincial Park. This is where we picked up our bibs and I met the local Legislative Representative. This was in the middle of one of the long hills. I think it went on for a mile or more. It just chewed us up. By this point in the race I had been running with Robert Callanan from Marblehead for a few miles. He ran his own business and we talked about business and what we both did. He gave me some good advice as we ran along. I ran with him all the way out to East Quoddy Head Light and we ran together until about 3:20 or so into the race. I remember looking at my watch at mile 21 and saying to him that we had a chance of coming in under 4 hours. He agreed and didn’t make any indication that he was in trouble.

By mile 22 Robert was hobbled by a hamstring cramp and had to do some walking. We parted ways as I pushed up the next hill. There wasn’t anything I could do for him. He is a strong runner and had a plan that he used to stay hydrated. It just wasn’t his day. Somewhere around mile 20 to 22 Daniel caught up with me on one of the hills. Off to my left I heard this guy call out my name and looked over to see Daniel with his floppy hair waiving to me with a big smile on his face!

I think Daniel was very happy to have caught up to me and I was impressed that he was able to be running so strong this late into the race. Many experienced runners get into trouble around mile 20. This was Daniel’s first marathon and I did not expect him to run so well.

Around this time I started walking parts of the hills. My legs were shot and no amount of gels or Gatorade was going to revive them. Before the race, I took some quinine tablets from Hyland. Quinine has been used for years to help prevent cramping. I didn’t want to risk getting a cramp this late in the race, so I took two more tablets. I still had a shot at four hours and more and more people were getting leg cramps. Daniel pushed up the next few hills and was putting some road between us.  Eventually he got a cramp and I was able to catch up to him.

I was jogging up the hill as best I could when I caught up to him. He looked in pain and I asked him if he was okay. He said it was just his leg, but he felt fine. I gave him my last two quinine tablets and told him to take them. I’m not sure if they did, but Daniel ended up finishing just a few minutes after I did.

When we got back to Welshpool it was around mile 23 or so. I was so happy to see the turn in the road, as I knew this meant we were close to the end  and that we had some good downhill coming. After the down hill there were a few more hills. Each of which I wanted to walk. I thought I still had a chance at 4 hours so I tried to jog as much of each hill as I could.

Running down the hill to Canadian Customs was difficult. It was great to be going down hill, but my quads were shredded. I also knew that as we came around the side of the customs house the bridge would be there. At Canadian Customs we were so close to Lubec that we could hear the crowd cheering and the announcer calling out names as people crossed the finish line. Some how this did not spur me on.

I actually considered walking over the bridge. I was spent. It was all I could do to hobble over the bridge like an old man. Cresting the top of the bridge was awesome, part of me considered walking in the rest of the way. For a split second! More down hill to finish the bridge, and then we ran through US Customs again. That is such a unique experience. I tried to get it on video but I was too tired to deal. I did get Canadian Customs running on video but it is very shakey.

Another runner and I had been trading places over the last two miles or so. She ended up having some kick and finished a little bit ahead of me, but not much. As I approached the finish line on Main Street Lubec, I tried to take it in. There were a few hundred people and lots of signs, both hand written and for businesses. I could see the ocean off to my right and smell the salty air.

Lubec, bay of fundy
Running down Main St, Lubec

My legs held me up as I approached the finish line. The announcer called my name, but all I heard was “…from Medford”. As usual, I wasn’t sure of my finish time, but I knew it was between 4:02 and 4:04. So close, and on a killer course.

Finish line,lubec
Medic & Me

As I crossed the finish line the medic asked me about five times if I was okay. I actually had to look him in the eye and convince him that I could make it off of the course on my own power. Really good support work at the finish line. They were there for us if anyone needed help. I saw Sue standing behind the hurricane fence at the end of the finish area. There was an opening on the right for runners to exit to the food area and I met Sue there.

I grabbed a water and walked around for a bit. The wind was whipping my foil blanket, so I had to hold tight. While i was walking around Daniel came in and eventually Robert did to. Everyone was there with friends and family. Some running clubs had a good presence also.

food,lubec
Food table

They had hot soup, bagels, cookies, fruit with un-sweetened yogurt in cups and lots of drinks. We hung out for about an hour and watched the awards ceremony on Main Street. The Canadian Consul General from Boston was there and a few other Canadian officials, including my new pal Curtis Malloch I did not hear them mention any Maine or US officials which seemed odd.

Curtis Malloch, Campobello
Curtis Malloch, MLA with Andy

I went into the library where the first aid station was set up. I saw someone with a bag of ice and knew I wanted one. They had a bunch of cots set up in the library and it seemed odd to be getting a bag of ice in the library. On the way in I just missed a guy proposing to his girl friend. He was just getting up from one knee. And this was after running a marathon. They’ll be back next year!

I hung out on the barricades and watched and cheered other runners as they came in. I did some stretching and applied the ice. We grabbed some more food and watched the awards presentation.

Race Review

I’ve run about a dozen marathons and none of them were as small as this. None of them were supported by communities as small and remote as Lubec and Campobello Island. These small communities produced an excellent race. I have no complaints at all. I thought everything was really well done: A+ in my book. I know how to bitch and complain if something is not done well or just sucks. No complaints here. Maybe they could add clam chowder next year and have a competition? The Wyman’s Blueberries were spot on, chowder would have been brilliant. I love all things local.

Withee
Therese Withee Running it in

The ability to see each runner several times was really cool. In the days after the race when I was looking through photos for these blog posts, I felt like I knew some of these people; That I had just spoken with them. I recognized almost all of the faces. We had all come through such a challenging course and somehow we were bonded; maybe not forever but for a few hours and possibly days we were part of something special. We were part of something together. There was no masses. There was The Tribe.

We faced down the hills (well, maybe up the hills!), and we kicked their asses. All of us poured our heart and soul into this race. It was just so hard. Everyone who finished deserves a great deal of credit. There was nothing easy out there.

Late in the race I had to focus on staying vertical. My senses shut down and I did not take in my surroundings. On the way out, for the first 20 miles, I took it in. The great ocean views. The sun. The salty air, the smell of sweet grass and lilacs. My friends and I discussed the monster tide and tidal bore. We discussed food, races, accounting, weather. It was business out there like it always is. But we were part of something special.

The reception that we received from the community was humbling. They welcomed us into their community with open arms and hearts. I met some interesting people and got to know one German quite well as we ran together and traveled back to Boston together. What a wonderful opportunity.

It isn’t often that I feel that I have experienced a “moment in time.” By this I mean a unique experience that cannot be replicated. We go to work, we go to school and every day blends together. Then there are moments that upon reflection stand out as unique and special. The moment in time is like a wonderful dream that dissipates like the morning fog. You know it was special because you can feel the joy still in your heart when the moment has passed, when the dream has faded. The moment in time is a gift that cannot be sought. It is the perfect that many seek.

The Bay of Fundy International Marathon was one of those moments in time.

Here are some of the hundreds of photos I looked at. I could not find a way to give credit for each photo. Here in approximate order of number of photos used: Linda Dinsmore Chute, Mary Ropp, Bangor Daily News, Andy Nagelin. There are so many photos that I wanted to include, but I bet all of you are exhausted by now!

More photos and full results link are available at The Bay of Fundy International Marathon site.

Run well my friends!

Andy

© anagelin 2014

Bay of Fundy International Marathon

Bay of Fundy International Marathon was an experience

Campobello, lubec,bay of fundy international marathon

I finished 50th out of 198 runners. In the Male 40-49 group I came in 12th out of 25. At the turn around on Campobello I was 45th overall and 14th in my group. The numbers have changed since they were first posted on Sunday; I got bumped from 49th place. More on race times later.

Destination: Lubec

I saw this race last year and thought that it looked interesting. Driving all the way to Down East Maine qualifies this as a “Destination Race” in my book. The allure of the race and mystique of the location kept this race on my mind, but I could not work the Inaugural running of the Bay of Fundy International Marathon into my schedule. When I started making my schedule for this year I resolved that this would be my destination marathon for 2014.

My sister and I have been planning to spend some time together. With families and jobs it has been a challenge. She lives on the coast of Maine along the way to Down East Maine, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to spend some time together. I drove to her house Friday night in heavy rain, and we drove to Lubec Saturday morning in some occasional light rain.

We had a nice early morning drive down Rt. 1 to Lubec. Traffic was light and we didn’t run into much construction at all. We drove past the University of Maine at Machias where my sister graduated. The town and campus have changed a bit over the years, but much remains the same.

Our motel was in East Machias. Even though we were early they let us check in and go to our room. Much to our surprise there was a shared deck overlooking the river. The view was awesome, but we only stayed for about five minutes. We still had to get to Lubec and Campobello for bag and number pickup.

At all of the main turns, the race organizers had nice big signs for us. They were easy to see and placed so that we could

marathon, destination, expo, maine
Lubec High School, Expo

anticipate the turns. We  found Lubec High School, parked right out front and went into the Expo. There was a small crowd in the High School Gym.

As I stood in line to pick up my packet I looked around at the walls of the gym. Like most gyms, there were lots of banners from years gone by. Records set and tournaments won. It was nice to feel the presence of all of the youthful energy and pride that was required to earn those banners. The building is old, but looks well cared for. In a town like this, the high school is the center of a lot of activities.

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The swag bag was an over-sized bait bag made from yellow nylon rope. Just like the ones lobstermen use in their traps. They told me I could use it for my drop bag on race morning. I moved to the next table and got my long sleeve tech race shirt and then bought a race decal for my car and a 2nd Annual Bay of Fundy International Marathon poster.

medals, volunteer
Betty Quinlan

We were many miles from my sister’s home, but the lady at the table selling posters, stickers and shirts works in the same school district as my sister. They immediately recognized each other and had a nice chat and many laughs. The woman’s mother was involved in the race. I think she strung the cord for all of the medals. Pretty cool.

We wandered around and spoke with the vendors. I spoke with a guy from a running shop in Bar Harbor who came out to provide runners with things they may need. He didn’t have a lot. I made some suggestions and gave him my business card. Then we went to the table of the company that provided the shirts for the race.

The shirts were made by Atayne out of Brunswick Maine. All of their products are Atayne Shirtsmade from 100% recycled polyester and made “fiber to finish, in the USA”. I spoke with them for a while, they added a cool graphic to my shirt. They use heat to transfer the design directly into the fabric of the shirt. It’s not a screen print, it’s part of the fabric. Pretty cool. I gave them some business cards also.

Over the border

My sister’s passport had not arrived in the mail by Saturday morning. One of the vendors at the Expo told us she could cross with a driver’s license, if her passport info was in the system. We drove from the high school and parked beside the border station.  We headed towards the US border crossing and approached a Border Agent. My sister explained her situation and the man kindly explained that there wouldn’t be any  problem coming back as long as she was in the system. I couldn’t believe it. He made it sound like no problem at all.

We drove over the bridge and stopped at Canadian customs. More nice people. There was an agent asking drivers if they were in the marathon, if they were she waved us over to another, shorter line. They took my passport and looked for me on the list of runners. I wasn’t there, so I had to go into the Canadian Border station so they could look me up. Customs always makes me nervous. I always feel like I must be breaking some law I don’t even know about.

It looked like they all had bullet proof vests on under their shirts. This made them all look huge, WTF were they expecting? I guess anything. They booted up a PC that looked like it was running Windows NT. Good god I thought. They managed to find me quickly and sent us back out to our car. I forgot that I had almost a case of beer in my trunk, but told the agent, “nothing to declare”. I was hoping they had not checked my car while we were in the border station. Customs can do what ever they want to you, checking my trunk was not beyond the realm of possibilities.

We hopped in the car and drove off. Shew! It would have sucked to get busted smuggling Wachusett Green Monsta IPA’s into Canada! We headed towards Herring Cove Campground to pick up my bib. We stopped at the office and they directed us to the back of their campground. They were talking my ear off and I could have been there for 10 minutes. Talk about nice people.

We made our way to the outdoor expo at the back of the campground. They were set up for their pasta dinner with lots of dinning flies set up. There were a few vendors and the all important bib number table. As I stood in the short line for my bib a jovial fellow walked up, shook my hand and welcomed me to Campobello Island. I thought he was the mayor or with the chamber of commerce. He put a Canadian flag pin and a New Brunswick flag pin into my hand and told me he was Curtis Malloch, the local rep in the provincial legislature. He proudly told me, the first one elected from the island.

We had a great chat, he asked where we were from and told us a bit about the island and things to do. I have no idea what his politics are but he is one of the biggest advocates for the island that I met all weekend. The ladies at the table gave me my bib, wished me good luck, and Sue and I strolled around the camp-ground. Not a lot to see. I got a bottle of water from the bin that was set up for runners and we headed for the car.

All day I had been feeling run-down and tired. I was still recovering from my trip to Vancouver last week and the red-eye flight home. Throw in a few late nights and early mornings and I was exhausted. This anchor of exhaustion was weighing me down and I feared it would diminish my effort on Sunday. I hoped the water would help.

When we left the camp ground we took a right and headed east towards the light house. Usually I don’t drive a race course, but the contour map looked brutal and I was in the neighborhood. There were a lot of hills, something for everyone: Short steep hills, long hills, one was 0.7 miles, hills with a turn. A fair amount of down hill just so you could have another hill. Fantastic I thought.

Here is the official course description:

Hills

While the course does not climb more than 200 feet / 60 metres above sea-level, it goes up and down rather a lot in between. In consequence map generated elevation charts can be misleading. A course profile generated from a GPS watch is shown below.Total course elevation gain is approximately 2,400 feet / 730 metres.

bay of fundy elevation map
Map or EKG?

 

When we got to the end of the road there was a parking lot but we could not see the light house. We got out and walked down a path and saw the light house on a ledge separated from the shore by angry-looking water. There was no way to get any closer. We stopped and spoke with two ladies who were going to walk the marathon. They had a great picnic table over looking the boiling lobster pot that was the bay.

The current looked like it was going in several directions including up and down. Not a place to go for a swim. A sign said that the water rises 5 feet per hour. Not just 5 feet, but per hour! If you got stuck on the little island where the light house was, you could be there for 8 hours. Only a fool would attempt to make the short swim. In this photo the water looks calm but the current is there.

East Quaddy Head
East Quaddy Head Light

Back to the USA

As we approached the border station, the Canadians saw my bib in the window and waved us through. As we went over the bridge I worried if the US Customs agents would be as nice when we wanted to come back. They took my sister’s driver license, asked her a few questions and gave her documents back. They had me on the runners list and checked me in. Piece of cake.

We decided to have lunch in Lubec. It was fairly easy to find a parking spot and there were only as few places to eat, so choosing was easy. We ate at Cohill’s Inn which has a bar and restaurant on the first floor.

As we entered the bar, a table of runners greeted us. We chatted briefly then Sue and I headed for our table. As we waited for our meal one of the runners came over to our table and struck up a conversation.

He said he was from Pittsburgh and I thought his name was Mike. We were both wearing Boston Marathon jackets and got talking about 2013. He had just crossed the finish line and his wife was on the line when the first bomb went off. She was hit by shrapnel but luckily was not injured.

Our food arrived and Mike’s group was getting ready to leave for a walk around Lubec for a bit. We invited him to sit with us and talk while we ate. His wife came over and spoke with us briefly and we had a few laughs. They went for their walk and Mike and I traded stories. We had a great time and I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation.

I didn’t see him at the start or after the race. Maybe with a hat on I didn’t recognize him, I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to speak with him again. If he is the same guy, he came in first in the Male 60-69 group at 3:54. Nice run!

After lunch, we headed back to Machias to drop off our bags and get ready for the pasta dinner. We figured we would have enough time to get to our room, drop off our bags and sit for a few minutes before heading back. That’s about what we did. Around 4:20 we headed East and got the Lubec High School well before 5PM.

Machias, ukuleles folk music
Machias Ukuleles Jammin

Dinner, new friends and old friends

There was a small group gathering in the hall way outside of the high school cafeteria. We could see many volunteers setting up food and utensils. They had quite a crew. As we stood there a young man came in and spoke with two ladies in front of us. He was friendly and had an accent that definitely was not Down East. I thought I heard one of the ladies say something about looking for people heading to Boston. It seemed like idle chit-chat. As we waited the Machias Ukuleles set up and started playing.

At precisely 5PM they let us into the cafeteria. The volunteers loaded us up and we grabbed a table in the middle of the room. Shortly after we sat down a couple asked if they could sit with us. Dan was running the marathon and his wife Marty was speed walking the 10K. He had run over 450 races, but it had been 20 years since his last marathon.

He’s run every state and just about every county is Georgia where they are from. They came all the way to Maine to run this marathon. We later found out that Dan and his friends managed some of these races and raised money for charity because otherwise there would not have been a 5K in some of these counties in Georgia.

While having this great conversation about running and travel, one of the ladies from the hallway came over and asked if we were from Boston. She said she knew this young man from Germany who needed a ride to Boston on Monday. Sue and I were both a bit puzzled.

We were staying at her house Sunday night. I wasn’t sure she was okay having a stranger sleeping in her house. I had plans to meet up with Ramshackle Runner Monday on my way back. How was this going to work?

A few minutes later the lady came over to our table with this young guy. He was tall and looked rugged, but not like a distance runner. He sat next to Dan across the table and a few feet to my right. I worried that in this loud room with his accent and my hearing that I would not be able to understand him. Fortunately the room wasn’t that loud and he spoke very good English.

As we spoke he told us his story. When he told us that he was from Heidelberg Dan started talking to him in German! The young guy had a big smile on his face as the two of them spoke. Sue and I were amazed at the coincidence. What are the chances that this guy sits next to an American who can speak German!

He is a physics student spending the summer at Brandies University working on his Bachelors Thesis. He has done a lot of travelling and was doing as much travel as possible while in the US. He said that he watched the 2014 Boston Marathon and felt inspired to run a marathon. I knew Boston was only about seven weeks ago.

I asked him if he had ever run a marathon before. No. How long had he been training, five weeks! His last long run was 30K, but that was three years ago. I asked him about his shoes and he said he had some Adidas running shoes but they were three years old! He said he didn’t use them much so they should be okay.

Dan shook his head with each question. First because each question was like a runner’s check list, and then in amazement when he heard the answer. This guy was going to run a marathon on five weeks of “training” in three year old shoes. When I asked him about gels or other food he said, “do I need to take food with me?” Dan and I laughed. I told him he was going to be out there for about five hours and he would need food of some sort.

I was genuinely concerned for this guy. Each answer was wrong and it is possible to get hurt running a marathon when you are not prepared at all. I think he was getting worried also. I finally asked him how old he was. He said 23. With a big smile I said, “That’s 10 points in your favor right there.” He said, “at least I have something going for me.”

He said his name was Daniel and that he did not like being called “Dan”. Daniel Getz from Heidelberg. He had some granola bars and I told him to take those with him. I told him we would talk in the morning and I’d make sure he was okay. I felt like I gave him my years of knowledge in about five minutes. Unfortunately there wasn’t any time to use most of it.

Dinner was pretty good. I’d never been to a pre-race pasta dinner. They had a great group of volunteers and they loaded us up. Pasta, sausage, salad, bread from Boot Cove Bread which was awesome and a melon and blueberry bowl. A lot of good local food. A volunteer came to our table and told us we could have three pieces of chocolate from the table at the front of the room. I went up and spoke with Monica Elliott from “Monica’s Chocolates”. She was very excited and seemed to want to give me one of each chocolate. They were all hand-made and many incorporated local ingredients such as blueberries or cranberries. They were really good.

I was full from dinner and a plate of home-made cookies I also picked up. While we sat and talked a volunteer dropped by with a survey for us. It was quick and fun. At some point another friend of my sister showed up. Her name was Paula and she lived in the same town. Another crazy coincidence. Paula was a runner but was there supporting her friend Therese Withee from Hope, Maine. Paula had all kinds of stories, she and Sue talked for quite a while. I managed to speak with Therese a little bit also.

We told Daniel we would give him a ride and told him we were staying over night at Sue’s Sunday night. I would drive him to North Station on Monday. He was very happy with that. Eventually Dan and Marty took off and so did Daniel. Everyone had eaten all they wanted and there was a ton of food left. Many people were gone and the room was getting empty. The band had even packed up.

I went over to the food table and packed a bowl full of cookies. On the way out Monica gave me some more chocolates. She still had about a quarter of them left. I was happy to help her out.

Pre-Race Prep

With full bellies we headed back to East Machias. It was still day light out and we enjoyed the drive and couldn’t believe the crazy coincidences. We stopped at Shop & Save in Machias and got some food for breakfast. When we got to the motel I went into race prep mode. I layed out all of my gear on the table and checked it 3 or 4 times. While I did my gear check Sue took her shower and then I took mine and checked everything again. We had decided to get up at 4:45 instead of 5AM to make sure we had plenty of time for me to get to the buses.

Race Re-cap tomorrow

Run well my friends and enjoy the weekend!

Andy

© anagelin 2014

Final approach to Lubec

It’s the Final Approach to Lubec

The marathon is four days away. As I walk around the house in bare feet I’m suddenly aware of how easy it is to stub a toe or step on something. Funny how last week I never really thought about it. I’m also paying more attention to the laundry and starting to collect my gear.

I like to keep things low pressure. That means slowly gathering my stuff and leaving time to find something I’ve

Gatorade Prime 01,running

forgotten or need to go buy. I need to get some fig bars and Gatorade 01 Prime. I’m taking a cooler with me to keep my race water bottle cold and for two large ice packs. I know where everything is. The pile is growing.

I may run on Thursday or Friday, but only a few miles or maybe 5K. Just to keep the legs loose. In the gym I’ve been doing core work and leg and hip stretching only. No squats or lunges. Nothing that could put strain on my knees or muscles. Nothing I do now will increase my strength enough to matter, and there isn’t enough time left to recover from any injuries.

I’ve been doing more stretching and working on the leg and hip muscles in the gym this past year. At Bay State last fall my hips were killing me the last five miles or so. At Boston my hips didn’t bother me at all. My muscles were toast and at times I actually could not catch my breath. I think the gym work is paying off, now I just need to ramp up my cardio. I’ll have to do that over the summer to be ready for my fall marathons.

Gotta go collect more gear and rotate the laundry!

Run well my friends!

Andy

© anagelin 2014

Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon Recap

I have a guest blogger today! My friend Gail ran the Flying Pigs Marathon and I asked her if she would like to tell her story. This LINK is to the course map and you can zoom in, etc.

In this well written piece she gives some solid advice and insight into her pre-race routine starting 7 days out from race time. Enjoy!

When Pigs Fly, flying pigs marathon
15th Annual Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon – 2013

Sunday – 7 Days until Marathon

Beantown to Porkopolis – Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon

Long run today was an easy 10 miles along the Charles in Boston.  North Station to Harvard Bridge along the Esplanade and Memorial Drive on the way back.  If you are a runner and are ever in Boston , take a loop around the Charles River.  On a sunny day with the little sailboats and scullers on the water and Boston skyline in the background, it is just breathtaking.

Since it was a late in the day run, my running buddy Jamie and I did an early dinner at Tip Top Tap near Government Center.  We runners need to fortify ourselves with a good brew after a long run.  I started my marathon prep diet, so I limited myself to non-meat.

Monday – 6 Days until Marathon

The excitement is uncontainable.  Concentration at work is difficult.  I keep looking at the marathon website and making notes of what to bring.  Since this is a destination race, I am gathering my running gear.  Last thing I want to do is forget my GPS.  I stick to my reduced meat.  I have been plagued with runner’s trots in the past, so I am very particular about what I eat.  I focus on easily digestible foods and avoid meat, especially beef.  There is really nothing worse than being in the middle of a race, or any long run for that matter, and get the OH NO feeling.  For rural runners you can always dodge into the woods, but for city dwellers, well you better hope the Dunkin Donut’s doesn’t lock their bathrooms.  And the worst case; you Uta Pippig and well, you get the picture.  So my motto is ALWAYS CARRY A SPARE SQUARE.

Tuesday – 5 Days until Marathon

I planned to do an easy six miles with the running club, but got pulled into help with our Walk to Run program.  So I did a quick 3 miles, then came back and did the walk/run with the newbies.  I am not a ridged training kind of person, so if my plans somehow change, I chalk it up to the universe trying to tell me something.

Wednesday – 4 days until Marathon

Got hot pink hair extension today.  I may be 50, but I am not too old to rock the punk look and have some fun.  I looked at the weather for Sunday in Cinci.  Showed 40% change of rain. Argg… I don’t want to do 26 miles of wet.

Thursday – 3 days until Marathon

Last day of work this week and of course I can’t concentrate.  I ran an easy 4 miles this morning with my usual Thursday speed group.  Even though running is an individual sport, finding a running club or just a few friends that will meet you early in the morning rain or shine is great for your training and psyche.  I can confidently say that if it weren’t for my running club’s Sunday Long Runs and their general support, I would not be running this or any marathon.  Those snowy, cold days of training are much easier to endure when you are doing it with a bunch of other nut case runners.

Friday – 2 days until Marathon

I flew out today.  Boston to Cincinnati via Chicago.

When doing a destination marathon, travel plans can implode unexpectedly.  My original flight to Chicago was delayed, which would have caused me to miss my connection to Cincinnati.  As fate would have it, I was able to get on another delayed flight which meant that I could leave on time.  When I got to Chicago, I had 15 minute to run across the airport with my bags to catch the jumper flight to Cincinnati.  In my haste, I didn’t zip my back pack, and ended up losing my running food and Boston headband.  Of course as soon as I get to the gate, they delay that flight an hour.  So word to the wise, stuff can happen on route, plan for contingencies and go with the flow.

After checking into hotel, I roamed around town then went to the Expo to pick up my race packet.  Race swag included a short sleeve tech shirt, poster and soft cooler. All items were high quality.  Cincinnati did a SOLID for Boston by selling Porkopolis to Beantown, Cincinnati Stands Boston Strong shirts.  There were also two banners with the slogan that people could sign, along with Boston Strong bracelets.  All net proceeds to go to the Boston One Fund

My son Jack, who goes to school at Xavier University, met me for a late dinner and a few pre-race beers.  Yes, I believe beer is a food source.

Saturday – 1 day until Marathon

We slept in until noon (kinda late night at the bar), got up and foraged for food then went to the Expo.  The Expo was as good as Boston’s plenty of non-profits and vendors for any race need.  I purchased Gu and Stinger Wafers to replace the ones lost on my sprint through the airport, and purchased some Flying Pig merchandise.  Proctor and Gamble is a major sponsor of the race, so they were giving out free samples. Asics is the main running sponsor.  The entire Expo was well organized and very enjoyable.

After the Expo, we venture down to the start line.  I wanted to make sure I knew where I was going as the race has an early start time of 6:30.  Later that evening I had the mandatory pasta dinner with other friends that were running the race.  Early to bed as 4 AM comes fast.  I had to force myself to go to sleep, I was so excited.  I was as bad as a kid on Christmas Eve.

Sunday – Cincinnati Flying Pigs Marathon

Up at 4 AM, I had a cup of coffee, Gatorade and a few bites of food.  Lesson learned from other races, stop drinking an hour before Gun Time.  At 5 I meandered down to the Start Corrals.  I was having some gastro issues which worried me.  I hijacked a porta-john and was determined that I would not come out until I was successful at relieving myself.  I was texting Andy and my husband while waiting as I didn’t have a newspaper to keep me occupied.  Finally, my mission complete, I headed down to the Corral and met up with my friend Jamie.  I found my 4:20 pace team, then proceeded to the outhouse again for one last evacuation. My only mishap was that my GPS watch fell apart when I went to turn it on, so I had to run without electronics.

After the Star Spangled Banner was played and the gun went off,  the PA system began belting out Sweet Caroline and Dirty Water by the Standells; both songs a tribute to Boston. In fact, there so many people with Boston Strong shirts on, that you didn’t know who was really from Boston.

I can’t say enough good things about the Flying Pig Marathon.  At every mile they had water, Gatorade, Pace Clocks and porta-johns (Praise the Lord).  The route was 26.2 miles of people, entertainment, cheering and fun.  I did not think the course was that difficult, but then again, we run a lot of hills during our training.  I kept the 4:20 pace group in my sights. I also had a 4:30 pace tattoo on my arm, so even without my watch I had a good idea of my time. If you are looking for a destination race; Run where Pigs Fly.

The weather was 62 with a light drizzle.  At mile 23, it started to rain harder.  At mile 24, my son joined me to support my “sprint” to the Finish Swine.  His encouragement along with the cheers from the spectators helped me plod through those last few grueling miles.  Finally, the bittersweet crossing of the finish line: exhausted, elated, sad, relieved and hungry, I received my beautiful medal and

Flying Pig Finisher's Medal
Now that’s a Medal!

Mylar blanket.  With my fuzzy post marathon brain, we wondered off to get some snacks and bask in the afterglow of a job well done.

Post-Marathon

I treated myself to Skyline Chili before heading back to Boston. Friends and colleagues sent messages of congratulations on my 4:21:41 finish time. (Editorial Note: this is 51 minutes better than her 1st marathon!) Days later, no longer sore, I am still riding the endorphin wave.  There will be a short-time off the hard training, but in less than two months we will start the Sunday Long Runs again.  Once the distance bug bites you, it is hard to stop the itch.  Next stop 20th Anniversary ING Hartford Marathon.