Very nice, small-town race (about: 2003)|
Fifty Stater from USA (7/28/03)
This was my 46th marathon and my 27th state. I enjoyed the race, despite the heat (73-75 deg w/ 75% humidity), 10 mph wind, and my bad cold. With a finishing time of 3:44, I figure I lost about 10 minutes to the heat and wind, 10 minutes to my cold, and 10 minutes from running a marathon two weeks before (Grandfather Mountain in NC). The course is an extremely flat 5K repeated 8.5 times, which should be good for a PR if you have nicer weather. It was a very low-key marathon with about 100 participants, but very pleasant and fairly well organized. I didn't know what to think about an 8.5 lap marathon, but it was actually nice for a change. I found myself breaking things up into the natural 0.5-mile chunks (run to the flashing light, run to the water stop, run to the cone, run back to the water stop, run to the flashing light, run to the starting line). That was very manageable and even enjoyable. It's even good to time yourself every 1.55 miles to see how you are doing. You can also see who's coming up behind you at the turnarounds. You will lose about a minute or so during the marathon by running around the cones. One big plus is that this course is completely closed to traffic. Good job!
To improve the event you might need some music (recorded and/or live) at the aid stations, more restroom facilities before the race, a few more porta-johns at the start and the aid-stations, more than one award per age group, and a better variety of food at the finish (bagels, power drink, soda, yogurt, fruit, etc.). You might even want to schedule your event in the spring or fall when the weather is better and people can take full advantage of your perfectly flat course (maybe get the city to improve those railroad tracks). You could do some of these things by adding only $5 or $10 to your $25 entry fee. Runners don't mind paying the entry fee if they feel like they get a quality event in return. If you make a few minor improvements, you could double or triple your participation.