Perfect Little Race (about: 2005)|
Rick Hood from Houston, Texas (11/14/05)
6-10 previous marathons
| 1 White River Marathon for Kenya (prev Mountain Home Marathon for
Even though this was the smallest number of participants I've ever run with, it was definitely one of the best run races I've ever had the pleasure of doing. Running with both first-timers and extreme marathon veterans was a real treat. The rolling hills in the first half were a great warm up... nowhere near as hilly as I was expecting. Of course, looking up at the bluffs towering over the White River, and at the little dripping springs adjacent to the course, was pleasantly distracting toward the second half of the run, which was very flat and fast.
The aid stations were fantastic. Nothing was missing. They were all well located manned with enthusiastic and efficient crews. This race support far out-performed the ironman-distance triathlon I did this fall. I also talked with friends who just got back from the Dublin, Ireland marathon. They had only water and some gatorade every 3 miles; no gels, no bananas, no grapes, pretzels, or cookies, which were available at nearly all the aid stations in the MHM (Mountain Home Marathon). They were really roughing it. It was fun bragging on the MHM support!
Since I get even more stupid when I'm exhausted, I left my drop bag (another 'big race' type treat) at the finish line, which is several miles from the start/post-race meal/parking location. It was brought back for me, but another runner unintentionally placed it where no one would find it for a while. Before I left, the race director had a whole team of assistants tracking it down. I got a call on my cellphone while driving home (Houston) only a few hours later saying the contents would be mailed to me Monday morning. Where else could one get such personal service rectifying one's own screw up?
These are just a few examples of the joys of a small but growing event such as this. I'm glad I was able to participate. I even PR'd over my San Diego time!!