great marathon for an innaugural run (about: 2006)|
p. a. from crozet, va (11/12/06)
4-5 previous marathons
| 1 OBX Marathon
The EXPO was surprisingly large for a smallish marathon, and packet pickup was very easy and smooth. A little more signage indicating where to go for the expo would have been nice, but we eventually found it. I don't think the organizers were expecting so many runners, as we received strong suggestions to find an alternate ride to the start, despite having reserved space on the shuttle. Drop-off was relatively smooth, though there was no place for drivers to park and watch the start, so unless you lived there you really couldn't see the runners off. But there were many points along the route for supporters, and despite the horrible driving rain after about 9:00, the spectators were out cheering us on in full force - incredible! I especially liked the barbershop quartet - live entertainment is great in a long race. It rained like crazy and people still came out in the rain. There were no clocks on the course, and the mile markers weren't always easily visible - it wasn't until mile 3 that I was even able to see one. Also, 22-23 were not accurate - I guess they weren't allowed to place 22 on the bridge, so it was very close to the marker for 23. The course was advertised as flat, and we excpected it to be run on pavement, but miles 8 - 12 were actually on a hard-pack then pine-needle covered trail which was kind of hilly. The course runs through neigborhoods, then around the Wright Brothers Monument at Kitty Hawk, and more than I would have liked was on the main thoroghfare, with one lane blocked for runners. For the parts run on the main roadway, there was plenty of police support to protect us from traffic, but at one point the officers held up runners to let cars pass. A little education of the police force will help clear up this problem for future years. The bridge at miles 20 - 22.5 was a big one, and the wind and rain didn't make it any easier but we can't blame the director for the weather. There was plenty of water and Gatorade along the course, and gel was offered later in the race. Even for slow runners like me there was plenty of gel left. The volunteers were unfailingly enthusiastic and many businesses had welcome signs out front. When I thanked spectators for coming out to cheer us on, they almost always thanked me for coming. I am glad to have run this innaugural race, and I think it will only get better.