Small field with beautiful views (about: 2012)|
Brian Bugey from West Chester, PA (12/10/12)
4-5 previous marathons
| 1 fortitude for first descents marathon
This was my first time running this marathon. The course is contained in a State Park and run on roads, paths, and some crushed stone. There are some really nice views of the beaches and the ocean. With the onset of World War II, the U.S. Army established a military base at Cape Henlopen in 1941. Old bunkers and gun emplacements were camouflaged among the dunes, and concrete observation towers were built along the coast to spot enemy ships. Many of these still stand today and will be seen along the run.
Regarding my experience, I had a really bad time with blisters when I was on mile 9. It hurt so bad I was unable to continue running. I ended up walking most of the remaining 17 miles. That sounds terrible, but I traveled a few hours to get to this location, and I didn't want to stop short and not finish. It took me 7 and 1/2 hours to complete. When I was finished, just about everybody was gone, but there were still 3 of the organizers there who were waiting for me to finish. All 3 of them wished me well and congrats. I was informed by one of the organizers that they had run out of medals, and that I would be mailed my finisher's medal. Sure enough, I got it a week later in the mail. They had taken down the timing mats before I finished and actually apologized for doing so (I found this very polite and very funny. By no means did I expect anybody to stick around for me to finish, so it certainly didn't bother me that the timing folks had already packed up.) I thank the organizers so much for knowing I was still on the course and letting me finish. I will be eternally grateful.
Here are the pros of the course.
1.) They did not post a time limit, so if you are a slower runner (or get injured, but can still walk), you can still finish
2.) It is as flat a course as I have ever run
3.) Scenary is beautiful.
4.) Small field, so it spreads out pretty quickly
5.) Start/Finish was not congested. Registration and packet pick up was easy. Plenty of food at the finish.
6.) Since it is all run in a state park, it felt very safe. I didn't feel worried about traffic or anything (even though some of the race is run on the road).
7.) The finisher's medal is unique. It could also be used as an ornament. Some people collet medals to display. Others throw them in a box somewhere. If you don't dispaly medals, then add this one to your Christmas ornaments for your tree.
8.) Volunteers were great.
9.) Very reasonably priced
I do not consider these 'cons', but others might. Just an FYI so you know what to expect
1.) It is a 4 loop course. Know that going in. You will see the same sights four times.
2.) Hydrapouch. All runners are given a Hydrapouch (which I personally think is a great idea). The only issue runners might have with this is you have to stop and fill it up. It only takes a few seconds, but it is different then being handed cups of water, where you do not have to stop.
3.) Not a lot of spectators. Now the good news about this is that it is very easy for friends and family to see you at the finish line. Parking for them is easy and it is just a short walk to the finish to meet you as you cross (Unlike big city ones where it is very difficult to do so)
My advice: Bring a camera
The other 3 marathons I did were medium to large (Philly, DC, and Wilmington). This was a much smaller, more intimate marathon. I would recommend to everyone. I will certainly do it again.
Thanks again to the organizers and volunteers. I will never forget it.