This is my second marathon, but my first organized marathon race! I trained for 6 months, ran 700 miles and biked 1500 as part of cross training and I thought that was enough...
We left Midtown at 600pm on a Friday evening and got to Schroon Lake at 1am. As with many things, budget dictates our decisions, so we decided to camp out for the entire weekend. That's a bit concerning because I was going to run a marathon come Sunday morning and then sleep another night before driving back, but we went for it! The first night was really interesting. I woke up around 4am because my inflatable pad deflated and so I was sleeping on the ground of the tent at 40 degree weather -- and that set the conditions for the entire weekend.
This being the first official marathon race that either one of us participated in, we were not quite sure what to expect. However, we were pleasantly surprised with the accommodations and attitudes set forth by the Adirondacks Marathon Distance Festival.
Arriving into town Saturday morning, we easily found race volunteers (of which there were over 700 that whole weekend) who directed us to the high school gymnasium where you could pick up your bib and race information and access several vendors providing running shoes, clothing, and accessories for sale.
This was the race's 19th year, and participating in it set a very high bar for other races, of which there will be many more to come. If I am near by I'll likely be returning for the 20th anniversary race in 2016.
The town of Schroon Lake was as charming as the lake itself and was highly accommodating to the runners and their spectators. There are several excellent diners and restaurants in town, and I recommend Paradox Brewery, just South of town on Highway 9, for a post-race cheers.
Above left image is the start line. I was very nervous! Running for me is a solitary activity. I really enjoy my silence and solitude while running and this is one of the reasons why I don't participate in organized events. However, only the first .1 miles were among the crowd. After the race began, I found myself on just another long run! But quickly I realized that what the marathon website described as "rolling hills" weren't rolling at all. They were 20-30% inclines for about 12 miles and the second half of the race is what I would describe as rolling hills. And still, we had 1-1.5 mile segments of 6-10% inclines. To put it simply, by the time I got to mile marker 23 I was done! I walked for about 1.5 miles and my last 1.5 miles were for the most part a disaster. I finished 46th overall and 8th in my age group! Top right image is me crossing the finish line.
This was a really painful run and I didn't anticipate the acute level of pain at all. My one and only worry has always been my knees, but what gave out first were my calves! And by the time I crossed the finish line my left underside of my foot was gone! Overall though it was great! All of the pain quickly seized after my double dosage of bagel and cream cheese followed by a complementary message put forth by the race organizers.
Not long afterwards, we drove to Paradox Brewery, got a growler of red ale and settled in by the camp fire! It was awesome!