Just in my final preparations for Rhode Races Marathon in Providence on Sunday. Two things about the race course so far that I love:
- Even though the marathon and half marathon are run at the same time, on the same day, and have the same start and finish lines, the courses completely diverge at 2.5 miles. This means the marathoners will have the excitement of a few thousand more runners at the start, and in the first 2 miles, but then we’ll have the entire rest of the course to ourselves. This eliminates the issue of getting caught up running the pace of the half marathoners, which would be too fast. This was a problem for some when I was at the Austin Marathon last year, who got caught up running faster than they should, only to find they were pacing with people running half the distance. The only downside to this is that since this marathon is fairly small, the running crowd will thin out pretty quickly. I know this is much more logically challenging for race organizers, but I think it creates a better experience for the runners.
- While essentially an out and back course mostly on the east side of the harbor, the course is interestingly mostly not running on the same exact roads on the back portion as the out portion. There are several criss-crosses along the way, which is where the water stations are strategically located. As a result, even though I only count 7 physical water stations, they cover 14 actual spots on the course. Brilliant! I just hope the water is plentiful and the confusion is limited!
Other fun facts:
- We’ll be using the Chronotrack B-Tag, rather than the D-Tag. The B-Tag apparently stays right on your bib, and thus eliminates having to fasten it the shoe. Sounds like this is brand new, and if it works well, I presume we’ll be seeing it at other races down the line
- Indoor bag check at the Westin Hotel!
- Free beer (Harpoon) at the finish line!
Super excited about the race, but more than the race, excited about the experience. Just love the idea of the road trip (me and my wife, no kids!), touring around town, browsing the expo, running 26.2 miles, and a day of rest from work afterwards!
Only thing left is to figure out how to stay healthy and injury free for the next 4 days. Would love to beat 4:30 and even 4:22 PR, but the chips will fall where they may, and I have 2 other chances planned in the next 9 months (Chicago 10-10-10 and First Light 1-9-11)