Monday, March 28, 2011

National Marathon, Part II: “Shock and Awe” or Wow and Oww! (3/26/11)

Race: National Marathon
Location: Washington DC
Goal Time: 3:30:00
Finish Time: 3:53:12

If you’re interested in getting to the starting line see National Marathon, Part I. I just in no way wanted the crappiness of the Metro to contaminate the amazing work done by the planners, organizers and volunteers of the event itself!


It’s tough to find a cooler course for a marathon (especially the first half). After the first mile down C and North Carolina, you spend the next mile run on closed to traffic East Capitol – straight at the Capitol building!

Just to list a few of the monuments in the first 17 miles:

US Capitol
National Archives
National Gallery
National History Museum
Washington Monument
World War II Memorial
Old Executive Office Building
DuPont Circle
Columbia Heights
Howard University
US Capital again
(The Half finishes)
US Capital again again

While the next 9 are not near as exciting in views, the enthusiasm of the volunteers made up for it.

Volunteers & Spectators

Except for the guy who questioned why we were running because the only reason to run was to get away from the cops – the spectators and volunteers were wonderful.

The volunteers who manned the water stops were constantly full of energy cheering on people by number (either their bib number or mostly in my case “Number 21” for my Primetime jersey).

On the lonelier stretches of the second half at least two police officers were clapping for the marathoners.

The large group at Howard playing Boogie Down Productions out of the station wagon kept me light on my feet for another mile or so.

My cousin volunteered at the 13-mile water stop.

And I give a special thanks to the Friendship Charter School Drum Line who played at mile 23! They kept a lot of us going at that moment when we didn’t want to.

My Race

Maybe it was my negativity toward running a marathon in general (For a few weeks I’ve been saying this will be my last marathon for a while); maybe it was my misconception of my own ability; maybe it was not being able to stretch since I was trapped in the Metro station; maybe it was all three. But something kept me from running my best.

While I stayed in control over the first half of the race, but 16 I knew it was not my day and I just packed it in, trying to match my previous 3:45. Unfortunately not even that was to be and the last 10K, I slid out of contention for any of my goals as even the packing it in slowed me down.

Well, I have said it the past few weeks, this is my last marathon for a while. Maybe, I’ll try a fall one next year; we’ll see.

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