Archive for the ‘Running’ Category

Richmond Marathon   Leave a comment

744680-1293-0006sBilled as “America’s Friendliest Marathon,” the Richmond Marathon was the culmination of my running efforts this year. The event was huge and well-organized; there were over 6,000 marathoners and another 13,500 runners in the half marathon and 8k events. In addition to the standard water and electrolyte drinks along the route, the Richmond team had “party zones” with live music, wet wash cloth stations, and friendly pacing teams.

Though the day started out a bit dreary, and the first several miles were run in light rain (British English: “aggressive mist”), the rain cleared away after about an hour and left a beautiful, cool, overcast running day. I was able to stick with the 3:35 pacing group for the first 20 miles (an 8:11 pace), only dropping off in the last few miles. The final mile of the race was fantastic, with a gentle downhill slope and a mass of cheering spectators giving the runners energy. I managed to finish in 3:37:22, a new personal best and a 10 minute improvement on my Baltimore Marathon time from last month.

The inspired supporters’ signs in Richmond included “Run like someone just called you a jogger“, “Run faster, the half-marathoners are already done”, “Worst parade ever”, and “Go, random stranger, go!”

Click for a couple of pictures and results.

Posted 16 Nov 2013 by John McManigle in Running

Baltimore Marathon   Leave a comment

742073-1016-0013sThe latest of my running escapades was the Baltimore Marathon. Part of the huge Baltimore Running Festival, the race is 26.2 miles through downtown Baltimore, beginning and ending at Camden Yards. The festival draws quite a crowd: about 3,100 finished the marathon, 9,700 finished the half-marathon, 3,400 finished the 5k race, and 1,100 teams finished the marathon relay. The city is supportive as well; several neighborhoods come out in full force to cheer on the runners, and local schools and businesses organize cheering sections and displays.

My goal for the race was to finish in under 4 hours, get comfortable with the distance, and try not to injure myself before the upcoming Richmond Marathon. I’m very happy with the result — I finished in 3:48:56 and was still able to walk the next day. I went out a bit too fast and was slowed after the first third — especially by a bathroom break at 13.5 miles and the long uphill segment from miles 14 to 19. But the sub-4 result gives me confidence that I can do a little better at Richmond, where a flatter course will be on my side.

The spectators were fantastic, with signs that said “Run like you stole something” (appropriate for Baltimore), “Chuck Norris never ran a marathon” (though the Internet disagrees), “Run like a Kenyan, Drink like an Irishman” (there is no political correctness after 16 miles), “Smile if you peed a little” (cruel trick!), and of course “You’re running better than our government.”

Click for a few more pictures and results.

Posted 12 Oct 2013 by John McManigle in Running

Parks Half Marathon   Leave a comment

Without Wolfson rowing to keep me going, I’ve taken to a bit of running in the States. My goals this year are to run the Baltimore Marathon on October 12th and the Richmond Marathon on November 16th. As half-way training benchmark, I ran the Parks Half Marathon from Rockville, MD to Bethesda, MD on Sunday.

The weather was perfect for the race, cool and partly cloudy. The start was very well-organized, staggered by pace minutes and with lots of professional pacers available. I attached myself to groups of people who seemed to be going a reasonable pace for most of the race, and then started to speed up a bit towards the end. Water and Gatorade were available every two miles, and a surprising number of people turned out to urge us on. The most memorable supporters were a piano player at a local park, and a guy in a Mr. Incredible outfit playing music. The course wound through Rock Creek Park and then along the Capital Crescent Trail.

I finished the 13.11 miles in 1:46:35 (an 8:08/mile pace), which was just about what I’d planned. Running details are here. (The GPS pace isn’t overly accurate and tends to fluctuate quite a bit. Hopefully a stride sensor will be in the mix soon.)




Click for a few more pictures…

Posted 8 Sep 2013 by John McManigle in Running