Last week, I followed up the RRCA National Convention with a very short trip into Delaware for a marathon.
Hey, if I’m going to be away from my wife for a week, I might as well get another state out of the way, right?
I left my hotel in Virginia at 3:00 in the morning, was at the race 3 hour later, and had a 2 and a half hour drive back to D.C. to catch my flight once I finished running, so it really was a short trip.
Hello! This is Blaine Moore, from RunToWin.com, and today I’d like to tell you about the Delaware Marathon.
I had decided to run that when I was going to be down at the RRCA National Convention, because I figured that if I’m going to be away from my wife for a week, I might as well get a new state out of the way.
It was a choice between Delaware or the Bob Potts Marathon in York, Pennsylvania.
I decided to run Delaware, which is rather humorous because the person I wound up sharing a hotel room was from Delaware and normally works at the Delaware Marathon. But instead, he came down to Fredericksburg, while I drove up and ran in Delaware that day.
The morning started at 3 o’ clock in the morning, when I was out the door of the hotel. It took me about 3 hours to drive up to the race. I parked about 3 quarters of a mile away from the start/finish area, which provided a nice little walk/jog that I could use as a warm up and cool down before and after the race. I went back and forth quite a few times.
The organization of this race is really good! It’s a 2 loop course, but there’s a bunch of different events going on. They have a marathon, a marathon relay, and a half-marathon that all happened at the same time, but the courses aren’t exactly the same.
Now at no point was I confused about where I was supposed to go. I assume it was the same for the people in the other races as well, but I have no idea how the courses actually came together or split apart, or how many of that worked. Other than in the start-finish transition area between loops, there was really just a lot of people in front of me that I wasn’t expecting, or some people coming from different directions at various points.
Despite being a 2 loop course, I didn’t actually mind it too much because first, the loops are pretty big with 13 mile loops, and then second, there was a lot of varying terrain that you ran through. Now the entire race was on the roads along with a brick walkway that went along the riverfront. You had some areas where there were some not huge but definitely sizable hills that you got to climb up, and then later, come down through. There were a lot of places where you were running in the opposite direction as some other people, or you’re on different sides of a large grassy median.
So you got to see a lot of people while you were running that were in different areas of the race than you were. But other than, I think, one or two points, all of those places where you’re going back and forth crosswise from somebody else, you actually had a big loop to run, and then you would come back through so that there weren’t any cones to go around. (Other than right after the start/finish between loops where you had one out and back that you needed to do.)
For my own race, I was just planning to run somewhere in the 3:15 to 3:30 range. I met a lot of great people on the course while I was running, so I’d run along with them for a little while, and then about 10 or 11 miles in I saw my friend Larry Macon who had started with the early start. When I caught up to him, I slowed down and ran and walked at his pace for 2 or 2 and a half miles, which led to 1:54 for my half-marathon split.
But that was okay, because I was having fun; we had some great conversation. And then it actually worked out, because I got my biggest negative split that I’ve ever gotten. I ran an hour 36 for my second half of the race, for a 3 and a half hour, overall time.
Once the race ended, they had a large hospitality tent where you could get water, vitamin water, bagels, bananas, bags of pretzels, and they had some cold pizza. The best part was that they had soft pretzels in the hospitality tent, which I’m a big soft pretzel fan. So even cold, they were really good! And the pretzel and salt just hit the spot. So I was very happy to see that.
I basically just hung around there for a little while. It was a little bit humid so I waited until I stopped sweating and made my way back to the car. (I discovered that parking in front of a children’s museum is not necessarily the best place to give yourself a baby wipe bath before making your way to an airport.) But all in all, it worked out fine. I had about a 2 and half hour drive right after the race to get back to D.C., so I could fly home.
It was a really short trip into Delaware, but it was well worth it. I had a lot of fun. Kudos to the race organizers. They did a really good job!
About the only real complaint I had was that there were a few intersections where they could have used a course marshal, just to help make sure that the runners didn’t get hit by traffic.
It didn’t look like there was any real problems there, but I can definitely see where there could have been. The only place where I had any trouble with traffic was actually from a car cutting across the cones into the runner’s lane, and not bothering to look if I was there first. But there was a course marshal at that point, and she managed to get the car stopped and yelled at the guy for not looking. So I appreciate her for that!
If you get a chance, I’d definitely recommend Delaware. It was a fun course. I enjoyed it a lot!