The Mystic Places Marathon was yesterday, October 23. Alene Reta and Dzmitry Sivou won the men’s race, coming in a minute apart at 2:25:51 and 2:26:56. Abeba Tola and Elivira Kolpokova won the women’s race in 2:46:21 and 2:47:05.

The course map is next to useless; it is nowhere close to scale, and it is very difficult to follow. The course tour at the expo the day before was not much better. You hop on a bus halfway through the race, and they drive you on parts of the course. However, while not really an out and back race, you double back on the course in many points and at one intersection there are runners going in three different directions. Trying to figure out where to go ahead of time is very confusing, but it is not very bad during the race. The roads are fairly well marked, and there was only a few places where I was not positive I was going the right way and so just went straight, which worked out. My second time through the three way intersection was a bit confusing as well, but there were plenty of volunteers helping people going the right way.

The course is fairly flat. The largest elevation change is 80 feet, and most of the race is within a quarter mile of the water so it is around 20-40 feet above sea level. The nice thing about all the doubling back is that you get to see the same people over and over again, and especially at the beginning of the race it is a great race for spectators. A family member could potentially see you at 6 places in the race; at the start, when you loop around the start again at 2.7 miles, at the first relay exchange at 5 miles, on the way back out around 7 miles, after getting bussed to the 17th mile, and then after getting bussed back to the finish.

There is also a ten mile race at the same time, but unless you live in the area I would not bother travelling to it for the 10 miler. The first 7 miles are the same as the marathon, but then you loop back into Rocky Neck State Park and it is a thoroughly uninspiring course.

I will have another post tonight or tomorrow with some more thoughts on the race.