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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Marine Corps Marathon 2011

Finished:  15874 out of 21023 Bib #14431 Age:       19 Finish Time:
   Overall : 42.7% , sex place: 5871/8598 , division place: 60
Ice bath once I got home! bbrrrrr

At the finish of my first full marathon - finished in  5:19:05
 I ran my first full marathon on October 30, 2011; the Marine Corps Marathon. I had to get up super early to take the metro to the start....we had to walk in the cold/dark for ~1 mile to the start once we got off the metro. Tons and tons of port-a-potties! It was pretty cool to see the sun rise! All I can remember is that I had layers upon layers upon layers on. After I took last one last potty break, I handed my bag to the UPS men (they have the UPS trucks transport your bags to the finish) and headed to the start! I was so pumped/nervous - my longest run had been ~15 miles , was I ready??
Gun goes off....my iPod dies. How exciting. I had run every training run with my trusty iPod and even made sure it was charged the night before!!! No dice. It was AWFUL! So off I went... 
About 15 miles into the marathon, my feet started to hurt. I cried, stomped my feet and told myself how much I hated myself for walking ! I learned pretty early on in cross country in high school if you walk, you're a failure...and that's pretty much how I felt. It took me just over a year once I started seriously running again that I would get over this awful philosphy that if you walk, you fail. Around mile 18 I met a nice young fellow from Illinois who was also on the struggle bus.... I think his name was Sam (he's in the left of this picture below)

We ran the majority of the rest of the marathon together. My goal was to get to the 14th street bridge before the cut off, and I did! The worst part was probably the 14th street bridge - it was so hot, barren, and no people were there to cheer you on. We then meandered our way through Crystal City (I was delusional by this point--but I do remember there being tons of people and donut holes - which are my favorite). 
One of my friends was planning on meeting me / cheering for me, but by the time we reached mile 21 and I hadn't seen her so I kind of gave up on all hope....and then I saw her at mile 25! From Crystal City to the finish it was quite uneventful - and there weren't many people cheering for you. I did run with a lady for a short amount of time who was running her second marathon (I think?) and we chatted for a little bit - until we were passed by a 16 year old! How crazy. 

Overall rating? C
MAIN COMPLAINTS: VERY crowded, long lines for the metro (even though they had shuttles to Crystal City the lines for the buses were long)-- took me almost 3 hours to get home (College Park!) from Roslyn via Metro!!, horrible premium 
Communication before the race? N/A. Honestly, I don't remember - this was almost 2 years ago! I don't remember anything that bad?
Expo? B. There were a lot of vendors, but I think they could have chosen a better location than the Armory...
Premium? D - they give you an awful mock-neck turtle neck...if you've been hosting a race for as long as you have, you'd think the participants would get a little nicer of a shirt that actually fits them and doesn't choke them, right?
Water Stops/Aid Stations? B - There were plenty of water / aid stations, my only complaint is that they handed out pretty nasty GUs , and if you couldn't stomach GU or weren't able to carry nutrition you were pretty screwed. I still ran with my 4-bottle FuelBelt, but never had to stop to refill the bottles. I took Gatorade and Water at every stop they were offered!
Finisher's Medal? A. Probably the most bad-ass medal I will ever get! It had a spinny globe in the center of it!
Finisher's Festival? C- Really crowded  (I'm pretty sure we were all funneled in to single file lines to get food and that's pretty hard to do when there are tens of thousands of cold, hungry, stinky runners!).
Would I run this race again/recommend it to anyone? No. Too crowded, didn't like the premium; could have been much better!

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