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My plan is to run a marathon in all 50 States. I’m always looking to add a new state to my collection. I had my eyes on the Kentucky Derby Marathon in Louisville, Kentucky for some time hoping I could work it in on my calendar.
This is a large event with almost 18,000 runners –most are participating in the half or “mini” marathon.
Every marathon has its own personality. We found this race to be fun, well organized and able to capture the personality of the city. Here is my race recap:
We had ideal springtime weather. It was slightly cool and overcast. The course went through some beautiful areas in Louisville like Churchhill Downs (racetrack of the Kentucky Derby). We entered through a tunnel onto the infield and got to see a few race horses warming up. Even going at an easy pace the horses appeared so fast and graceful. I also enjoyed running through a lovely historic neighborhood.
In miles 11-14 we went through Iroquois Park. There wasn’t any vehicular traffic there and it was beautiful and shaded. This section did have a series of challenging hills. I had one man ask me, “How much farther do these hills go?” The course flattened out again until we hit another series of hills from miles 21-24.
The only things I didn’t like about the course was the later set of hills and when the half marathon and marathon course merged again at miles 18-21. They didn’t have the road divided very well and at times there were walkers migrating into the marathon lane.
Support along the course was good. There were plenty of aid and water stations. At some water stations they handed out water in these inflexible plastic cups. Since you couldn’t squeeze the top together to form a lip I ended up getting as much water on myself as I drank. However they did pass out mini-water bottles at some stations. I like these the best because you don’t have to drink it all right away and can save some for later.
Setting a PR!
I managed to run my fastest marathon yet (3:35:41). I missed qualifying for Boston by 41 seconds! I finished 35 out of 786 female marathon runners. Even though I missed my BQ I still have the satisfaction of knowing that I gave it my all. Trevor also set a PR running his half marathon in 1:47:43. He finished 1,350 out of 12,092 half marathoners.
Winning the Mental Battle
During this race I had thoughts like “I should just walk these hills because I’m not going to BQ”. But then I reminded myself that if I quit I will always look back on this race with regret. Reminding myself of that reality helped me give it my all.
Don’t go into a marathon thinking that it will be easy. You have to be prepared to fight back against thoughts of quitting. Your mind will try to rationalize its way into slowing down and walking. Stick to your strategy.
Quick Tip: Race Ready Shorts
During this marathon I carried a tube of electrolytes, three gels, and a bottle of concentrated Perpetuem. My new Race Ready shorts worked perfectly. In my opinion these are the best shorts out there. They come in a variety of lengths and colors and have a comfortable brief inside. The best thing about them is that as the name says, you will be race ready. They have two velcro front pockets and 5 mesh pockets in the back for storing gels, fuel bottles, electrolytes and keys.
Rocking the 2012 Kentucky Derby Marathon and Mini Marathon Finishing Medal and T-shirt.
Have you run a marathon recently? Leave a comment below.