The race went well. I finished in 3:18 - the cool part about it was the final few meters as the finish line is inside Marshall University Stadium on the goal line - they give you a football to carry to the end. I was exhausted so I'm not sure I spiked the ball as much as it spiked me. The course was two loops around downtown Huntington with some running along a path and by a river. The volunteers were friendly, and it was cool to add my 13th state (CA, ID, UT, MN, OH, GA, VA, MD, PA, NY, RI, MA, and now WV) to my 50 state quest and finish my 21st marathon (my marathons are now old enough to drink!).
A Subway in West Virginia labelled our lunches for us.
Ready to race!
Laura and Sammy spot me crossing the 13.1 mile marker.
The final sprint to the finish. I've got the ball in my right hand.
Laura and Sammy pose at a scenic rest stop on the drive home.
I finished the race in 3:18:28. It was not my best and not my worst. The hotel room I stayed in was a smoking room - in the morning I reeked of smoke and my lungs likely were not operating at full capacity. I knew early on holding my 6:45 pace wasn't going to work, so I backed off until I found a decent pace. The half was run in 1:32. As the race wore on, I backed off some more and since I knew I didn't need a BQ and wasn't getting a PR, I just enjoyed the run. Plus, I have some other races on the calendar (5K on Thanksgiving, 10K first Sunday in December, and a half marathon the following week), so I didn't think killing myself was worth it. But, I'm pleased I am in good enough shape to consider 3:18 a "slow" marathon. The day after the race I feel a little sore, but I could run if my life depended upon it - that wasn't the case after my 3:04 last month.
I'm glad we ran this neat marathon. I can check off West Virginia and look toward 2013 and more states, races, and marathons.