Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Richmond Marathon 2103

The Richmond Marathon was last weekend, and I haven't been able to chase my kids away from the computer long enough to write my race report until now. Which is hardly fair to the race because (a) I'd been looking forward to doing it for about two years, and (b) it was totally worth the wait. So let's get to it:

10 Things I Really Liked About the Richmond Marathon

1. It was the last race of the season. I ran a lot this fall and was pretty tired. Towards the end of the race, the idea of having the following week off was pretty enticing.

2. I got to run it with my friend Linda. She is someone I truly enjoy running with, but I haven't had an opportunity to do it much this year. It was an extra treat.

3. Maybe because she is such a nice person, Linda has fantastic karma. We were not only able to find a marvelous parking spot, but the lot was right next to the Richmond Omni hotel. We stopped in there to check out the possibility of using the not-porta-potties in the lobby, and it turned out the lobby was like a Runner's Lounge, full of spandex-clad people chatting, stretching, and waiting in line for the not-porta-potties.

4. When we made our way to the start, we ran into some of the Red Felt Run Club folks who were doing the race!

The official meet-up had been at 7 am, which we missed because of the rain and the traffic. I was so surprised and happy to see these beautiful people and pop into a picture!
5. A whole lot of people do this race, but it was nothing like the hordes at Marine Corps. There really wasn't a point where it felt crowded.

6. The scenery is beautiful, running down Monument Avenue, out to the West End of the city and along the James River. As we headed west, we passed a Henrico County police officer minding an intersection. A generously proportioned fellow, leaning up against his squad car. We thanked him for being there. He nodded and offered: "You're looking well, ladies," in an accent that sounded kind of like this guy's:

"You're looking well, ladies."
 7. And there were party zones, official and unofficial. The official ones had guys set up with turntables and microphones and crowds of people dancing like crazy. It made me want to go spectate a marathon tomorrow just so I can bust a few moves, because I'll tell you what, there is something about seeing a bunch of people shake it down that puts a smile on your face.

There was an unofficial party zone down on Riverside Drive, in one of the (otherwise) quieter parts of the course. A man had driven down there in his SUV with his teenage kids, set up a turntable and microphone and he just played tunes and shouted encouragement while the kids danced and waved. Nice! He had my favorite quote of the day: "Run with some pep in your step and a spark in your heart!"

8. Late in the race, all the spectators were partying, zone or no zone. We ran by a bar with a patio full of young guys with beers in their hands. They went crazy when an attractive woman in a tutu ran by ("TU-TU! TU-TU! TU-TU!"), jumping up and down. Up on balconies and down on the sidewalks, people had all their friends over and were having a good time, like the marathon was a good excuse for a party.

9. Another thing about Richmonders -- they bring the snacks. At several spots in the course people had BIG boxes of donuts for the runners. There were soda stops, and bags of cookies and gummy bears, even beer and champagne. Some day I am going to get brave enough and fun enough to partake. On Saturday, I stuck to Hammer Gel.

10. At the downhill finish, Linda and I found a little something extra in our feet and tore down the hill and across the finish line like there was pizza at the end. And there WAS! And also our friend Robert, who kicked butt in the half marathon, took a tour of Richmond, then came back to make sure we didn't collapse on the way to our cars.

He looks pretty fresh after running hard for a little less than 2 hours, no?
And he took a picture of us. I look like I'm still tense from that downhill run.

Actually, I look like that because every muscle I own was sore. 
After the race, I had to hustle on home, which was pretty easy because of my friends at Starbuck's:


And because I had some nice company in the car . . .



4 comments:

  1. Great write up! I'm glad you had a good race. I hear that Richmond is rather hilly. So, when's the next one? :)

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  2. Jackie, thank you! It was gentle rolling hills for the most part, but some were loooooong! And there is a steep downhill finish that I liked but many people didn't. No full for me until next fall, I think -- I'm planning on some trail races this spring (check out Ex2adventures.com) and then Marine Corps Historic Half. How about you?

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    1. Yay! I'm glad to see I didn't scare you off the trails with our first trail run out at Fountainhead :) If you have not done the VHTRC women's half, it is a blast!

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  3. I got the same chants (and a couple drinks) from the guys at the bar for my turkey costume! I wrote up my experience here: http://triplantpower.com/2013/11/19/i-won-the-richmond-marathon/
    Great recap and for my first time in Richmond, I definitely felt the friendliness!

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