Mainly Marathons Appalachian Series – Alabama
March 25, 2022
Temp: high 40s-low 50s
What I wore: hat, tank top, a Skirt Sports Hover Skirt, compression socks, and Altra Rivera
Location: Eufaula, AL
I’ve been wanting to run this race for several years, but it used to be a fall series and fall was just too crazy of a time for me to be away from home. Plus, that’s hurricane season and all the races seemed to have wicked weather. During the pandemic, Mainly Marathons decided to move this race to the spring and it happened to fall squarely between the boys’ spring breaks.
Beer Geek and I flew down to Atlanta and drove from there. It was nice to get out for our first kid free vacation since we went to Bermuda in 2020. The plan was to run Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina and then spend a night in our favorite beer city – Asheville, North Carolina.
I had no real time goals for this series. I knew that I could likely do all three races in under three hours, but wasn’t sure I’d be much faster than that. I planned to just take it one lap at a time and see what happened.
As per usual, morning of packet pickup went smoothly and soon it was time to head out on the course. This course was 6 laps for the half marathon. I made the mistake of starting a little too fast and then realized at the turn around that we’d been going mostly downhill. Yep, that meant the return half of the lap would be mostly uphill. I quickly adjusted my strategy to limited walk breaks on the out and walk breaks as needed on the back. I felt strong until the last lap, where I found myself hot and slightly dehydrated. Since Mainly Marathons are all about the states and not about the speed, I took it super easy on that last half lap back to the start and was shocked that I finished in under 2:40.
- The course was lovely and fairly well shaded.
- So much support from other runners. (I knew so many people from past races and did more chatting than I expected.)
- The food at Mainly Marathons is always awesome!
- It was so good to be back with “family”. I love these series and it had been way too long since I’d been able to make one work.
- The uphill part of each lap was not ideal.
- Surprisingly, there was no ugly. I really felt good and had a fabulous time.
Would I run this race again?
Yes! Someday I want to do the whole series instead of just bits and pieces. But for now it was nice to get back for part of it.
And, of course, Beer Geek thought going on a hike down into a canyon (and back up) was a good idea…