Marine Corps 17.75
April 2, 2016
What I wore: hat, short sleeve shirt, arm sleeves, Skirt Sports Happy Girl skirt, compression socks, and my Altra Impulse shoes
Unlike last year, I had to run this race to get my golden ticket. And honestly, when I first signed up, I signed up specifically because I wanted to run this race, not because I was planning to run the marathon. Because I don’t enjoy the logistics, I reached out to some of my MRTT friends to see about carpooling. I got lucky and ended up riding down with 5 other moms, including the mom I ran with last year. It took me forever to figure out what to wear as there was a 50% chance of rain. I ended up choosing the right stuff for running, but more at the wait at the start would have been nice. I chose the Altra Impulse because I figured the gravel section might be slippery plus, as much as I love the Ones, they pick up gravel like crazy.
Our trip down went smoothly. We were all thinking it wasn’t that cold, but threw on some extra layers at the last minute. We headed into the church when we got to the start (so nice and warm!), but decided the bathroom line was too long and headed back to the portapotty line. In that short tim, the line got crazy long. Thankfully it moved pretty quickly and we were able to then go meet all the other MRTT runners.
When it was time to start, Ann (the same mom I ran with last year) and I decided to start out together again. The first mile felt super hard for me. It was a slow pace, but it felt like I was pushing hard. Once we got off of the pavement, I felt better and was able to pick up the pace a bit. But I had already spent too much time working too hard and really felt it.
I didn’t even try to run that big hill at 4.5 miles. I don’t think I ever will.
After the big hill, I picked up the pace again. I was still running with my friend and we picked up another MRTT mom after a bit. I would have run a lot slower if I’d been left to my own, so it was good to have people to push me. We clocked some good miles, but then we turned back on the gravel section around the start of mile 10. There are three steep inclines in that area and we walked them all. Finally, we hit mile 11, which is more flat, and it was time to just run it in. It was still a path, so my speed wasn’t awesome, but I just kept pushing. And then it was “sprint” time. Ann and I ran neck and neck to the finish line. I definitely left everything I had out on that course! But it was all worth it for the MCM entry!
- For a race that could be a complete logistical nightmare, it went really smoothly.
- Marines. Duh.
- Plentiful water stops, even though I relied entirely on my handheld bottle full of nuun.
- Getting the golden ticket at the end. I immediately came home and used my code to enter the 2016 Marine Corps Marathon.
- The hills. OMG, this course was hilly. It feels harder to me than many of the half marathons I run. (Then again, I’ve never run it as my “A” race, so my legs are always super tired from training.)
- Having to get there an hour early to deal with the parking and the buses and then stand and wait for the start of the race.
- The weather was iffy. Chilly, windy, and occasionally rainy. I was cold for hours afterwards.
- The gravel section. I don’t love this part. I really don’t love it when it’s a little bit muddy. I’m shocked that I didn’t turn an ankle.
- The t-shirt. It’s not that it’s so ugly (although it kind of is), but it’s a unisex cut and looks awful on me. They even told us that 64% of the runners were women – why can’t they get a shirt that women could actually wear?
Would I do it again? Probably. There’s a lot of good about this race, but the course is challenging and it’s a bit of a drive. It’s also hard to get into. I’ll likely try again next year and run it if I do get in. I’ve decided that I want to get into the Marine Corps Marathon Runners’ Club, so I need a few more MCM’s under my belt. This is a good way to get in if you can get the entry.
I’m linking up with HoHo and Tricia for the Weekly Recap. Stop by and check out their blogs and then check out a few in the linkup!