What do you do when you have an annoying knee issue because you were clumsy and slid down a wet hill? You go do 2 marathons that you’re completely untrained for, of course. The trip was already booked, my husband really wanted to do NH since this weekend was peak foliage and it was his only chance at a marathon this season since it’s starting to get too cold up there. Maine was sold out so he couldn’t get in to the one on Sunday…so, I did them both. There was no way I was going to sit out while he did the full with my friends.
Flew into Boston Friday mid-day after a horrifying landing in a severe storm in ATL. A Maniac friend of mine gave me a quick ride up to Bristol, NH. We hit race registration and that’s when I finally decided to register. The rain & cold had stalled and the weather was not supposed to get bad until after 2p on race day. So, as long as it didn’t rain the whole race, I wouldn’t be completely miserable. To quote one of the pickup volunteers….”You flew here all the way from New Orleans and you don’t know if you’re doing the race? You’re still debating? People do this about 10k’s, not marathons.” Haha. Yeah, well. I’ve done enough races in shitty weather (I’m looking at you, Kansas blizzard, 20 degrees in Tulsa Rt. 66, cold storm in Little Rock, and storming Cajun Coyote 100) and wasn’t in the mood to do it again.
So, we registered and went to the race dinner. I normally don’t do pre-race pasta dinners, but this town was tiny and everyone was at the dinner. My friends said it was the best one they’ve ever been to, as it’s homemade. Sure enough, they were right. A bunch of grandparents made 10 different sauces to choose from, cookies, salad, etc. All-you-can-eat and it was real food. I had a sausage and pepper sauce and it was delicious.
Race day: hung out with a bunch of Maniac friends before the start. I asked Alex what pace he was planning on running (he’s training for 100 and was also doing the Double) so I knew he wasn’t running hard. He said, “Whatever pace you’re running.” Oh, sweet relief! I was dreading doing the whole thing alone since my heart wasn’t in it and my knee definitely wasn’t in it. I was so thankful. So, off we went running 2:1 intervals from the start.
The race: GORGEOUS. We ran around Newfound Lake. Wonderful volunteers. Great views. Hills. Rolling hills. I thought the race was going to be flat. Wrong. Not much to say about the race itself. We just kept on the interval. Told stories. Joked. Laughed. One guy was on the side of the road cheering on runners and said, “Oh! You two must be married.” We both laughed…I said, “if we were, we wouldn’t be having this much fun together.” So Alex said, “Oh no, our husbands left their wives behind!” As K and his partner Shawn are much faster than us. Somewhere around there he said, “I’m not very good at this.” I replied, “Yeah, I suck at this too.” Oh, we had good laughs about that all weekend and anytime something got hard or someone at an aid station said something along the lines of, “Oh, you two look great! we replied…”I’m not very good at this.” We’re just doing 2 marathons…but we’re not very good at this.
How about some pictures? There was nothing remarkable about the running, except the scenery.
We ran by Sculptured Rock park and this was about 20 feet off the road. Alex and I took a pit stop here to take pics and put on our ponchos (and it only rained for about 3 minutes).
Ran by a barn & B&B that was being set up for a wedding. I’m not into weddings AT ALL, but this was tiny and very cute. I think what I said was, “I really hate the excess & showing off of weddings, but that was pretty much perfect!” I think there were only 4-5 tables and the barn was not very big.
The houses around the lake were amazing. Some big, but many were just old, small cottages. Loved them. Especially this one only accessible by boat!
Well, I guess one could walk there in winter. (The locals said it’s unused in winter due to the plumbing)
The post race food was great. Tons of food, chocolate milk, fruit, fresh pizzas from the local joint across the street. For a race with less than 300 people, the community support was amazing. ALL proceeds go to 3 local charities. Completely no profit. Overall, a wonderful race. I love a small-town event like this. Would highly recommend it to anyone, even those who are hesitant to do small races: there were cops at intersections, the course was very straightforward around a lake, and still many signs. I felt completely safe and was in awe of the views.
Got in the car and headed to Maine….
More on Maine tomorrow. This post would be too long if I wrote them together.
Sounds like we had the same plan. In fact, it looks like a LOT of people had the same plan. I found myself at the starting line and later the locker rooms talking to a surprising amount of people who were all running Portland the next day. I really enjoyed NH, almost every bit of it. I wasn’t a fan of the often banked roads or a few of the really steep downhills, but what can you do.
Look forward to reading about Maine — that one didn’t go so well for me. Best of luck with the remaining states!
Thanks, Dan! I really did like the race too, except the roads. The banks, the holes, half running on the side…really aggravated my knee. However, the good roads of Portland felt better, even though my body didn’t. I enjoyed both of them, but am glad they’re over.
Good luck to you, you’re almost done! Thanks for the follow. I need to read some of your reports of the states I still need for ideas.