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2017-02-19 - GW Birthday Marathon

~26.2 miles @ ~11.7 min/mi

"This is Not Good!" Dr Kerry says, when the GPS voice announces our pace. Today is her Birthday Eve Spontaneous Marathon, aka the George Washington Birthday Marathon, and we're going ~2 min/mi faster than planned. But no matter! Kerry slices more than 50 minutes off her prior PB for the distance, and we finish with big smiles. Not bad for a race that she only started to think about two days ago!

"417 — and the Comrades 3 times!" says Pauline from England, when we ask how many marathons she has run. Ultra-veterans Caroline Williams and Phil Hesser greet us before the start, as do buddies Ken and Jennifer. Temperatures today reach near-record highs, in the 70+ zone, and we give thanks for brisk winds whenever the course turns toward them. Electrolyte capsules, energy gels, and quarts of Gatorade all help, though our fingers swell and my right hamstring threatens to cramp.

"I've seen you here almost every year for over a decade, and never stopped to shake your hand!" I apologize to Derek, whose boom-box and applause annually encourage runners when they pass him at miles 9, 16, and 23. Kerry pushes us along, allowing only limited walk breaks as we climb hills. During the last lap I stoop to pick up a spork in the road, mainly so I can say "spork in the road". Climbing the big hill at mile 25 we meet Chris, who wears a Hulkmania shirt that he rips apart as he crosses the finish line.

Kerry and I accept this year's uber-garish medals, pose for photos, and enjoy traditional GWBM chili. My experiments turn out well, especially taping the feet to deter blisters — though I need a refresher lesson from Stephanie on how to apply Leukotape most effectively. Dr K and I get home early and happy. A great day, great volunteers, and a great race!

(Splits, according to my watch and the mile markers: 11.7 + 10.3 + 11.6 + 10.7 + 11.6 + 11.6 + 10.3 + 12.0 + 11.2 + 11.2 + 10.4 + 11.9 + 11.3 + 11.3 + 11.7 + 13.4 + 12.0 + 11.5 + 12.5 + 12.8 + 12.8 + 12.3 + 13.3 + 12.4 + 12.3 + 13.3 + the final fraction in 2.2 minutes)

(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-03-22