2016-10-30 - Marine Corps Marathon

~26.2 miles @ ~14 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/MCM_2016_pre-start_Dawn_Patrol_kerry_kristin_z_1.jpg"Just another long run for the Dawn Patrol!"

No drama today: the second marathon for Dr Kristin and Dr Kerry proceeds uneventfully — if "uneventfully" means a comfortable ~6:06 result, ~15 minutes faster than last year in spite of near-record heat and high humidity. Alas, only one unicorn appears (a rainbow-maned balloon creature).

As planned The Team meets at 0645 in Rosslyn at the Metro and strolls a mile or so to the starting area. Our training has been good, a gradual ramp-up of distance combined with sedulous injury avoidance and careful experimentation with nutrition, hydration, electrolyte balance, and garb during long runs. We try not to cling to goals, and vow to accept whatever the day brings.
"It's a kilt, not a skirt!" says the fellow standing near us before the race begins, when asked whether he's "full regimental". His minimalism also extends to running barefoot. Wow!

"Now we're getting serious!" Kristin observes when Kerry doffs her outer layer as the day begins to warm. At mile ~5, where Key Bridge enters Georgetown in DC, ultra-comrade Dr Stephanie meets us.

"Don't believe anything that we say about each other!" both Stephanie and I warn. A dozen miles of cheerful-frank Trail Talk ensues. We spy Dr Betty Smith at mile ~6 and chat with her; she's still awesome-strong in her mid-70s. Wow!

"Sir, you can do this!" a young lady tells me as she passes us during a walk break. Stephanie takes umbrage and has to be restrained from telling the woman, "He's an ultrarunner — this is nothing!" She also refrains from mentioning her 11 mile scamper to the race this morning from her home in Maryland, and my pre-dawn odyssey. At the National Mall Dr Stephanie branches off to trot back to her home. Wow!
http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/MCM_2016_iwo_jima_memorial_kerry_kristin_z_medals_1.jpg"No photos, please — we're doing drugs!" With the US Capitol in the background a cameraman captures us sharing capsules of blue naproxen sodium gel ("Aleve") and white electrolyte powder ("Succeed!"). Chemistry works — we reach the critical 14th Street Bridge with plenty of time to spare.

Midway across the Potomac K&K reenact their Jersey barrier stretch from last year (see 2015-10-25 - Marine Corps Marathon). We play leapfrog with other runners, repeatedly passing and being passed by pair of ladies in bright tights we saw at the Navy-Air Force Half Marathon in September.

"BEAST MODE: ON!" says a spectator's sign. Beard jokes abound, as does current Presidential-political humor. Costumed racers suffer from the heat but persevere.

This year there's plenty of swag for finishers: a massive medal, boxes of food, bananas, water/Gatorade. En route I pick up a dozen unopened energy gel packets from the road — so many that my shorts start to fall down from the extra weight in their pockets. Roadside trash cans and midden heaps yield several nearly-new headbands, neck-scarves, and arm-warmer sleeves. Woot!

"We could still run some more!" is the verdict at the finish line.

"It's All Good!"

(trackfile) - ^z - 2016-11-27