Washington Birthday Marathon 2004

The 22 February 2004 George Washington's Birthday Marathon continues an ominous trend: I finish in 5 hours 12 minutes, ~8 minutes slower than I covered the same distance in November 2003, which is in turn ~8 minutes slower than November 2002's experience. Oops!

But for somebody as woefully under-trained as I am, it's a not-unexpected result. Again I fail to achieve the elusive "negative splits", but at least I'm only ~4 minutes slower for the second half of the run than I am for the first.

The race is great fun and singularly cost-effective (less than $1/mile for early registrants). I meet a variety of nice people along the way, and my knees and ankles suffer no major damage. The organizers and volunteers are uniformly enthusiastic and helpful. The course is entertaining (albeit somewhat hilly), three loops along the roads of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, with a couple of miles before and after to connect to downtown Greenbelt. Weather is near-perfect, with temperatures in the low 40s Fahrenheit.

This event features a brilliant innovation: an optional early start for those who are impatient to go. A few runners start 90 minutes before the official kickoff time; I begin with a cohort 60 minutes in advance of schedule. This lets me see some of the elite runners (as they pass me!). It also gets me to the finish line in time to applaud the winners at the award ceremony and scarf down some (veggie!) chili, fruit, cookies, etc.

Encounters and Acquaintances

Random Commentary

Gory Numerical Details

Alas, I forgot my GPS receiver at home, so no latitudes or longitudes. But here are splits and cumulative times captured by my watch at the course markers:


Half-marathon time = 2:33:40

Least-squares fit to pace data (omitting final 0.2 miles):

(time & pace for mile 10 were estimated, as was the mile 11 pace --- alas, I missed the mile 10 marker; see also Bless the Leathernecks (28 Oct 2002), Rocky Run (17 Nov 2002), Marathon in the Parks 2003 (11 Nov 2003), ... )

TopicRunning - TopicPersonalHistory - TopicScience - 2004-02-23

(correlates: FourTypes, 2008-07-11 - MidSummer Night's Mile, SwayingMusicians, ...)