Race Report – 2007 Spinx Run Fest / Palmetto Bank Marathon
8 am. October 28, 2007 – Greenville, South Carolina
My day started by getting up just before 4am to make the drive to Greenville. We arrived just before 7am and strolled up to the starting line to pick up our numbers and chips. Dawn had not yet broken, and we had over an hour to lace up our shoes and strip down to running clothes. It was 45 degrees fahrenheit at race start, but was expected to warm up to around 60 by noon. I opted for my Sugoi running shorts, Brooks Sprinter base layer, and a Nike Dri-fit sleeveless shirt. And of course, nipple guards.
The assembly area was the size of roughly 1/2 city block. I asked one of the volunteers how many people were running but she didn’t know. Last year, there were around 300 marathoners and closer to 400 half marathoners. The highest marathon number I saw pre-race was 150, I saw a half marathon number just over 1000. Turns out there were only about 160 marathoners, but the half had grown to over 500 people. Here we are at 7:53 am waiting to start.
I carried my Olympus 770sw camera along with me, so I was able to take a bunch of pictures while running. You read that right – all pictures were taken while running (except the one above before the start). Savor the digital image stabilization goodness! Here we see the sparse spectator turnout. These folks probably just went to Chick-Fil-A to get a biscuit and coffee and couldn’t get out because all these stupid runners came through. Of course maybe they were actually cheering for people the knew.
As for volunteers – they were great. There were over 400 on the course manning aid stations and assisting at turns. There seemed to be a lot of turns on the marathon course, but you get so brain damaged by the end it’s really hard to say whether there were more than average or not.
Running through the Furman campus was one of the highlights of the course. It’s a gorgeous campus. Probably 2 1/2 miles of the course ran through tree lined streets, a running trail, and along the pond.
After running out a back entrance from Furman, we ended up on country roads for many miles, headed out to Travelers Rest and back. The leaves were changing, the traffic was light, and the crown on the road wasn’t too bad.
The only real negative about the course was that there were some really bad drivers out there. As long as you kept your head up and were predictable, it wasn’t a problem. What a beautiful day to run.
A Blurry, Beautiful Main Street – 5 blocks from finish line
Originally uploaded by Mike.
The course is best described as rolling. There was one long climb between 19 and 20. With a water stop half way up. Geesh. When I finally connect up my Garmin watch I’ll post the course elevation profile.
The finish line was just outside of Falls Park. You run for 5 blocks down tree-lined main street. It was a great site for a finish. After picking up your medal, bagels, oranges, bananas and water were available at the park.
All in all it was a great race. It was well stocked and marked. Many potential entrants will be turned off by the lack of crowd support. If you’re one of the Rock & Roll marathon types who looks for high energy events, this race is probably not for you. But if you can get lost in thought and changing scenery, this course is a great way to mark another knotch in your 50 state belt.
There are a few more pictures up in my Greenville Marathon set on Flickr. Enjoy!