2010 ING Georgia Marathon Race Report
Back on March 21st, I kept my streak alive by running the 4th annual ING Georgia Marathon. I have run in all four years, and really should link to past race reports here – but I’m not going to at the moment.
This year’s event brought a new race director, additional starting corrals, and a change to the marathon course. Here are my thoughts in general:
I like the course (in general). They have changed it every year the race has run and that is fine with me. The basics of Candler Park, Decatur, Emory, Druid Hills and Ga Tech have remained in tact. This year, the marathon cut out the Virginia Highlands bar area – which initially I was happy with. The new route down Stillwood, Los Angeles Ave, and Elkmont was nothing but hills. They were steep ascents and descents. Who the hell thought that was a good idea at mile 20? The out-and-back to mile 22 was also rather poor since there was no water stops through there. This course has way too many water stops on it, but for some reason there were none in this area.
Having the additional starting corrals was a good approach, but I’m not sure how the assignments were generated. I had targeted a 4:15 marathon, but for some reason the 2:45 half marathoners were a corral or two in front of me. I showed restraint by starting easy and not zig-zagging across the course (though my Garmin did show me at 26.38 miles. There were a lot of people walking in front of me in the first 2 miles. I just don’t get it. Maybe next time I’ll ignore my starting corral placement and move up. There is no one there to prevent it.
I really can’t say anything about the new race director. The prior one took a bad rap for poor organization. If you read my report from 2007, you’ll see they ran out of water at many water stops. The next two years saw a decline in marathon runners. Sometimes a change is needed at the top to attract folks back. I hope they come back because this is a lonely marathon with only 2000 people running it.
– I normally wear spandex on 20+ mile runs but didn’t on race day. Sadly, I forgot to put on body glide before the start. I realized this standing in line at the port-a-john and had to run 1/2 mile back to my car 5 minutes before the race started. So in reality, I ran over 27 miles that day. Does that qualify as an ultra?
– I wore a new pack from zombie runner that carries 2 20oz water bottles. It was uncomfortable at first, but I was very happy to drink my Infinit Nutrition solution for 20 miles.
– The ‘charity runners’ did not appear obnoxious. I guess it could be because there are so few at this event.
– Rain sprinkled periodically during the event. It didn’t bother me at all though.
– My longest run since Ironman Wisconsin (Sept 2009) was 15 miles. A combination of weight training and longer than normal short runs may have helped.
– I actually broke a lot of conventional wisdom at this race. You’re not supposed to do (or wear) anything new on race day, but as I mentioned I ran without spandex. I also wore a new shirt, new shorts, new socks, and had that new race pack that I had never run with. I guess when you’ve run 15 marathons it’s ok to deviate from conventional wisdom, but you kids at home shouldn’t try this.
Here’s the course map and elevation: