Friday, May 18, 2012

Reflections from the Blue Ridge Marathon

Believe the hype. The Blue Ridge Marathon bills itself as  "America's Toughest Road Marathon." With 7,234 feet of elevation change over the full marathon it is definitely not flat and I can say unequivocally that it is the hardest marathon I have run to date. 

My goal heading down there was to complete the Double Marathon, a distance of 52.4 miles. I managed to complete just over 39. While I had worked diligently at getting on the treadmill and doing hill specific workouts along with utilizing the 100 pushups and 200 situp apps to improve my overall core and strength, I neglected recovery and stretching. This neglect manifested itself in a case of plantar fasciitis in my right heel that while I tried to rest going into the race, was compounded running down the descents on the first marathon. Near the end of the first marathon, my heel felt like I was landing on nails and heading up the first climb of the second marathon, I made the decision to walk the 1/2 marathon. While I recorded my slowest 1/2 marathon on record at 3 hr 19 min, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. My fun button did get pushed and I made at the time what I thought was the best decision for me not to do further damage to my heel.

What I can say is that the city of Roanoke has a first class event in the Blue Ridge Marathon. The city and people are really getting behind this event and it showed with the enthusiasm  throughout the weekend. Besides the race, there was also a tent set up for local area bands and a bike criterium on Saturday night.Don't go to the Blue Ridge Marathon looking to set a PR, go run the Blue Ridge for the stunning views, the unique challenge of running up mountains and a great atmosphere.

1 comment:

Rusty Shackleford said...

Sorry your race didn't go as planned. Sounds like a lot of fun though.