May 26, 2012

Illinois Marathon, May 2012 (#28)

When: May, 2012  
Who: Just me.
Recall: Hey, you must be Rich Benyo.
Overall: Hoping for better but could have been worse
Rating: 4/5 carbs                                                                   

Procrastination be gone. Time to blog about the 2012 Illinois Marathon, four weeks after the fact. Last year I ran the half marathon with Erin and two years before that I ran the inaugural full marathon. The nice about the Illinois Marathon is it's held on a Saturday and it's less than an hours drive away. Oh, and it's well organized. Those reasons make it hard to pass up but add to them the the course is flat and surprisingly scenic and it is very well organized, I may make this a regular selection to my "race" calendar. 

Lesa drove to the U of I campus with me on Thursday to pick up the race packet. We got to meet Rich Benyo, editor of Marthon & Beyond. They've been nice enough to publish three of my articles and up until Thursday my only communication with Rich had been through email since he lives in northern California. He was on his was back to California from the Boston Marathon and was talked into staying in Illinois for a few days probably because M&B is a major sponsor of the Illinois Marathon. We talked about my family since they were mentioned heavily in my last M&B article, Boston Marathon, Dean Karnazes, and the Napa Valley Marathon which he organizes. It was great to finally meet him and I thoroughly enjoyed talking to him. 

At the time Lesa was teaching early morning seminary which meant she was getting up at 4:00 a.m. every week day so even though she offered, I told her to sleep in Saturday morning and come to the marathon. The race started at 7:00 a.m. and then she would have had to sit around with not much to do for over 4 hours. She agreed. 

The forecast all week was calling for rain on Saturday but the wind blew it just to the north. So, no rain but the wind remained. It was also a little chilly so wore a black Marmot wind shirt to block the wind and shorts. I parked the Pathfinder, waited in line at the Port-A-Potty, and then it was time to run. My playlist started off with a song from Adrian Belew followed by songs from Gomez and Wilco. So I had that going for me. 

I'm not sure of the total number of marathon and half-marathon runners but the wave start seemed to effectively spread runners. I only hold ran into the backs of a few walkers which is better than usual. 
Hoping to sleep through the first 13 miles. 
The girl to my left looks concerned.

The first half of the course is a loop through Urbana. Nothing too spectacular to look at until Meadowbrook Park and running north on Race Street after that. I like the older houses and large trees. It makes the race seem cozy. I must admit that I felt liberated when the 'halfers' broke off and headed to their finish. The second half of the course was a loop through the cozy streets of Champaign. 
This was taken around mile 7.

I had been fighting a cold and my legs, particularly the hamstrings, where tightening up. Other than that I felt really pretty good unit about mile 20. On the way into town, I stashed a water bottle full of Dr. Pepper on the course. I was hoping that it would be the miracle maker but it disappointed. It tasted good, but just not good enough. So the last 6 miles comprised of running and walking, again. 

Arrivio. I though black was suppose to make you look skinny?