Welcome to Pittsfield, a small country town in Massachusetts.
The alarm clock went off at 5:30 a.m. after a good night’s sleep. As always before a run, I took my three small packets of Immun’Âge®, ate my breakfast and got dressed. Today I welcomed a new sponsor for my challenge: CUBE Entreprise, a company that specializes in heritage building restoration in the Caribbean. Many thanks to Florian MANIERE and Vincent VERGEZ for their contribution.
I walked to the start and arrived twenty-five minutes later in Park Clapp where the marathon was taking place. I got my runner’s packet and my bib, greeted two runners whom I had already met several times this year, and left my bottle of Gatorade at number 25 on my individual aid station space.
Today, we ran a very special marathon as we had to complete 74 loops. It doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? But we were running for a good cause. Proceeds will benefit Moments House, a facility that offers integrative care services and support to all Berkshire County residents living with a cancer diagnosis as well as support for their families.
We can only applaud the organization’s initiative, even more so as they did not have much means. Racers were indeed required to bring their own bottle that was filled as needed during the race by organization members.
The race started at 7 a.m. There are 110 runners including marathon and 8-hour Ultra marathon runners. My report today is not very exciting as we were running in circles on the 0.355-mile loop promenade that surrounds Clapp Park. I chose a relaxed pace that day and I passed km 5 in 30 minutes, km 10 km in 1:01 and km 15 km in 1:35. The organization put on music which created a more exciting atmosphere, as they played good rock’ n’ roll. I passed km 20 in 2:14 and the half-marathon in 2:20.
It was hot but, luckily, clouds were shading us from the sun. I refueled quite often in order to not get dehydrated, and as promised, the organization regularly filled my bottle very well. The snacks and drink station were all very complete.
I reached km 25 in 2:47 and km 30 in 3:27. At the 4-hour mark, we started counter-clockwise, switching directions. It was really hot with little air. I reached km 35 in 4:08 and km 40 in 4:50. Many runners had been walking for a while, but I ran with a relaxed pace and finished the marathon in 5:10. As the course was 1.5 km longer, I passed the finish line in 5:20.
I got my handcrafted wooden medal and ate a few slices of pizza and some watermelon. The course was not too exciting, but I cannot criticize anything, and I’d like to pay tribute to the organization that, without means, managed to bring runners together for a great cause, provide enough food and drink at the aid stops, give out a very original medal, all this in a very friendly atmosphere. With ideas, will and a big heart you can manage to do many things! Kudos! Many thanks to Patricia who had joined me here and took pictures at the finish line.
Let’s meet next Saturday in Wisconsin.
Have a good week.