Hamptons marathon: A great day with my friend Thierry!
Welcome to the Hamptons for the 41st marathon of my 2016 challenge! I was finally able to run a marathon in the state of New York. As you may remember, the marathon I was running in Cooperstown, NY last June was canceled in the middle of the race due to bad weather
I was lucky to spend the week-end with my friend Thierry who happens to be CEO of Linkwork Ventures and one of my sponsors. As Thierry knew the area very well – he used to manage a big night club there- I let him manage everything for the weekend. After a few little mishaps on both parts, we met the evening before the marathon at JFK. Thierry was right on time and off we drove to the Hamptons. We got there two hours later. We needed to find an open restaurant, a difficult task at that time during the off season. Thierry, fortunately, remembered that the best Italian restaurant in the area was open late, and we got to eat a huge pasta meal before going to our hotel. We were hoping that the weather would get better the next day as it had been raining since we left New York. The night ended up to be quite short with us going to bed past midnight and getting up at 6 a.m. But we have been through worse before and running with a partner makes fatigue easier to stand! I took my three packets of Immun’Âge® as always before a race but I did not eat any breakfast as I was still full from last night’s pasta dinner ( I still had some in the fridge!).
Thierry and I drove to the start area. The rain had stopped by then but an unpleasant cold breeze was blowing. Finding a parking place in this area is close to impossible, but we managed to park our car at a twenty- minute walking distance. We went to pick up our bibs and runner’s packs in the school sports hall where we stayed warm while getting ready. Thierry got his war paint on, with an outfit sporting the logos of his company Linkwork Ventures and of its partner Immun’Âge as well as mine, “Crazy Dave.” Great! Fermented papaya was arriving in force in the United States! We enjoyed that moment relaxing and taking a few pictures before lining up at the start. The atmosphere was friendly, a few runners greeted me and I was happy to be able to run the first half of this marathon with Thierry!
The race started at 8 a.m. and so much the better as staying idle that day would not have been a good idea. The route consisted of two 21.1-km loops through Southampton’s ‘ultra’-residential (to say the least!) neighborhood. We started with a relaxed pace between 9.40 and 10.45 min/mi, which allowed us to chat and really enjoy the run. Thierry gave me a guided tour of the area. We only traveled through perfectly maintained neighborhoods where mansions were amazing if not mind-blowing.
We reached km 5 in 33 minutes. We took a few selfies, a few videos and took our time: we were really there to run while having fun, and we managed to do so. We reached km 10 in 1:10. We both felt comfortable with our pace and went on with it. Thierry who needed a sugar intake ate a dried mango. He told me stories about the Hamptons. I told him how I go through a marathon and what kind of habits I have to do so. We both made sure to stay well hydrated at every hydration station even though the sun did not seem able to make us sweat.
The course was flat, fast and pleasant. The size of the mansions and properties was such that seemed unreal. Amazing! Thierry and I reached km 15 in 1:44. We had slowed down a bit but both of us felt OK about it. We ran a short stretch along the beach, took a few pictures but did not linger too long as it was windy and cold. The security police presence was strong, with each crossing carefully watched. No doubt in my mind, they do everything big here! We ran around a lake and passed km 20 in 2:23. A last straight stretch and we finished the half marathon in 2:30 without any stress. I congratulated Thierry who had just completed his half-marathon and was leaving to get his finisher medal. I left him with a “See you later at the finish line.”
I continued the race by myself after this first half marathon that was so fun than I did not see the time fly. I reached km 25 in 2:59. It started to rain slightly but it did not last: no problem. With fewer marathoners than half-marathoners, the runners ended up far apart from each other. I passed km 30 in 3:37 still with the same relaxed pace. I did not want to speed up as I was running the next day in Portland, Maine, and was careful. I looked again at the huge mansions, and sometimes only at the gate or hedgerow when the estate was so big that it was impossible to see the house (or “palace”).
The course remained flat, a good thing for me that day. I reached km 35 in 4:20 and km 40 in 5:08. I have managed my race well and crossed the finish line in 5:29:59 (full distance in 5:26:59). Thierry was waiting for me at the finish line. I went to get my finisher’s medal to take a picture together. I grabbed some food and drink, picked up my bag that I had left at the start. We did not hang around as I had to shower in the hotel before driving to La Guardia airport for a 6 p.m. flight to Portland.
One more busy day in the life of a marathon runner!
A very pleasant run that would have been even more so with sunny weather. However, sharing my passion for the first time with my friend Thierry was the best for me that day. We had a great time together during this half-marathon. Kudos to him! As he knows that I always want more, he will have to accompany me to the famous marathon in New York where he lives! No doubt about it!
Let’s meet tomorrow in Portland, the largest city in the state of Maine.