Kentucky Riverboat Series Marathon: 17th Run in Beautiful Western Kentucky!
Kentucky Riverboat Series MarathonThe alarm clock went off at 4 am. I felt a bit tired as I took two flights (5 hours total) and drove 120 miles the day before. I ate breakfast and got dressed. I was expecting good weather for the run. It was raining then but I was not worried as I was 50 miles from the start of the marathon, and there was no rain forecast. I left my room at 5 am and headed toward Columbus, Kentucky.
After an hour drive in the countryside, I reached Belmont State Park on the Mississippi bank. I parked near the starting area and went to get my bib. There were not too many people there as it was a small marathon – the fifth of the Riverboat marathon series that is run in seven states around the Mississippi river. The organization gave me a bib, a marathon T-shirt as well as a medal for the marathon! It was the very first time that I got a medal before having done the job, which consisted here in running a 1.5 mile loop eighteen times.
After each loop runners were supposed to put a rubber band around their wrist, and from the tenth loop on, to take them off. Why not! I fixed my bib before going to the starting area where the marathon director gave us instructions for the run. The gun went off at 6:30. There were less than one hundred participants there including marathon-, half marathon- and 5K-runners. Many came to walk the course.
The run started on a 400-meter trail, leading us back through the starting area before stretching up a steep hill for a hundred meters, then down a hundred meters and again uphill on a less steep but longer stretch, followed by a light uphill, then a last rather steep uphill, before downhill again to run the same course in the reverse direction. The run was not easy as we ended up running uphill and downhill many times and that killed the legs!
The scenery was very pretty and very green as we ran in the countryside and on the Mississippi bank. It was very relaxing. I decided to take it easy to spare my body for next Sunday’s marathon that might turn out to be painful. I reached km 5 in 31minutes, km 10 in 1:02, km 15 in 1:34, km 20 in 2h10 and the half marathon in 2:18.
As there are no well-wisher bystanders except members of the organization, runners and walkers encourage each other, which created a very good atmosphere. For several loops a runner was shouting “Go Crazy Dave.” It took me two hours to recognize him: it was Mike, the organizer of the first marathon I ran this year. I apologized for not having realized sooner who he was and not having greeted him in a proper manner. We took a picture together at the end of the marathon. I went on slowly, like for a nice stroll, the appropriate word for this run that did not really seem to be a competition. I passed km 25 in 2:55. My legs were doing fine, but to make sure not to overdo it, I walked all uphills and downhills until the end of the run. After the half marathon runners had finished their run, there were not too many runners left.
I reached km 30 in 3:38 and km 35 in 4:19. I was not getting bored despite the fact that we were taking the same loop over and over because the scenery was very nice and the sun had started to shine: beautiful spring weather is such a pleasure.
I ran the marathon distance in 5:18:18 but the course was in fact 43.4 km long (because of the last loop) and my time was 5:26.
I got the second part of my medal that represents the state of Kentucky. I had to hook it to the medal I had gotten at the beginning: this makes a very nice and imposing medal.
I felt well and I was not tired at all. This run was very nice and friendly with great ambiance and very beautiful green scenery. The only downside: the cost of this marathon that I found way too high.
I got something to eat before I left. I went back to my car, switched on the radio and heard that Prince, one of my idols, was found dead in his home. It was a real shock, really bad news that spoiled the rest of my day that has started so well. Extremely sad, I drove back to Nashville while listening to his songs on the radio. Thank you again, Prince, for the unforgettable moments and everything you brought to music. R.I .P.
See you next Sunday on the East coast in Dewey Beach, Delaware. Have a nice week-end.