Marathon 39 plus 2 – David Redor spices up his 2016 challenge of 52 marathons in 50 states by adding a few more runs before his 39th marathon!
After an extra marathon on Wednesday in South Dakota and another one on Thursday in Wyoming, Crazy Dave ran the official 39th marathon of his challenge on Sunday, September 17 in West Virginia!
Wednesday, September 14, 2016 – Belle Fourche, SD. Marathon 2 of the ‘Center of the Nation Series’
Welcome to Belle Fourche, South Dakota, a small town that is the geographic center of the fifty U.S. states and where I met again the organizers of the “Mainly Marathons Series.” As it was cold, I decided to wear leggings, long sleeves, and gloves. I took my three small packets of Immun’Âge®, and then a light breakfast before heading to the start of the marathon, one kilometer away from my hotel. Once there I paid (kind of reluctantly) $150 for the registration fee, got the first half of my medal, my T-shirt and warmed up: staying without moving was out of the question.
It was not a big marathon, but there we were together again; we, the five biggest marathon runners of the planet in 2016: Larry, Jim, Henry, Vincent and myself. It felt good. After a short briefing, the gun went off. It was 6:30 a.m.
We ran in a park alongside a river and buildings. There were twelve loops of about 2.18 mile each and without any difficulty as the course had only two small uphills. I started with a slow pace (9.40 min/mile). It was really cold, with a thick fog. It took me some time to warm up. I reached km 5 in 30 minutes and km 10 in 1:02. First, there was no sun and we had to wait quite a long time for the sun to shine and the temperature to rise a bit.
The course being out and back, we passed each other in a really nice and relaxed atmosphere. There was no real competition among us that day. I reached km 15 in 1:36, km 20 in 2:09 and the half-marathon in 2:16. This slow pace agreed with me. I knew I would manage to finish the race under five hours. I kept on with the same pace. The sun appeared at the end of the run but did not warm us up as a cold breeze was blowing sometimes.
I reached km 25 in 2:44, km 30 in 3:21 and km 35 in 4h00. I was quite sure to finish in less than five hours and felt good. Everything was alright! The weather got better at the end of the run. Vincent and I ran the last kilometers chatting with each other. We reached km 41 in 4:41 and finished the race together in 4:59:35 (full distance in 4:57:37).
Not a big marathon but a nice ambiance, and my time was OK, I thought. I got the second part of my medal, shot a picture of Vincent, took my Immun’Âge® and grabbed something to eat before I left.
Let’s meet tomorrow, 30 km away from Belle Fourche, in Sundance, WY, for my second marathon of the ‘Center of the Nation Series.’
Thursday, September 15, 2016 – My Second marathon of the ‘Center of the Nation Series’ – Sundance, WY: A beautiful scenery for a very dull run.
I drove 40 minutes to get to Sundance, a small town in Wyoming. I arrived early in the hotel where the really friendly woman at the reception desk gave me a room in advance. And – lucky me! – this small hotel had a swimming pool – with a Jacuzzi – where I spent the entire afternoon relaxing and resting my muscles. I ate a delicious meal in the only saloon in town and went to bed. After a good night’s sleep, I was ready to start the ‘fight.’ Three packets of my Immun’Âge®, a light breakfast and I went to the start of the marathon, 500 yards from my hotel.
As the day before, I paid – still reluctantly – the required $150 but this time – surprise, surprise! – I wasn’t getting any medal, nor a T-shirt. I was quite shocked! They were not giving a T-shirt to the runners that day because it was the same T-shirt as the day before! As for the part of the medal they were giving that day, it was to be clipped to yesterday’s medal! That was too much, I thought, and I asked for a T-shirt and a medal anyway, telling them it was for a friend. I was ready to go back to my hotel without running the marathon had they had not given me what I wanted. The sentence “walkers are always welcome” on their site suddenly made sense. And making people pay $150 for walking a rather uninteresting course, is a clever deal! You might wonder why I still run with this organization. Well, merely because of the planning I chose: otherwise, believe me, I would rather have run another marathon.
Let us get back to the subject. The temperature that morning was warmer than the day before, but a very cold breeze was blowing making things worse. A short briefing and at 6:30, the run started. Same runners as the day before for twenty loops of more than 1.24-mile on half on the pavement, half on gravel. The run with its multiple out and back was not interesting at all. However, the surrounding mountains made for magnificent scenery, really worth a look.
My legs were a bit stiff and I started with a slow pace. I ran the first five kilometers in 35 minutes and reached km 10 in 1:13. Everybody’s pace seemed slower that day. “It’s going to feel like a long morning,” Vincent said to me and he was right. The course has two long low hills that I did not really care for and had a hard time managing, particularly with the cold wind in the face. I reached km 15 in 1:52 and km 20 in 2:33min. At this point, I grabbed a cup of saffron rice with veggies to help me warm up and ate it while walking half of a loop. I went on running and finished the half marathon in 2:46. It was cold, with the sun rarely coming out, but the lights and tones on the mountains were very beautiful.
We cheered each other as there were no spectators. I reached km 25 in 3:21 min and km 30 in 4:04min. The run was not really enjoyable nor very interesting and I was eager to finish. I ran on with a slow pace and reached km 35 in 4:50 and km 40 in 5:35. I crossed the finish line in 5:54:54.
I got my precious medal, took my three packets of Immun’Âge® that let me recover faster, grabbed something to eat and shot a few pictures. After a goodbye to the people of the organization, I left. It was still very cold and did not want to get sick.
An expensive race with little interest, not measuring up to the beautiful scenery surrounding us.
Let’s meet Sunday in Morgantown, WV, where supporters will cheer me at the start and finish of the marathons. Have a nice week.
Sunday, September 17, 2016: 39th run of his 2016 Challenge for David Redor. The “26.2 Almost Heavenly Miles Marathon” in Morgantown: A roller coaster in West Virginia!
I took three flights and travelled all night long to get to Pittsburgh. Once there, I rented a car to drive to Morgantown, WV where I was running the next morning. First, I went to get my runner’s packet and bib at the Expo. Then I went to my hotel for a little nap. The night flights and the three hours of time difference had taken a toll on me.
I was going to have supporters that weekend. Indeed, my friends Elisabeth and Scott who live in West Virginia came to cheer me up and encourage me. After a good meal with them and a good night’s sleep, I was up and ready for a long day. I took only my three packets of Immun’Âge® that morning (no breakfast) as I was not hungry. The dinner the evening before had been really hearty. I was going to run on an empty stomach.
I walked 500 yards from my hotel to the start. Elisabeth and Scott were already there to see us go off. I took pictures, warmed up, and, at 7 a.m., the race started. It was hot and humid, which suited me perfectly well. The organization site had warned us: The marathon in Morgantown was a strenuous rolling course. We knew what to expect. Indeed, we ran up and down from start to finish!
We started down a long avenue, headed through several neighborhoods with very few spectators. I reached km 5 in 32 minutes. My pace was OK, I did not want to get tired as the weather was really hot and I was going to have a very busy week… When I reached km 10, I made sure to drink enough to stay well hydrated before going on. Scott and Elisabeth were there cheering me when Scott decided to run along with me for a while. It was really cool. He stopped at the beginning of a very long and arduous hill. There was going to be quite of few of those that day.
My pace slowed down and I reached km 15 in 1:45. We had left the town and were running in the suburbs alongside a beautiful, green countryside. The course was quite strenuous but still very pleasant to run. Managing the difficult parts was possible after all. I reached km 20 in 2:21. From then on, we ran on a bike trail alongside a river: very nice. Everything was quiet and peaceful. There was a short flat stretch, a very rare thing that day. My pace was relaxed. I finished the half marathon in 2:30 and passed km 25 in 3:12.
At this point, I felt like speeding up – I don’t know why- and I managed to do so easily: all ahead full! I ended up passing quite a few runners and reached km 30 in 3:47. Despite continuous rolling hills, I felt well and managed to speed up. Go figure! I went on with great pleasure which is a good thing for the spirit and I reached km 35 in 4:20. There were not many spectators but there were quite a few volunteers who were cheering and encouraging us. Police officers, military personnel and firefighters were taking care of our safety at the crossings, while cheering us, and I made sure to always thank them.
The end of the course took us on another bike trail alongside a river to km 40 that I reached in 4:55. The last two kilometers were a long uphill that was so arduous that I partly walked it! Elisabeth and Scott were waiting for me at the finish line that I crossed in 5:15:09 (full distance in 5:12:50).
Strangely enough, this marathon was a very pleasant run even though spectators were scarse and the course very difficult. However, it deserves to be known to get more participants and thus a better ambiance. I’d like to thank Elisabeth and Scott for their kind welcome and support.
Let’s meet this week between Maryland and Pennsylvania for more adventures.