This morning, I attempted to run the Darkside Running Clubs 3M marathon. This is a small (~15 people) race in Peachtree city. The 3M stands for Monday Morning Marathon, and they have one on Memorial day and another on Labor Day. It’s billed as race where you show up, they give you a course.
I’ve been looking forward to this for a couple months, since it just sounded exciting and the Darkside members sound like interesting folks. This proved to be true, as we pulled up and noticed on Scott’s truck there was “134.4” sticker. Roman asked, and he responded with “I got tired of seeing all the 26.2 stickers, so I had my own made.” Hilarious!
We hung out for a few minutes, the course was described and we walked to the starting line. It was low key, where everyone looked at their watch and someone said “lets go”. So, off we went.
I hung with the lead group for the first couple miles, not so much because I wanted to go fast, but I was afraid of getting lost and I wanted to try to make one lap with someone in site. Eventually I decided they were going too fast, and I dropped down to my speed.
The course was very comfortable…it was all flat, something I didn’t know was possible in this state. It was along a multi-use path that would throughout the community. Peachtree City is a golf cart community, and there were plenty of golf carts cruising around. At one point, I saw a caravan of about 30 of them heading towards the city center for the Memorial Day parade. The course was marked with chalk, and I managed to not get lost.
One neat thing was little tunnels going under the roads. I couldn’t help myself for a while, and felt the need to talk in them just to hear the echo.
There was plenty of little lakes we went around, and lots of people fishing. In the morning, it looked nice with steam coming off the water.
Okay, enough of the site seeing and back to the race. The course was 5 laps. The first one we all went the same direction, and the others everyone could go either way. This provided us a chance to have a change of scenery, and high-five each other as we saw each other. Everything was on the honor system. (Number of laps completed and time. Grab a finishers medal if you complete them all, and leave your name.)
Now, as I mentioned in the title, I didn’t finish this race. That’s okay, I didn’t think I would. Due to the knee problems I’ve been dealing with, I haven’t been training much. (I think for this month until today, I only had 48 miles logged. That’s definitely not the type of miles to complete a marathon.) My plan was to do as much as I could, and finish about the same time as Roman (whom I carpooled with). I was hoping he wouldn’t lap me too many times, and was successful there, since he only passed once. I managed to finish lap 3 about 5 minutes before he finished his last one.
My first lap, after running the first couple miles (at about 9 minute miles), I slowed and started mixing in walking. I finished in 1:07, which isn’t bad for just over 5.2 miles. Overall, I felt pretty good during this one.
The second lap, I mainly race walked, and mixed some running in as I needed to stretch my legs. It took me just a little longer, at 1:15. Toward the end of this, my knee started hurting, but not too bad of a slow down.
My third lap was race walking the entire way. (Until I had to slow down for moments because my knee was hurting.) About half way around, my knee felt pretty bad and I definitely slowed down. Amazingly to me, I did this lap in 1:15 also, only 8 seconds difference from the second lap. (But to be fair, some time was wasted in lap 2 looking for an appropriate bush to borrow.)
I was real happy with these times. If I come back for the next one, I may consider race walking the whole course. Because it’s so flat, it’s a perfect course for it.
One thing I tried new this time was using a “Buff” to keep the sun off my head. I thought it worked good, and I got the cool pirates look, which is almost like having a costume. Even through they are known from Survivor, at no time during this race did I have to win immunity or eat bugs.