Sorry, Sorry, Sorry not only did I NOT do a race Run-Down, but it's been like 4 days and I haven't posted anything about last weekends race.
Northern Central Trail Marathon ~ November 28, 2009
450 runners and another 36 teams of 2, participated in the 20th annual Northern Central Trail Marathon. Sparks, it just outside of Baltimore and the course is (mostly) on an out-and-back rail-trail aka bike path. This was my 18th marathon of the year (21st state) and final race for 2009!!! Woohoo Happy to have completed every marathon I participated in and had some great times as well.
Expo & Area
The expo is run the day/night before at Charm City Run-- a running store in the area. If you need any last minute clothes/GU/sports beans, etc you're set... MB got a pair of gloves when we felt just how chilly MD was! At the expo you receive your 20th running commemorative jacket that you paid a little extra for this year... the jacket is very heavy (good for the cold) but left a little to be desired in styling.
The expo & hotels are not too far from Baltimore if you would like to explore the city. There are also a few large malls in the area to do a little shopping. We went to a Carrabas close to the hotel/packet pick-up, but there is a pretty good selection of dining options.
They suggest that you park at a nearby business park and take the shuttle a few miles to the race. If possible, I suggest trying to park at the school. When I finished I hurried to get my stuff and get on the first shuttle to take me to our rental car... made a quick dash back with the car to get MB-- we didn't want to miss our plane and didn't know how bad traffic would be getting out. Best to park on the Rd in front of the school if possible.
The course is mostly an out and back, with 14 miles out and cutting off a mile on the way back. Obviously, since I didn't do my Race RUN-down I knew very little about the actual course and worked out as normal through the week... including a very serious hamstring/Glute workout-- bad idea!! The first 14 miles are on a slight incline straight up. The incline was just steep enough to start annoying your hammies by mile 8/9, but not steep enough to feel like you were actually going downhill on the way back. :( All the work with no benefit. Ah well. The one issue I really had with the race was the number of bikes allowed on the trail while the race was in progress. I had a few cut me off trying to get through the path entrances. The end of the race is about a 1.2M uphill climb... ouch.
As I said, I was in a bit of a rush to get the shuttle to the car and bring the car back to catch MB. The shuttle was actually quite quick getting out and the traffic wasn't too bad getting back... much better than Boulder Backroads! The post-race food is in the school's large gym where everybody congregated. All I kept hearing about was "THE soup" that I was supposed to get... but every time I went up they had "just" run out and were heating up more :( ... if anybody is reading this and ran the race and got soup, let me know how it was! MB finished the race in great time and off to the airport we went!!
This was far from one of my favorite races and I felt like I could have done a LOT better than I did... by mile 12 I was just plain annoyed by the course and started slacking majorly. On top of that I started feeling a little sniffly, which of course turned into a full cold over the next day and a half... Still have the cold and I've now decided I NEVER want to run in the north again until summer!!! Well... except for my race in Albany coming up in February. Hmmm...