Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2010 Double- Marathon... Race RUNdown (#22 & #23)

*** Reminder, I'm still looking for a team name for the Bataan Death March (marathon). I haven't had a SINGLE bloggy suggestion... so YOU could be the winner of that virtual high 5!!! Submit your suggestions in the post below***

Those 6 weeks flew by fast!!! That's the last long break I'm planning to have until I finish my 50 states. Here at Stephanie's Marathon Challenge, we're* gearing up for the start of the 2010 marathon year... kicking it off with a bang by doing a DOUBLE this weekend in Mississippi and Alabama.
*By "we" I pretty much mean myself... oh and my mom. So lame, aren't I??

Inspiration Points...
1. The Cincinnati Galloway group will be sending a small contingency to run the race... ROAD TRIP! I'll be traveling with Pete (a 50-stater in process), Wild Willie (ALMOST done with his 50), and Mrs. Wild Willie. MB is meeting me in MS and we're going down to AL.
2. First race in 6 weeks... and with 6 weeks off im VERY nervous to run a marathon again. After about 2 weeks of no racing I thought I had lost all of my fitness level... seriously its like a nervosa for marathons!
3. This is my second double... if this one goes as well as the last one, I'm going to do at least 2 more!

MS Race RUNdown...
Mississippi Blues Marathon ~ Saturday Jan 9, 2010 (#22)
Jackson, MS
Registration Fees: $70 to $80 early ($90 late, $110 at expo). Discount for 50-staters of $10!
Year Running: 3
2010 Expected Field: ???
2009 Field: 454 Finishers
... Females: 157 ... Age Group: 13
2008 Avg. Finish Time: 4:42:56
HOPEFULLY warmer than Cincinnati! It looks like it should be sunny, but a high of only 30 degrees. EEK... so sick of the cold already! Although, I think the "30" may be deceiving-- 30 has been the "high" for th race and some indicate it was "hot and humid" last year. Hmmm a hot and humid 30-degrees??? We will see...

"The course is challenging! It includes hilly areas and straight flat sections, so be ready!" - MBM website. Some say the course has "HILLS" and some say it has "rolling hills"... I guess that depends on where you're travling from. I'm fairly used to hills in Cincinnati, so hopefully it won't be overwhelming for my first race of the weekend. This course, like a few others, ends on a 1/2 mile UPhill... UGH. Hopefully it won't matter because I'll be taking this race "easy."

Race 411: This is only the 3rd running of this race and it's getting bigger every year. There have been some cosmetic rough points in the race last year, lets see how they do to clean them up...
~ In the past there have been no CLOCKS!
~ Post-race food looks good! Pizza was on the menu last year! YUmmmm
~ Last years "T-shirt" (day glow vests) were not warmly welcomed... I've seen a few notes indicating that the volunteers T's were better than what they had offered to the runners at the expo.
~ Music should be a pretty big part of the race, but I guess this race doesn't meet up to Nashville or other "Rock n Roll Races."

AL Race RUNdown...
First Light Marathon ~ Sunday Jan 10, 2010 (#23)
Mobile, AL
Registration Fees: $45 to $60 early ($75 late). Discount for 50-staters of 20% mail-in only
Year Running: 9th?
2010 Expected Field: 1250 for the marathon, half, and relay
2009 Field: 371 Finishers
... Females: 109!!! ... Age Group:  (wonder why only a third were women???)
2008 Avg. Finish Time: 4:25:50
The weather looks to be sunny with a high of 40. That sounds PERFECT. If a southern 30 degrees feels warm, I'm sure a sunny 40 degrees is going to be great! Lets hope it stays that way.
Sounds like this is a pretty scenic (historic towns, college campuses & big oak trees), looped course with a couple of hills, but mostly flat-- one expecially bad hill at mile 17. Following mile 20 there is one last hill, then a downhill cruise to the finish. Marathonguide as 4.5 stars out of 5, so it sounds like a winner!

Race 411:
~ What is UP with the lack of women in this race? Less than a 3rd were women last year! Quite unusual, considering I saw a couple of marathons with more women than men in 2009.
~Long sleeve Tech Tees!!! I LOVE them
~"Unique" wooden medals- hand decorated by special needs children, I'm not sure yet if this is a pro or a con...
~Money goes to charity!!!
~Fluids stations ad something "different'-- acc to a runner. This just may be the opinion of a newer runner who isn't used to things like "Head".

Race Plan:
Just coming back from a long break and I haven't been doing as much running as I would like. The cold has forced me inside to "Eliptisize" my life away... so we'll close our eyes, hope, and jump into these 2 races. I'm going to try for the same plan as my last double. Although I'm running with a little less practice, I'm a lot more fresh after the break, so I should be ok. The last double I did I ran about a 4:25 and a 4:20... and felt like I could push myself more if I had more food!!! Big lesson learned there. If I'm feeling good I'll try to run my second a little faster. Most importantly... the goal is to finish both races :)


  1. You continue to AMAZE me with your Doubles!! The races sound great.. That is weird about the lack of women..

    OK off to think up a good NAME!

  2. Steph, how about "Follow that Girl!" for a team name?

    Also, don't underestimate Bataan - it's a very tough marathon (like the uphill mile at mile 21 in ankle deep sand) and VERY emotional (watching those athletes in the combat wounded category in particular is gut wrenching). But it's also one not to be missed. Gaiters are a good idea for this one.

    Good luck in your double. The wooden First Light Marathon medal is one of my more treasured ones. Some of those who made them are the ones who put them around your neck at the finish line - - from their wheelchairs! Very cool.

    Parts of Mississippi Blues get boring, but when I did it in 2008 the Cheer Squads were outstanding, especially if you egg them on by encouraging them to be louder (think: "I can'tttt heeeaaarrr yoooouuuu!"). One Cheer Squad/water stop was all nuns from a school that you pass by - they were great too.

    Have fun!

  3. Regarding your comment, I find the podcasts on itunes and They are all free. If you need help finding them let me know. Keep up the good work on your blog, enjoy hearing about all the diferent marathons.

  4. Thanks for following me and dropping a comment on my blog!

    I only did the 1/2 in Maui (my race report is here:

    The medal itself was cool but they hung a teal plastic dollar store lei around my neck at the end and I thought that was pretty cheap (even the winner of the full got the same thing).

    Post race I met with some of the full marathoners who were not impressed with the race either. The aid stations had run out of electrolytes and only had warm water and vaseline. That said, I'm a firm believer in carrying everything you need and these guys didn't and were on pace for a 4H finish. One of the drawbacks of Maui is that it is in September, the hottest month of the year with morning temps starting at 30C!

    Check out who lives in Honolulu -- she's done that one several times and might have some HI suggestions for you.

  5. I am amazed at your doubles! I call it a double when I run twice a day! You run back-to-back marathons in a weekend and call it a double. You are awesome!

    Go Steph!!! #22 & #23 You are going to rock them both!