This past weekend was the Mesa Falls Marathon in Ashton, ID. For me this is state number 39 and marathon/ultra number 42!
What I found that stuck out more than anything is that this race is truly all about the runners. What the runners want/need... the runners get. We had to be to the school early to be picked up for the ride to the start... so what do they do? They provide us with a full breakfast with all sorts of options. EVERY aid station (and they were at least every 2 miles) were fully stocked with multiple type of gatorade and powerade as well as food, GU (variety), and each had a port-a-john. We had the open road to ourselves. I don't think it was closed off, but we were free to run back and forth, going with the tangents as we came off the mountain.
The course was a point to point, mostly running down a mountain with a mix of trail, road, and gravel road. The views from this course and all the mountains around it, are amazing. There is a pretty significant elevation (at least to me) starting around a dizzying 6K+ ft.
The first few miles were definitely difficult in the high elevation, but mercifully around mile 11 we started a good sized decline. Gearing toward mile 13 we had a really good sized downhill and the half-marathoners (starting at our mile 13.1) hadn't started by the time we got there so we had a huge crowd to cheer us through.
This is the first time in a long time I tried to keep my pace above 8 min/mile and I've never felt so good at the end of the race. Granted we had a pretty good sized uphill from 18-20 that tired me out and helped finish off trashing my quads, but I still felt really good in the last 6 miles.
They haven't posted the results, but I was around a mid 3:40'ish time. So another state I won't have to repeat and I managed to get 5th overall and 2nd in my Age Group!
The next (non-repeat) state is Omaha (#40!) in a MONTH! Wow, wrapping up a triple marathon month with a long break. I MAY pick up an additional marathon over the next 2 weeks, because there is something seriously wrong with me. In the mean time... speedwork, hillwork, and hitting the weights!
"Run to Win" - Meb