Saturday, September 20, 2008

Equinox Marathon

Well, today I completed the 2008 Equinox Marathon and it took me a long time. Not quite "red lantern" but close. The first third was not much different from my normal weekend walks except that much of the run is on trails so there were wet leaves covering slippery tree roots and mud on the trail. It is really amazing that folks can run over this terrain. In fact I lost my footing on one muddy, steep uphill section and went down very fast and hard on my right side. At 8 1/2 miles, the route starts to head up Ester Dome and continues 1800 ft up in the next four miles. I think the most challenging part came after that with a section called "out and back" which meanders up and down after reaching the summit for about four miles. This is also the half way point. You dread the downhills since they turn into uphills on the way back. This section was really cold, rainy and windy and I ended up wearing everything I brought to stay warm. After getting back to the summit, there is about a 1000 foot drop along a power line. Very steep with treacherous footing. This is followed by a wonderful walk through the woods towards Henderson Road. I remember skiing this part some 25 years ago and except for the initial steep drop, it was pretty nice. All in all, it was a good experience and I still had energy after getting to the end so I probably could have pushed myself. I really wanted to make sure I finished so no jogging at all. I probably could have jogged on the gradual downhill sections and could have cut down my time, but my goal was to finish and get the patch. I averaged 3 mph which is slower than I normally walk (3.5 mph) and my Nike+ indicated over 28 miles instead of 26.3 miles. I think that is because the shorter steps in the uphill and muddy sections. I'm glad I took some snacks as the food provided was pretty minimal. Right now, I am lying down with a heating pad due to a very sore back and leg muscles. The "training walk" I did 3 weeks ago didn't include the steep trails on Ester Dome since I just stayed on the road. I've always wanted to do the Equinox ever since I moved up here in 1982. I think it may have been easier for me back then when I was in my 20's. At least I wasn't the last person to come in. I think I should have tried a marathon without all the hills for my first one. I'm told that the Equinox is one of the toughest marathons in the country due to all the hills. The volunteers and other participants were very encouraging and to them, I say a very sincere "Thank you!".

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on completing your marathon! It does sound like quite a challenging one...lots of hills. Good job!