Early Saturday start, connection in Chicago, landed in Burlington VT just after 2pm.  Bib pick-up, checked into the Hilton (fancy digs), then strolled pedestrian Church Street in search of lunch.  Outside dining at Rí Rá, beautiful sunshiny day.  Short walk down Battery aside scenic Lake Champlain, watched the sunset from my hotel room.  Early to bed, early to rise – marathon #30 tomorrow a.m.

Caught up with Wisconsin-marathoner Toni & husband Jeff for breakfast.  First met this twosome in Jackson after Mississippi Blues in January.  I’m not much for eating pre-race – but enjoy hanging with good people.  Upbeat attitudes, good mojo.

8:03 start time, hats off for the Anthem, queued up under sunny skies.

Went out fast.  Crossed the actual Start Line 3 times within the first 9 miles – course loops downtown, two separate out-n-backs.  Drafted behind a runner trekking off road, followed along a 3 mile stretch resembling trail (good on the feet).  We ran negative splits (miles 7, 8 & 9) & caught the 3:45 pace group.  Stopped for water at mile 11 & they were gone.

Mile 15 – Battery Park.  Drums beating, pre-warned this Hill was coming, kicked in & killed it – up & over mile 15, plus the surprise hill at mile 16.  Drums set this marathon apart, a memory I’ll take home.

Course wound thru quiet neighborhoods & city parks.  Residents turned on sprinklers & passed out popsicles as temps climbed.  AWESOME crowd support!  Toe on my right foot bled thru the shoe, slogged thru miles 21-24.

26 miles – seemingly nothing left in the tank – got into a foot race.  50 meters to go, I went full sprint against a guy fast on my left.  Finish picture, a bit inconclusive – [in my version] undoubtedly pulled ahead & won the day 🙂   Relay runner.  I go full-on sprint after 26 miles against a relay runner.  If I could muster a little competitiveness throughout an entire race, forget sub-4, I’d sub-3.  LOL >

Back in the hotel, lanced my toe to relieve pressure.  Liquid sprayed like a fountain PLUS I lost the nail (Ashton says I gloss over the less glamorous aspects of the sport).  Shower, quick turnaround – sailing on Lake Champlain at 3pm.  Life is good.

 

Vermont City Marathon and Relay

#3348 K R Haga  4:35:19

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