Saturday, October 31, 2015

2015 New Hampshire Marathon Race Report and Video

Here is Holly's 2015 New Hampshire Marathon Report:

I was very excited to head to New Hampshire for the NH marathon for two reasons. First it was my first new state in 8 months and second I was going to see a bunch of my friends! We got in to NH on Friday afternoon and met up with everyone in Concord. It was great seeing everyone. We headed out to get a pre-dinner beverage and then went to dinner. I am very superstitious when it comes to my pre-race meal and I like to have spaghetti and meatballs. This restaurant had it and many of us ordered it. The waitress came out after a bit and said they had run out of meatballs?!?!?! How can that be possible at 6:30 on a Friday night at an Italian restaurant? We made do with meat sauce and it all worked out in the end.
Race day didn’t have to start too early because the full marathon didn’t start until 9am. That’s a late start for me, I would prefer an earlier start, but we did have a 45 minute drive to the start. The half marathoners had to get there earlier to catch a bus to their start line. Dave, Stan Michael and I headed to the race start where we did packet pickup and then waited in the middle school for the race to start. It was a nice set up with real bathrooms and a craft fair to browse while we waited.
We went out to the start area and there was no start banner or anything. It was not a chip timed race at the start but they did have a timing mat at the end of the race. This was a small race with only a couple hundred doing the marathon. Soon enough we were off and running. The course was billed as very hilly in the first half but the second half was supposed to be downhill. The first half was extremely hilly but we were all doing great and having fun catching up with each other. The scenery was amazing. Dave was doing a great job of chasing us since it was an open course and he could just go up ahead and pull over. We were looking forward to getting to the second half and getting to the down hill portion.
We got to the second half and it did not flatten out. It was still super hilly. Stan may or may not have said "This is Bull…." We got into a good rhythm though and decided to walk the uphills and run the downhills. It worked well and I was feeling great. It did finally level out for the last 10k and I was still feeling great. I also got to see a dear friend who has a house on Newfound Lake, the lake we were running around. Dan came out with a bunch of his friends at Mile 21 and it was so great to see him. It was a nice pick me up and propelled me to the end. I was so excited to finish and that I felt so great on a really tough course. We came in around 5:28 and I was very happy with that time. Lots of great post race treats: chocolate milk, cheese sticks, and delicious hot pizza! I would highly recommend the NH marathon to anyone looking for a great small town race with excellent support and beautiful scenery. Just make sure you do your hill work!

Dave's Comments
One of the best parts of the weekend was not being in charge of dinner/activities. Charlie did an excellent job coordinating meals and fun places to visit during our stay in Concord. Our first stop was a fun local bar in a downtown basement. I enjoyed the place - the bartender was friendly, they had good beer on tap, and 5 beers plus a soda was only $12! I had to grab the photo real quick because some of the regulars were not thrilled to see a horde of strangers in Skittle-colored running shoes infiltrating their space.

The race course was very pretty and had a few great photo spots, but this was a boring course to spectate. With so few runners people didn't pass too often. There weren't too many places to stop for coffee or other snacks passed mile 4. Good thing I was provisioned with a Kind Bar, apple, Coke, chips, and Cracker Jacks leftover from the last marathon. I packed beer and had one at Mile 21 while hanging out with my friend Dan. Holly's slice of pizza at the finish made for a perfect lunch.

Charlie's choice of The Barley House for dinner was a great one. Excellent food and nice selection of beers on tap including some really good dark New England beers. After dinner we ventured across the street from our hotel to Lucky Chen's (not the real name but our nickname for it). Elegant Chinese theme upstairs, dive bar downstairs. We saturated the jukebox with 80's music and lounged on the couches until the youngsters outnumbered us 2:1.

Here's the race video:

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