Big Elk Marathon: It's A Mud Slide, Slide With It #bigelk #xtterabigelk



Finish Time: 7:16:12.8

Age Group 30-34: 3rd Place

62nd Finisher out of 68 Runners

If at all possible I try to run races that have same day registrations. Doing this makes it easy for me, because there is no guarantee with my busy lifestyle that I will make a run till the day of the race. It did not bother me that the race did not start on time (7am). I worked the night before and felt lucky my boss let me go home at midnight, but I still had to wake up at 3am to drive about two hours to Elkton Maryland for the race on a couple of hours of sleep.

There was a chance I might not have woken up, but the great running spirit came and woke me for the race and as I arrived in Elkton MD I enjoyed a beautiful sunrise.

During registration someone wished me good luck for the race and later I found out it was George Banker's wife Bernadette Banker. The line was cake, because I got there early (5:30 am) like they suggested on Facebook.

George is an avid runner, journalist, historian, author and veteran of 83 marathons, 26 of which are Marine Corps Marathons. His book, “The Marine Corps Marathon: A Running Tradition” showcases the history of “The People’s Marathon.” Banker has devoted countless hours organizing road races throughout the National Capital Region, amassing a collection of archives, race results and published articles that has established him as the area’s preeminent running historian.


The First Loop 13.1 3hrs

The first loop I felt strong. I thought I would be able to keep a 11 min mile pace, but that all changed somehow. I could blame the rain making the path muddy and slippery, I could blame the hills and difficulty of the course, I could blame the fact that my legs are not strong enough, I could blame the fact that I did not get enough sleep the night before, I could blame that I had distractions along the way and put safety first, but when it's all said and done I blame only myself. I did the best I could while still maintaining a fun experience for myself.

This was a small race only close to 400 runners for the half and the full total.[/caption]

There was so much beautiful scenery. I am thankful for all the volunteers that came out while we ran through the woods for fun. Some of the volunteers did not look happy, but I had so much fun talking to the friendly ones.

2nd Loop

I did not like seeing 3 hrs on the clock as I passed it to run one more loop and finish the marathon, but the peace inside my soul overrode the discouragement and I embraced one more loop to reach my goal and bring home the state of Maryland in my quest to run a marathon in the 50 states of America. And thankfully after entertaining myself in the woods singing out loud, because there was no one around anyways I was a finisher.  My time very slow , but a finisher.  I'm not sure if that counts for much in the running world of trail runners.





Comments

  1. Love your story! Great run!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Way to go, Caroline! I think in trail running, people tend to be more supportive at races. Did you find that to be true?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great job on your finish! A finish is a finish and look at you now 8 in the books:)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Caroline, congrats on finishing that Big Elk marathon! I was there as well and wish I got to meet you. I am in the group pic (the one all way to the right with the maniac singlet). I have already finished the 50 states and working on round 2 and since I needed Md again I decided on this one. It was my first ever trail marathon and what an experience!! I only had my regular road running shoes and after the rain came it was almost hilarious trying to stay up but I loved the scenery and the change of pace. Will certainly do another trail marathon again but will make sure I have better shoes.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sometimes it's not about the time, sometimes it's about the experience, and other times it's about the ultimate goal.

    You did it and that's what matters. Great work Caroline.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi sweetie,
    as said on your FB page GOOD JOB!!! Being not quite the leading edge sucks sometimes (I finished a marathon last place in Finland just a few weeks ago) but considering the circumstances (work schedule!!) you still did an outstanding job and I am so so happy for you!
    Our (faster) times will come!! Keep up the good work!
    Natascha

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great job! I am the runner in yellow in your photo of the packet pickup table! I finished DEAD LAST in 8:49:13...added an extra 1.4 miles because I missed a turn because I was concentrating so hard on not tripping on rocks and roots and not slipping in the mud...tough course. Congratulations on finishing such a hard course...especially because there were only 17 females that completed the marathon!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have never met an nonsupporting runner in either race types trail or road, runners in general seem friendly to other running strangers, but I have found when I am honest with who I am, I have lost runner friends in my area, but that does not stop me from loving running. I stopped trying to make other running friends and started loving and focusing on myself, because at the end of the day, I know why I am the way I am and I love myself unconditionally. I have to be that person the strong one that is there for me no matter what.

    ReplyDelete
  9. i had trail running shoes on and I kept trying to run on the side of the trail going back and forth on the slippery muddy parts because keeping my balance was an issue, but in general this race did wonders for my legs...so worth it you are a stronger runner now!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think that I learned something from this, it was a test of endurance, it showed me where I want to go from were I am right now with my endurance level.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you so much, I try to look at it as a stepping stone, I was thinking I am 32 years old, not as much time as I would like to try and Improve, but I can learn to be happy where I am at and at least get myself to a better place through hard work. My first marathon was at 31 so its crazy, it took me this long, maybe your desire and goals change as you age.

    ReplyDelete
  12. wow are you kidding me! I had no idea, I bet you loved the course just as much as me, but the mud and slipping was interesting and it seemed that some of the runners pulled out of the race, it was hard being alone, but it was fun enjoying the course, my Garmin clocked an extra mile too, but I don't understand that lol

    ReplyDelete
  13. An XTerra trail marathon! Very cool. I didn't realize it was xterra. Trail marathons are very different, usually about 2 minutes per mile slower is what I find. It can be frustrating, but with the right mindset can be so much more fun. I love trail races. Great job! i'm going to try knocking down MD next year.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great job, I can't believe you ran on a couple hours of sleep. I like your goal of running a marathon in every state. You are awesome keep up the great work.

    ReplyDelete
  15. yea I agree, when you just let go and just enjoy, time flys

    ReplyDelete
  16. that was crazy right lol Yea I am catching up on sleep now lol

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love your photos! I take pictures on runs too but I haven't done anything over a 5K in a while now. I keep saying that I'll get myself in shape and run my first half sometime soon. Hopefully, I will. I'm so glad that I found your blog to give me inspiration. Keep it up!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. XTerra Trail Marathons are beasts! Girl you should be so proud. It's such a different type of race and I don't think people realize how hard it is. I NEVER do XTerra (even though I would like too) because I fall on pavement, mud would do me in for sure, LOL! Have you chosen a full for Florida yet? We have a full in Clearwater in January which is awesome. I was going to do it but instead I'm doing the 50K but if you haven't picked a race for Florida, you should consider it...

    ReplyDelete
  19. I ran the half last year and I think I finished in 3:02 I couldn't even imagine going out for a 2nd loop! Good job!!!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Breaking The Habit Of Loving Through Rejection