I ran the Clarence DeMar Marathon in Keene, New Hampshire in September, and I am just now writing about it in January. It’s a very nice small- town race, but I was disappointed in my performance, so I’ve procrastinated on having to recap it….
Everything about this marathon should have set it up to be an outstanding experience: Jim and I flew into Boston and then took a picturesque, two- hour drive up to New Hampshire. We had a pre- race dinner with a group of 50sub4 club members and ran into a bunch of folks from the club– and from the Marathon Maniacs– the following morning. It was a bit warmer than I would have liked on race day, but the weather was pretty cooperative for a September race. Plus, the course is absolutely beautiful. It’s everything that one would imagine a picturesque New England run would include: quant bridges running over bubbling rivers, some nice woodsy areas, lakes, and even an old cemetery. The race had a pretty rapid decent for the first seven miles, and then the course rolled along gently for the duration. Again, nothing that would suggest a difficult day.
Unfortunately for me, this just didn’t pan out to be the race that I wanted it to be. I wasn’t really worried about getting a Boston Qualifying time on the course, and I was pretty confidant that I could also come in under 3:30. The race started out great: The initial downhill meant that I ran my first leg at a 7:30- 7:40 pace. There was also a group of ladies from the 50sub4 club that started out together and chatted for the first few miles. The scenery was lovely, and the sun hadn’t fully risen yet. In retrospect, this faster-than-average start may have been what killed the end of my race.
Once the course leveled out and the hills began, I began to feel more fatigued and slowed down to an 8:00 pace by the half. I was still on pace to finish under 3:30, but I wasn’t feeling good at all. I had to stop to use the porta- potty twice during the last ten miles, and this is what did me in. I didn’t have it in me to make up those lost minutes, and I ended up finishing two minutes slower than I would have liked.
The weekend wasn’t a complete bust, however. I can still cross New Hampshire off of my BQ list, and we got to see Gwen, a member of our running group, get a PR in her 49th state. This is also such a nice course that I have no regrets in having to come back to re-run it for a faster time. Hopefully, I’ll defeat it on my second attempt!
Sub 4 State #44, BQ State #44
Finish Time: 3:31:50
Overall Place Within My Gender: 17/ 190
Total Training Miles: 9,137.1
Shoe Total: 2