[29] 29th marathon of the year for David Redor – The Mad Marathon in Waitsfield, VT lives up to its name !

Par Autre 12 Juil 2016 11:03

[29] 29th marathon of the year for David Redor – The Mad Marathon in Waitsfield, VT lives up to its name !

I had a hard time getting from New Mexico to Vermont where I was to run my 29th marathon of 2016, the Mad Marathon of Waitsfield. Indeed I got stuck on Friday night at Cincinnati airport, all flights being cancelled due to inclement weather on the East coast. And when my flight was also cancelled the next morning, I had to stand by until I was fortunately rebooked on the last two flights I needed to take to get to Burlington, VT.

Once there, I picked up my rental car, drove to my hotel where I slept for fifteen straight hours. I woke up at 3:30 a.m., one hour before the alarm clock, and had time for a good breakfast. A few minutes earlier, I had taken three small packets of Immun’Âge®, as always before a race.

It was cold and raining that morning but wearing something light seemed appropriate as the weather was supposed to be mild. I took a windbreaker hoping for the rain to stop. It took me 45 minutes to get to the marathon start located some sixty miles away from my hotel. On the way the rain stopped for a while but started again and it was pouring cats and dogs by the time I reached Waitsfield, a beautiful small town where time seems to have stopped.

I waited some fifteen minutes in the car for the rain to become softer before I got my runner’s bag and bib. I then returned to my car to get ready. The rain had stopped and the running conditions became ideal. As the sky did not seem too threatening, I did not take my windbreaker.

I went to the starting line, heard the national anthem, and the run started at 7 a.m. sharp. There were not many runners but we all started together: marathon, relay and half-marathon runners alike. We started on the main road, turned right to cross a beautiful wooden bridge to reach the gorgeous Mad River Valley. At km 2, we reached a very long and steep incline that I decided to jog up. Quite a tough start! After running a descent and a flat stretch, we ran up again a very steep hill for a mile. It was too much, in my opinion, for a marathon course. I reached km 5 in 31 minutes. We then had to run down another steep hill and the pace got faster. We reached the valley where the scenery was breathtaking. Everything was green; farms and farmlands were huge and perfectly maintained. The clouds were low, but it did not rain. It was drizzling sometimes but it was not disturbing. I reached km 10 in one hour sharp.

We continued in the valley and then turned around, which meant that we were going to run up the steep hill that we had just run down. I walked up the steeper stretches, a strategy I followed throughout the run. That hill had slowed my pace down a bit, but nothing drastic so far, and I reached km 15 in 1:35. I got encouraged and was cheered quite often. Several runners talked with me which was quite nice.  Between km 16 and km 20 we ran challenging rolling farmlands with tough climbs and descents: I call those “walls”. All the runners walked most of those “walls” because running them would serve no other purpose than exhausting the body. I reached km 20 in 2:13 and the half marathon in 2:20.

We started running on a flat stretch. I was hoping for the second part of the run to be easier so I could speed up and make up for the time that I lost on those steep hills. Unfortunately, we had to deal with non-stop climbing including two huge “walls” from km 21 to km 28, walls but nobody ran up! It started drizzling but not too bad. I braced myself, went on, and reached km 25 in 2:51. The rain became heavier and heavier. At km 28 we were running through pouring rain.

 I reached km 33 in 3:33. From km 32 on, we turned around and everything should get better, I thought. We were running back the same route as we came and logically we should run down all the hills that we ran up. The rain stopped but I did not see any descent. I reached km 35 in 4:16. It was pouring fiercely and the course remained tough. At km 38, a hydration station offered me a beer that I enjoyed tremendously under the pouring rain.

The rain became softer after km 39 and I finally got to run downhill but these descents really hurt as they were very steep, and at the end of a run, such descents stiffen the legs. I reached km 40 in 4:56 and arrived on the main road that led to the finish line. A last incline up, a straight stretch and I passed the finish line through a light rain in 5:15:57.

I picked up my medal, ate some food, and drank good local beer. I went back to my hotel to rest as I was leaving the next day for Alaska. The trip there was to be long: 14 hours with four hours of time difference.

This “mad marathon” is appropriately named. The inclines were too numerous, too steep and too long for a marathon. But it was a wonderful hike in green scenery and superb country side. With a beautiful sun, this must be absolutely gorgeous.

Let’s meet next Sunday at the end of the world with the salmons of Alaska! Have a good week.


Par Autre 12 Juil 2016 11:03
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