Sunday, January 16, 2011

Museum of Aviation Marathon - Race Report

The 15th annual 2011 Museum of Aviation Marathon takes place on Robins Air Force base in Warner Robins, Georgia on January 15th at 8:00am.  I woke up at 4:00am had some coffee, a smoothie, and a bagel.  I bundled up and headed out the door at 5:25am to pick-up my buddy Jim.  Jim registered to run the 5K and I registered for the full marathon.  It would be my first marathon.  We arrived at the Museum of Aviation parking lot at around 7:10am.

Convair F-106 "Delta Dart"
Thunderbirds General Dynamics F-16A "Fighting Falcon"
When we left home the temperature was 21-degrees.  It was a balmy 26-degrees outside the museum.  Packet pick-up was in the main museum building.  It was warm inside the building and a lot of runners were taking advantage.

We headed back to the car with our t-shirts and race bibs before lining up at the start.  As I waited for the race to start, up walks my buddy, Dave Rehm.  Dave and I ran the Peachtree City Classic in October.  He beat me!  Luck was on my side today though, Dave had just completed the Goofy Challenge last weekend and is scheduled to have knee surgery on Tuesday.  He should be tired and hurt!  Dave paced me for the first 10 miles then, in my naive exuberance, I decided to pull ahead.  I next saw Dave at the 13.1-mile turn-around in his own Matsuki Terada moment.  You may have seen earlier this month when Terada while leading the Tokyo-Hakone Relay Marathon took a wrong turn 200-meters before the finish.  Dave's moment occurred just before the turn-around when he went straight instead of turning left toward the museum.  He quickly recovered though and was back in the race.

Time for a second lap.  The marathon course is 2 laps around the base.  I settled into my run as pain from various parts of my body started to make itself known.  My back hurt, my thighs hurt, my knees hurt, my calves hurt, my feet hurt...  On Friday I bought a pair of Sugoi Compression socks and Sugoi tights at my local bike shop.  My on-line order for a pair of 2XU Compression Socks had been cancelled by the retailer.  I coated the toe box and heel area inside my new Sugoi socks with BodyGlide but I got blisters anyway.  My shoes may have been too loose.  I don't think I'll race wearing compression socks again.

My buddy Chip says that a marathon is 2 races, the first 20-miles and the last 6.  I now know what he was talking about.  I dreamt of a 3:15:00 finish, had hoped for a 3:20:00 finish, thought a 3:30:00 finish would be good enough, and ultimately finished 4th in my age-group with a 3:31:57 chip time.  Dave is in the same age group and he came in 5th.  I beat him by 1:23.  Jim was the only one of us to leave with a trophy.  He took 2nd in his age group.

(l-r) Jim, me, and Dave
Overall it's a good race.  The course is level except for 2 short hills.  There are plenty of water stations and volunteers along the course.  The venue offered easy access, plenty of parking, ample heated indoor space and post race food.  The finisher's medals are nice as are the long-sleeve cotton t-shirts. 

2011 Museum of Aviation Marathon Finishers Medal
2011 Museum of Aviation Marathon T-Shirt Artwork
The chip timing was limited to start and finish mats but it worked well.  Don't expect many spectators along the course though.  The Air Force Base is on a secure facility so the only spectators will be in the museum area.

Lockheed C-141C "Starlifter"
The weather was a beautiful 55-degrees with blue skies for the drive home.

Now, how am I supposed to get these Band-Aids off of my nipple without causing any further pain?  I think I wait a few days and maybe they'll just fall off!