Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Harrisburg marathon review

A quick race review of Harrisburg. The race itself was excellent and has enormous PB potential. The volunteers were the best I have encountered anywhere, such that depending on plans for 2012 I would seriously consider volunteering at this race if I am not racing it myself. The course is relatively scenic, especially along the river's edge and the two portions on trail were a welcome change from hard surfaces, but with plenty of traction. The event being less than 1,000 marathon runners is logistically uncomplicated - comparatively, and I love being able to show up twenty minutes before a race to pick up a race number and walk the 200 metres to the start without any fuss or shoving or general air of panic that envelops many race starts. The number pick up is in a heated pavilion adjacent the start and allows you to stay warm minutes before the start. Free coffee was also available for runners and only 25 cents for others. 
The post race bounty is phenomenal; fruit, yogurt, bagels, coffee, and other foodstuffs; only Cologne has come close to this. The medal and tech t-shirt this year were an improvement on what I had seen on the web in previous years and I have already worn the shirt on a slightly chilly day when doing a max HR test this morning. All the above for $60 is excellent value, especially so when you look at the $95 that some half-marathons in Maryland think they can charge. Being unemployed I simply cannot afford that and even were I in employment it would take something really special to get me to shell out that kind of coin, and by special I don't mean the gimmicks that come with 'Rock n' Roll' events; thank goodness for races like Harrisburg. I hope to race this again and significantly improve on my time and do the race and course justice this time.


Grellan said...

Sounds like a great race Westley. Can't understand how you suffered as you did given that you had prepared the body with 10 miles @ 6:42 pace. Maybe it was just an off day for whatever reason.

Westley said...

Something similar happened at Belfast. In training I was blasting out ten miles every week at marathon pace which indicated 02:54ish was possible. On the day my legs died at 18 miles and I limped home in 03:11:xx. I think my aerobic engine is just not developed enough. I am hoping a fulll blown adoption of Hadd training will make 2012 better than 2011.

Brian said...

Thanks for reviewing. I'm not certain yet about doing a fall marathon next year, but this is one of two (the NCR Trail marathon is the other) I'm considering as a more local alternative to Philly, which turns into an expensive long weekend. Sounds like a good time and a good bargain.