Tuesday, June 11, 2013

2013 Hatfield & McCoy Marathon

June 8, 2013 7:00 AM
South Williamson, Kentucky

Time Pace Division Division
Bib #
Owen 3:44:32 8:34 M35-39 5/28 26/230 30/440 254

Written by Owen:

Oh, what a fun trip/race this was.  There is so much history in this area.  If you haven't watched "Hatfields & McCoys" on the History Channel, I highly recommend it. It's on Netflix, so you have no excuse!

Our trip started on Friday, which was the kids' last day of school.  We gave the kids the option of staying home so we could leave early.  Michael and Kyle took us up on it, but Alicia couldn't miss her last day.  Her award ceremony was at noon, so we left immediately after that.

It's a five hour drive, but the last 120 miles or so are all on highway 52, which is a small windy road through West Virginia towards Kentucky.  We didn't like that part of the trip at all, the kids get car sick pretty easily, but luckily no one did on this trip.

I always look forward to my marathons, counting down the days, but I was especially looking forward to this one because my mom and Torre were meeting us there.  We always have so much fun spending time together.

When we arrived Friday at about 6pm, we went to packet pickup to get that out of the way.  We hadn't really planned where we'd meet my mom, we just assumed we'd call and arrange that.  I had forgotten how horrible AT&T is in West Virginia from our last trip.  I had absolutely no cell coverage the entire weekend.  My phone was a paperweight, except for in the hotel that did have Wi-Fi. So it was a little frustrating not being able to contact her, but she found us at our hotel and all was well.

We had a nice dinner at Pizza Hut (not a lot of restaurant choices).  Then we hung out at the hotel until bedtime.

Saturday morning, Torre drove me to the starting line in South Williamson, Kentucky.  The finish line was a block from our hotel in Williamson, West Virginia.

Marathon Maniacs group picture before the race, I'm on the left in white with red shorts.

The race started with perfect weather.  All week long I had been following the weather predictions, and was expected near 80° temps with sun beating on me.  Luckily that was wrong.  It was in the upper 60's with total cloud cover and a nice breeze for most of the race.

Elevation Profile
Because of the elevation profile, and knowing that I still wasn't in peak shape, I knew this was not going to be anywhere near a PR, so I decided too take it easy.  Here was my plan, the red miles indicated where port-o-potties were, the black lines indicated where they were handing out the Gu.

I was actually looking forward to the hill at mile 7.  It was a pretty brutal hill, my quads were on fire by the time I reached the top.

This truck was blaring it's air horn, letting us know how much we had left until the top. 
At the top of the hill it immediately turned straight down and it was all I could do to not get out of control.  Definitely the steepest downhill I've ever run.  

From there it was lots of green, lots of historical sites, and even the worlds smallest horses:

I couldn't wait to get to mile 13, where we go into Matewan for a small loop. That's where my family was waiting for me.  It's such a terrific boost to see them cheering for me.  I got to see them twice within a half-mile because of the loop we made.

Standing in both West Virginia and Kentucky at the same time.
After the halfway point, the course moved to a smaller road that was only wide enough for one car, as it winded next to the river that separates West Virginia and Kentucky.  Because of the hill at mile 7, I assumed the second half would be much easier than the first.  I was wrong.  There weren't many hills, but the terrain was brutal in parts.  It was a dirt road for a few miles, and it had rained the night before.  My feet were heavy with mud.

Then there was this bridge:  It actually swayed and bounced with every footstep.  The boards had gaps between them and were very old.  It was a little scary.

At about mile 22 or so, the sun made its appearance, and it got HOT.  I had enough gas left in the tank to stick to my pace, and finished 28 seconds ahead of my goal.

The Hatfield and McCoy representatives gave me a high-five as I crossed.
The night before the race Alicia wrote "It's my daughter's 9th birthday today!" on the back of my shirt.  I bet 50 people made comments like "wish your daughter a happy birthday for me", as we were running.  It gave me a boost every time.

Alicia's note on the back of my shirt.

Kyle and Alicia got the face painted.
After the race we had lunch at a steakhouse, where we had a birthday party for Alicia.  Then we picked up a cookie cake and enjoyed it at the hotel.

Saturday night we had a nice dinner then hung out at the hotel until I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. Sunday morning we slept in, had breakfast at McDonald's, then said our goodbye's.  Grandma and Gramps took the kids with them to Virginia for the week, while Malissa and I drove home alone and are enjoying a week alone together, but missing the kids terribly.

Here are the video highlights:

Here is my Garmin data:

Here is the shadowbox.  Marathon #16 (Favorite bib yet)

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