Sunday, January 15, 2012

Race #12 - Museum of Aviation Marathon

Museum of Aviation Foundation Marathon - January 14, 2012

I was thinking about this during miles 22-26: if anyone tells you doing a marathon does not hurt – they are lying - plain and simple, that would be a flat out lie.  I do not think it matters how you get your body to move 26.2 miles – whether it is a fast ‘Kenyan guy’ sprint (which I am sure would hurt much more), a fast run, a slow run, a jog, a walk, or any combination of those methods – it hurts.   With that being said, I really enjoyed this marathon!  I cannot explain this contradiction.  

The course was on Robins Air Force Base in Georgia. Being an ex-Air Force guy, just being on base brought back so many great memories.  Although I landed there 20-30 times while serving, I never got out of the aircraft.  So having the opportunity to actually set foot on the base was fun.  The course included going around the flight line/runway - twice.  It was a pretty cool course and a very flat course. 

Another aspect of this race that made it special, my daughter signed up to do the 5K that day.  Having her with me was so good!  She is currently training to do her first half marathon in March; we will be at that race together again for her first half.  She had a great race and got a PR of 28:36, placing 6th out of 44 in her age group!

We were told we had to wear our race bibs sideways because they put the disposable chips on the wrong way on the back side :)

Also, with the temperature outside around 30 degrees, it was a pleasant treat as they opened the museum hangar (which was heated!) for pre-race activities. 

Nice, warm hangar before the race!

The marathon had a 6 hour time limit.  This was only my 2nd marathon and my time in the first one was 5:56.  My goal was to respect their time limit and this thought was in the back of my head the entire race.  My race plan was to jog the first mile.  This accomplished two things – warmed me up quicker and provided a really good first mile time (which is a good cushion for meeting a time goal because it is impossible to make time up at the end of the race).  After that I’d switch to jog 2 minutes, walk 3 minutes and repeat that as many times as my body allowed me.

Somewhere around mile 5-6 I heard someone calling out my name – it was Marsha (from the walkers discussion forum we belong to).  She said she recognized me from the brimmed hat I wear (I always wear this UPF 50 brim hat for sun protection).  This was Marsha’s 105th marathon!   She writes about her races on her blog - bookladywalker (link is on sidebar).  We walked quite a few miles together.  Around mile 21 we saw something that you do not usually see out on a marathon course – a guy with a chicken mask, cheering everybody on!  

Marsha (bookladywalker) and the chicken head man around mile 21

About 1,500 people signed up for this 26.2/13.1/5k event with ~175 doing the full marathon.   Except for the very beginning, it was never crowded.   Being a double loop course, that 2nd loop, back of the pack, did not have too many people.  There were times towards the end when I could not see anyone ahead of me or behind me. 

They had water/powerade every two miles.  On the 2nd loop for the full marathoners, they added orange quarters (loved these during the race!!!), bananas, and pickles (yes – pickles).   This next part and picture is not a complaint, it is just a description of what it is like to be a back of the pack type person at these distance races - just in case you ever find yourself in this situation – you’ll know what to expect : )   Early in the race, aid stations have volunteers handing out water, Powerade, and such - they are always very encouraging.  They are greatly appreciated for this!  However, during these smaller races when it gets thinned out at the end, the volunteers get relieved (and I am in total agreement with this) and this is what the aid stations tend to look like:

Aid stations towards the end of the race

The end of race was very special for me – my daughter, wife, son-in-law, and grandsons were there to see me finish.  For me – this was awesome!  My time for this marathon was 5:56:33.  So both of my marathons were completed in 5:56!  

Garmin stats: 
Average heart rate: 138, 84% of max (for 6 hours)
Calories spent: 2283
Average speed: 4.5 mph, pace 13:37
Steps: 107,316

Edit:  Made the newspaper after this race.  


  1. Great race report, Scott! It's so cool that you got to finally visit the base that you had "visited" so many times before. I think it takes a lot of grit to finish a full marathon (they're certainly not for wimpy me), and you've got that grit! Kudos!

  2. Thanks Volksvegan! The hurt/pain is gone today, it's only temporary. But the absolute BEST part of doing the marathon yesterday was the sleep last night - last night's sleep was so worth the pain yesterday!

  3. Congratulations to you Scott ... Well done!