Archive for March 2010

This report is about two first-timers running the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Music by Andy Ace Trance Podcast

Music by Garageband, U.S. Marine Band and Derek Miller's Penmachine

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Course certification can be a bit complicated. In this podcast, I talk about getting a new 10k course certified for an upcoming race in Ashland, Virginia.

Shamrock Marathon

U.S. Track and Field course certification info

Music by Andy Ace Trance Podcast

Music by Garageband, U.S. Marine Band and Derek Miller's Penmachine

Rich from the Woodlands, TX ran in the Texas Independence Relay. Here is his race report. Thanks, Rich.

Rich's Report: My team, the Raging Aging ran the Texas Independence Relay again last weekend and as in the past we had a terrific time. The weather was ideal with lows about 50 and highs around the mid to upper 60s. This was our third year to run the 203 mile relay. Of our 12 person team, 9 of us were from the original team, one joined us last year, and we had 2 new members. We had a start time of 8:06 am (the 1st teams went off at 6 am) from Gonzales, TX so we gathered at a local WalMart near The Woodlands and left in two vehicles at about 4:15 am, arriving in Gonzales about 7:15.

At the start the entire team runs the first 1.2 miles and then the 1st runner takes off. Once the race was underway we were having a great time as we got to the exchanges and waited for our runner. We always carry coolers in both vehicles packed with cold cuts, water, gatorade, chocolate milk, and fruit. And we also have plenty of cookies & chips so when we are waiting we will have mini picnics. This is particularly the case at the end of leg three which is an 8 mile segment. Once we get to the exchange area which is at the intersection of two very rural dirt roads we have about an hour before our runner gets there. Not a whole lot to do but eat and socialize! As we all have friends running on other teams we usually get a chance to see some of them here.

My first leg was #8. I started about 1:15 in the afternoon in the town of Moulton, TX and had 4.5 miles to run straight down state highway 95. The area we were in is near the hill country of Texas so the leg was basically all up hill with some level sections spread in-between. I felt good and finished the segment in 43:03 for an average 9:29/mi pace. I then had a long wait for my next two legs which would not come until early Sunday morning.

The team continued to make progress through the day, we were averaging somewhere around a 9 min pace overall. At 8 pm, the group I was with went off to get some dinner and then drove about 20 miles down the course to the Brazos High School in Wallis, TX, our "hotel" for the next few hours, arriving about 10 PM. The school opens the gym & locker rooms to the runners for a $5 fee. Although some teams get hotel rooms, we have always opted for this arrangement as it is cheap and you are only there for a few hours. We camped out on the floor to catch some sleep, at best about 1 1/2 hours and then got up to meet our team at exchange 24 where we were taking over again at about 1 am. This the 3rd year I have been in what we refer to as the overnight van. I have enjoyed it as we always have a hilarious time, probably from being punch drunk from fatigue! My 2nd leg was #30, a 5.6 mile section I started at 5:18 am. At this point in the relay we are coming into the western suburbs of Houston, leaving rural areas of Texas behind us. I started in a residential area and after a mile went into a large park. It was still dark out. Race rules requires a flashlight, a reflective belt or vest, and blinkers on front & back. I was wearing a lamp that attaches to the rim of a hat. Teams were very spread out and I did not have any runners around me. I could just see the blinking light of a runner some distance in front of me. I slowly gained on that runner and after about 15 minutes passed her. She became one of my multiple "kills" for the race. For fun we keep track of the teams we pass using a car paint marker to show the number of kills. This was also the time when the faster teams are also catching up (the last team started 6 hours after us) and so I had two very fast runners pass me further along the section. With the dawn light beginning to appear it was a terrific run through the park. I finished in 54:17, a 9:41 average pace.

We continued to make our way across Houston. As I only had about 1 1/2 hour of rest/sleep I crawled in the back of the van and tried to rest a bit. My 3rd and last leg was leg #36 coming up a short 4 1/2 hours after I finished the 2nd. At 10:45 I took off from right near my office in downtown Houston for another 5.6 mile segment which took me past the Toyota Center (home of the Rockets) and out through a warehouse district of Houston heading toward our destination, the San Jacinto Monument. I was surprised at how good I felt. I took the first mile in 8:52, fast for me! Even though I was tired I kept pushing forward. At about 2 miles I took a gu as I was rapidly running out of energy from the earlier run and overall fatigue. It kicked in fine and and I finished strong in 54:07, with an average of 9:37 pace. I was very pleased with the effort. At that point I had covered about 16 miles in less than 24 hours and was given the fatigue from lack of sleep was pleased that my last leg was almost as fast as my first.

The team had 4 more legs to get to the finish. Our runners ran well and we arrived at the San Jacinto Monument at about 2:30 Sunday afternoon with a final finishing time of 30 hours, 30 minutes & 50 seconds. It was about 20 min slower than last year but we were fighting some strong winds and our runners were a bit beat up from the marathon season. All in all we had a great time and are already beginning the planning for next year.

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This show was originally posted a while back but some of the information holds true today. I've posted this show again for two of my current marathon training partners as they get ready to run their first marathon in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

The song "Frejas Breakdown" is by the Freja Bluegrass Band (courtesy of Other music by GarageBand, and U.S. Marine Band.

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