Another Rocket City Marathon in the books.  This year the weather was good.  Perhaps it was a bit to cold for the first few hours.  I wore running tights and I almost never wear running tights.

I’m learning more and more about myself.  How when I’m mentally tired my decision making abilities suffer.  I knew that I would get hot when the temps started rising but I still talked myself into wearing tights instead of shorts before the race.  I knew how much out of character the decision to wear tights was when I bumped into Paul before the start.  He looked at me like I was a chicken doing a card trick.  If you’re wondering why I would be tired, well, it’s running Pinhoti 100 and then Stillhouse 100k over the holiday season.  I enjoy running and I like having races to keep me motivated but, it does start weighing on you.  A marathon, even at a pace that is easy, seemed daunting.

Bibs and shirt

Bibs and shirt

The marathon organizers always have two pacers at each pace.  This helps guarantee that at least one pacer makes it.  They do this because 26 miles is a long run and every now and then we all have a bad day.  Rocket City Marathon is a good marathon.  The Huntsville running community and the organizers have been organizing the race for years.  This race is put on by the local running club HTC and Fleet Feet Sports.  I run it now because of tradition.  I had to relocate to Huntsville, AL in 2009 and I ran it for the first time in 2010.  I’ve ran it every year since.  I PR’d my marathon time on the course in 2012 with 3 hours 29 minutes.  Now, I just keep running it because it’s local.

This year the highlight of the race was seeing my wife Wonda PR.  She is slowly getting faster with each marathon she runs.  Also, our friend Jenny Morris finished with a PR.  And, I can’t forget to mention my pacing buddy, Brian Mount.  Brian was great company during the race.  I was amazed to learn he had just finished his 100th marathon the week before.15326068_10154765885647387_4367051628474089392_o

The Good:

  • Great volunteers, staff and organizers
  • I like the new course.  It’s cool to run around the Space and Rocket center.
  • A cool finisher’s medal.  This year they stepped it up with the medal.

The Not So Good:

  • Really just one thing.  The finish line is strange.  You’re forced into a tunnel where you’re given food that reminds you of aid station food at an ultra.  Then, when you leave out of the tunnel, they will not let you go back down in the tunnel.  I guess they are afraid runners are going to go back for a second peanut butter sandwich. 🙂  I personally think if they figure out a better finish experience for the runners they will have more runners return year after year.  As it is now, I’m not sure why a runner would want to come back for a 2nd year unless you just live close by the location.