I didn’t want to get out of the car.
I’m not kidding. I sat there and thought to myself, “I could drive home right now”. Then I thought about how I drove hours to get there and paid for a hotel, paid for registration and there was this part of me that wanted to see what the medal would look like. The previous ones were neato and this one promised to be as well.
So I got out.
The Charlevoix marathon is a quality race. I’m really happy I did get out of the car because I would have missed out on it. There is a lot to offer; a full and a 1/2 marathon for walkers, a full and 1/2 marathon, a 10k and a 5k. It isn’t a large race, although they are working to become bigger. There were 700 marathons and 1000 1/2 runners. I missed packet pick up the night before as the drive up took 4 hours (I was told it was “more or less” 3 hours… umm…) so I grabbed it in the morning at 5:30 am. It was quick and easy. I was able to park about 10 minutes away so I hung out in the car until 15 mins before the 7 am start, which was nice since I was chilly.
The start line was a bit of a hill so I hung out at the top until runners of my pace walked past and then I jumped in. Thankfully, it was ideal weather for running – breezy, 59* and overcast. The course is, indeed beautiful. Those promises were kept. The aid stations were stocked with gatorade (and not just lemon lime!), water, GU and candy. The volunteers seemed happy to be there and were helpful – especially when I got out of the porta potty with my skirt tucked in my compression shorts. Thanks volunteer!
Despite it getting sunny, the breeze kept up and it fairly cool with low humidity. Such an incredible change from the Sunburst 1/2 a couple of weeks before. I rocked my hydration with some Nuun in my water bottle – I drank two of these! – and got water and gatorade at each stop. I got a GU at mile 4 and took another one at mile 8.
I resorted to my “old man” shuffle form early on as I KNEW this would be the only way I could finish. I’ve barely been training and when I lift my knees, I go faster and I don’t have the endurance to support this right now. I lost it at mile 7 – mentally and somewhat physically. In my brain I kept thinking about how I knew I couldn’t do this even before I started. Not to mention, I only got 2 hours and 15 minutes of broken sleep the night before due to a noisy hotel room. But I hunkered down and kept up the shuffling. When I saw mile 8, I knew I could finish. It’s always mile 8 that’s my saving grace.
I got a bit of a GU tummy towards the end and mixed with all of the liquids sloshing in there, vomiting was certainly a possibility. Mile 12 seemed to go on forever and I kept screaming (in my brain) where is the 13 mile marker?! Instead the finish line came into view! Yay! I made it!
All of the volunteers were unbelievably friendly. They helped me swap out my too big zip up long sleeve tech jacket by just giving me a smaller size. They were welcoming at the food table and just kept saying, “there’s more! Take all you want!” The food line had bananas, potato chips that are made in MI, hordes of chocolate milk and pizza. Oh and Advil, haha. The marina was offering showers for $2 and when I got there they just let me use it for free.
I had a decent race albeit painful! About an hour before the start, I drank a juice, (I’m juice cleansing, more on this later) and had a chocolate Honey Stinger waffle so I felt pretty stable in the nutrition department. The juice was the perp responsible for the port potty stop right after the first mile though. This cost me at least 5 minutes, which sucked. I’ll need to figure out something for future races in this regard. Did I mention I finished?! Oh and the medal? It really is worth it.