On November 5, David Redor ran the 45th marathon of his 2016 challenge, i.e. 52 marathons in 52 weeks, one in each of the 50 States, plus one in Washington D.C. and one in the Bahamas.
But Redor, fired by his passion for running, has been participating in many other marathons in addition to the ones he is running for his challenge… A total of 63 marathons so far this year and there are more to come, for sure… In the meantime, here is the story of his race in Indiana.
After having recuperated from a “marathon-busy” week at my friends Peggy and Thierry, where I was able to fully rest, I arrived in Indiana to run the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, one of the twenty largest marathons in the US.
I got up at 6 a.m. after a good night’s sleep, took three packets of my food complement Immun’Âge® as before each marathon and got ready. The marathon was to start at 8 a.m., but I left early as I knew how few free parking places there are down town Indianapolis. Luckily, I found one a kilometer away from the start of the marathon. I had enough time ahead of me, and, with 37° F, I kept warm in my car and ate breakfast. At 7:40, I went to the start of the race where there were some 15,000 participants. The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon is one of the twenty largest marathons in the country.
I took my place in the start corral. The gun went off at 8:00, but, with the wave start, I had to wait thirteen minutes before I could cross the starting line. The start of the run turned out to be difficult: despite the avenues’ width, we experienced congestion and ‘traffic jams’ as there were a lot of walkers. I’ll address this problem in an open letter to marathon organizers at the end of this story.
We ran the first five kilometers downtown. I reached km 5 in 32 minutes. The weather was cold but there was no cloud in the sky and the sun had started to shine, slowly warming us up. It took me some four kilometers to warm up. We headed north. The course was really flat and fast and I set a good pace for myself. I reached km 10 in 1:03min.
More ‘traffic jams’ forced me to slalom and zigzag among walkers and other runners. But at km 12, after the half-marathoners left us, we finally had enough space to run normally. I reached km 15 km in 1:34min. I had a regular pace and felt good. Everything was fine and dandy. We went through welcoming neighborhoods where spectators came out to encourage us. I greeted a runner with whom I had run in Maryland and New Hampshire. I met another runner who had been with me in Alabama and Alaska. We chatted for a while before I resumed my run. I reached km 20 in 2:06min and the half marathon in 2:12min: quite a good performance for me these days as I am running several marathons a week, and this marathon was, in fact, my 63rd marathon of the year!
I still felt good and decided to keep the regular pace I had set. Lanes on the avenues had been reserved for the marathon participants. I reached km 25 in 2:38min. The course was fast and pleasant with live music, spectators and volunteers creating a great ambiance. We ran through a nice park and I reached km 30 in 3:10min.
I felt that I was going to clock an interesting final time as I was not slowing down and still keeping my pace. We went through residential neighborhoods before turning back on a big avenue toward downtown and heading to the finish line. I reached km 35 km in 3:43min. Clinging to my own pace, I passed dozens of runners.
My time looked promising. I reached km 40 in 4:16min and decided to speed up until the finish. After a few rapid curves, I finished the actual distance in 4:30:52, i.e. my second best time of the year. However, as I had to slalom around walkers, I ran 500 meters more and crossed the finish line in 4:33min.
I got my medal, took my three packets of Immun’Âge®, grabbed something to drink and eat for my trip and went to my car: I had to drive north of Detroit to Utica, Michigan, to run the Stony Creek Marathon the next morning.
The day had been perfect; it was a beautiful and grand marathon. Everything was extremely well run, we enjoyed pleasant weather and I did not expect at this point of my challenge to clock such a good time. Nothing to criticize but for the ‘traffic jams’ at the start of the race and during the first miles.
Tomorrow, I’ll be running in beautiful Stony Creek Metro Park, in Utica, Michigan.
Have a good week.
Open letter to marathon organizers
Running a marathon has become a very popular sport these days. It is also a business and I understand very well the desire to have more and more people taking part in the marathons that you organize. However, I think we should go back to what marathons really are, and somewhat change how they are organized.
The marathon is a long-distance run of 42.195 kilometers (26.219 miles). It is not a walk. However, more and more walkers take part in marathons. Don’t get me wrong. I have the greatest respect for walkers and their performances. I also find it great that more and more people exercise and challenge themselves in a competition. However, running and walking are two different sports and efforts, and lumping those together changes things radically while creating problems.
The first problem comes from the congestion and slowing down caused by the walkers at the start and for the first kilometers. Indeed, runners have to slalom and weave between walkers to get ahead, thus losing quite a bit of time. This is particularly frustrating for competitive marathon runners looking to clock a good time. As they have to run more, runners also lose the precious energy needed to finish their run.
The registration in itself is also problematic. In many marathons, the number of participants is limited. Some runners might be excluded from the race simply because too many walkers register. This phenomenon is increasing at top speed.
In my opinion, runners should be allowed to register before walkers. Furthermore, marathon runners should start first (in waves of course based on their estimated finish time); half-marathon runners should leave some thirty minutes later, followed by walkers. Thus, nobody would be disturbed, and each participant, in each sports category, would be able to enjoy the marathon. If things do not change fast, marathon runners will soon be replaced by walkers… A matter to follow…