Glenn had unfortunately not been able to complete the Baltimore marathon 5 weeks ago...he had become severely dehydrated from the antibiotics he was on and made the smart decision to drop out. This time, he was determined to finish, come what may.
The AC Marathon was very small, with a total of about 500 runners for all races - marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K. The entire race was along the boardwalk. The race has the distinction of being the 3rd oldest marathon in the country, and was well-organized enough, despite the fact that the organizers dropped out and the race had to be postponed. It is not exactly my kind of race, however...I am a sucker for crowd support (though I could do without the hassle of being trampled over by massive crowds). And I am pretty sure I don't want to run 26.2 miles on the boardwalk, with some portions repeated over and over.
...and other scenery:
As he was stretching, Glenn was wincing...he seemed to have pulled a muscle in his shoulder and was in pain. But when the race started at 8:30 AM, he took off with the other runners, cheerfully striking up a conversation with the person next to him. There were just a handful of spectators, so we did our best to make lots of noise (I decided not to pull out the little drum I had brought with me, because I wasn't sure I wanted to make THAT much noise).
The entire race was along the boardwalk. Parts of the course were repeated, so we saw the runners again as they passed the starting point at Mile 5.
We hung around for the kids' fun run,
then walked a little over a mile from the start to get to the water stop at Mile 17 (also Mile 25). We waited there for Glenn, cheering the other runners. This was a race that brought out the hardcore runner in you. At Mile 17, you had the option of turning around and running 9.2 more miles...or you could just go 1.2 miles further to the finish line. Which would you choose?
Glenn had hoped to complete the race in less than 5 hours. When he had still not appeared at 11:45, we suspected that something was not right. Sure enough, he called a little before 12, asking me to take his knee brace out of his bag (Glenn is always super prepared, and can survive comfortably for a couple of days if he ever got lost on any of his runs. At the race, apart from water and gatorade, he was also carrying his cell phone, GU, a protein bar and other little food items). DH & I were carrying Glenn's bag. I took out the brace as Glenn came by, limping. He was wearing a make-shift brace of gauze and tape that paramedics had clumsily draped around his knee.
His knee was throbbing from what he believed was an ITB flare-up, but he was not ready to throw in the towel. We helped him get his brace on and I ran to the nearest store to get him Advil (believe it or not, inspite of all the preparedness, none of us carried painkillers). The brace didn't help much, so off it came. He limped a little, then decided that it hurt more to walk, so he ran instead.DH and I then walked back to the finish. Glenn gutted it out to the finish, completing in 5:39:24. Inspiring, ain't it?
Methinks the adrenaline worked wonders, because besides the miracle of completing the marathon in such pain, he also reported that his knee felt much better the same night, and he could walk without much pain.
On another note, I have been turning in some decent runs and feel stronger by the day.
Last week's runs totalled 32 miles.
Monday: 6 miles
Tuesday: 6 miles
Thursday: 12 miles
Friday: 3 miles
Saturday: 5 miles
Spectating at the Atlantic City Marathon made me realize how much I have enjoyed racing...and how I'd love to get back in the game. So, here's the announcement: I am gearing up for my first race since August...Turkey Trot...a.k.a. Ashenfelter 8K. Woo hoo!
A shout out to Philadelphia marathon runners...kick some butt this weekend!