Road to Marathon Maniac: Hartford Marathon

Qualifying for Marathon Maniac:

I looked up how to qualify and sadly, I could not qualify with the races I’ve done. The easiest requirement is two marathons in 16 days or two weeks. Hartford was coming up and I felt like I could do it. I was running close to the marathon distance every week for three weeks during my training so I thought it wouldn’t be too much trouble to actually have it count. I found the Hartford Marathon and registered for it.

I continued to run the week right after the marathon. No more two week rest for me. I ran 6 miles on Monday and Wednesday then a long run for 16 miles. I ran another 6 miles the Monday before Hartford and rest for the next few days was my taper.

Race Day

The plan was to drive to Hartford the morning of the race to pick up my number. I happened to be on the website the night before to see where the start line and I read that there was no race day pickup. I panicked. This hasn’t happened to me before. All of my other marathons had race day packet pickup. I quickly emailed the race coordinator and attempt to see if she would reply before tomorrow morning. Luckily she was on her email and replied that I could pick it up on race day with a $20 dollar fee. I didn’t like the fee but better than not running and dashing my hopes for qualifying for Marathon Maniac.

We got up early to drive to the race start. The race started at 8am and I needed to be there around 7am to pick up my number. We left Boston around 5am and got there just before 7am. I slept a bit early so I drove while my wife slept during the car ride. She also took a cat nap when I left to pick up my number. This is what a marathon maniac spouse looks like. My wife wasn’t aware of this picture until about a year later. She later found a Starbucks to do some reading and also took a quick drive through Hartford.

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I walked around the start area looking for the packet pickup station. It was near the finish area. Below are some pictures before the start. The picture with the ING logos was the finish line. The race started in downtown Hartford so there is also a picture of the capital building.

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The weather was a bit chilly just like the marathon two weeks ago. I had to run a bit before the start to keep warm. I knew it may turn into a warm day so I had to dress a bit light. I had the same outfit on that I did two weeks ago but it was colder during this marathon.

The crowd cheering for this marathon was awesome. There were many people along the course. Right by the start, I started seeing signs like “Hurry up, we’re cold.” No shit, I’m cold too! It was hilarious. There were more to come.

As usual, I don’t remember much about the race. I do remember running through a small neighborhood in an out and back portion of the race. Many of the people living there were outside and cheering us on. Not only that, many people made it their day to be outside so they were barbecuing, playing music, and just having a good time. It was a very festive atmosphere. It was in this part of the race I saw signs like “Cramps: causing problems since i was 13.” A bit graphic but entertaining to say the least.

I ran most of the marathon and used some slower runners to keep me from running too fast. Unfortunately, I started a quicker pace too soon and my legs cramped up with a few miles to go. I finished the last half mile running but it was pretty painful.

I coordinated with my wife and she managed to snap some pictures of me near the finish. After about a 40 minute wait, I got my massage. I really needed it as my calves were very tight.

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In the finish area, my wife saw Peter Lantin and his wife. I believe I did see him there too and we talked for a few minutes. This is when I found out he was also running Newport Marathon the next day.

Marathon Maniac:

I sent in my application for MM that night and was approved. I logged in to see the website and figure out what it has to offer. The major elements of the website are the other member profiles and race calendar. The race calendar shows who is running in each of the upcoming marathons. The list is voluntary so there may be more people who are running than listed. Its a good indication of which marathons are popular. The member profiles are nice in that you can find each other quickly if you met at a race. There could be a chance they listed that they would be there on the race calendar.

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