Marathons: Paul #51, Leah #41 : Quarry Lakes Marathon 2014
6th December 2014, Fremont, California, USA
Finish Time = 4:42:56
We were in San Jose for 2 weeks for work so rather than going home for the weekend we thought we’d see what was happening locally. Imagine that, we found a marathon being held just a 20 minute drive from San Jose!
We already had California as a State from the California International Marathon back in December 2013, where we had also achieved a sub 4. This meant we could just take it easy and fit one more marathon into the year before the Christmas break. It would also help towards our Maniacs star level, working towards 8* (23 marathons in 23 states within 12 months).
We arrived at Quarry Lakes Park, picked up our packets and started the race shortly after. The weather was nice with the sun out but shaded by clouds. The scenery was great too, large lakes with mountains in the distance, lots of wildlife around and a nice trail to run on which was mainly crushed rock along with some sections of asphalt. The course followed the Alameda Creek Trail up to the mouth of Niles Canyon.
We were planning on doing some kind of run/walk strategy but as we hadn’t figured it out we ended up just running for the first half. We decided to mix in some walk breaks in the second half but it actually ended up making it more painful. I think sometimes mentally if you slow yourself down or think slow, the race feels more of a drag. Perhaps there’s just no way to run these without them being tough on your body. Also the clouds had cleared and the sun was out in blue skies. While this was nice, we hadn’t put any suncream on and my skin was definitely getting red.
We were jogging at a steady pace as we approached another runner going at a slightly slower speed. As we got alongside him he surged forward doing a sprint for about 10 seconds, getting up ahead of us again. As his overall pace was slower we would then inevitably catch him back up again and then he’d sprint off just as we got alongside. I thought perhaps he was mixing it up with some surges which can be a running tactic for some. After the fourth time he did it when we got level we started to wonder if he was just intent on not letting us go past him. It wasn’t the widest trail in places so it started to get a bit frustrating as we would have to maneuver to an appropriate spot in anticipation of passing, only to then not pass. The fifth time he did it we went into a section where we had to go in single file which then held us up as we couldn’t go around him. So that needed to stop. When we got back onto the main trail we once again got level and he started sprinting again, so we just held his exact sprint speed alongside him to see how long he could carry it. After a while he dropped off and we continued on.
I was definitely ready for the race to end from 20 miles onwards. The slower pace, walking and heat were making it painful. Eventually we crossed the finish line in 4:42, but being a small race there wasn’t really anyone there (just family looking out for their own runners) and the race director was running back and forward between refreshing the laptop data at the line and cooking up some hotdogs and burgers on the BBQ. When we crossed the line he was at the BBQ, so we just stopped running and had to fish out our medals from a box on the ground beside the finish line. Afterwards several people asked where we got our medals from and we had to tell them you get them out of the box yourself by the finish! Still, the freshly BBQ’ed burger made up for that and then some.
Did you run the marathon?
The funniest part was when we went off to the car to get a camera to take a picture before we left. We knew there weren’t any course photographers so wanted something to remember it by. As we went to the car a girl was just finishing and her family were congratulating her, celebrating and opening champagne, I think it was her first marathon. As we came back the family started talking to us as we walked past.
“Excuse me, but did you two run the full marathon?” they asked.
“Yes we did..”
“But… you ran past us while we were cheering on the runners and you two looked completely fine.. and were just talking about what groceries you needed to buy for the week!”
We laughed and explained, without going too overboard, that we do a lot of them and were just trying to take this one a bit easier. I still don’t think our explanation made a lot of sense and nor did the terms “taking the marathon a bit easier” but it definitely made us smile and they were very nice giving us their congratulations.
Elevation Graph from my running watch:
We spent the remainder of the weekend driving down the famous Route 1 and along California’s amazing rugged coastline.
We stopped by Pigeon Point Lighthouse
Another highlight was stopping in at a small town called Pescadero and a bar named Duarte’s Tavern. A family owned business for 4 generations since 1894, they are famous for their olallieberry pie. We ate lunch there and of course had to try the pie. It exceeded all expectations and I get hungry again just looking at it!
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