Marathons: Paul #64, Leah #54, State #44 : Delaware Marathon 2015
10th May 2015, Wilmington, Delaware, USA
Finish Time = 3:54:31
Leah: New course record holder for a Colorado female
Wilmington was fairly easy for us to get to, a direct flight into Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and then a 20 minute drive from there. Funny how you can be so close to another State, something quite common on the East coast but not so common the further West you go.
Our hotel was a mile from the start line so the morning of the marathon we got ready and used the mile as our warm up run to the start. After jogging down there though we realised how humid it was there, around 80%, and we were sweating before we’d even started.
The queues for the toilets took longer than expected and just as we came out we heard the race countdown finish and the runners were off. We ran over, tried to get as far up the field as possible but ultimately started in a slower group than we would have wanted. We spent the next few miles running faster than we probably would have, dodging around people and trying to catch up to where others were running at a pace we felt comfortable with.
The course was a little quirky at first, we ran around a section which seemed to be there just to get the distance correct, before running back to where we had started. We then ran alongside the Christina River heading towards Brandywine Creek.
At around 8 miles Leah needed to use the toilets, I waited outside for her and by stopping running it really hit me how humid it was. Sweat was just dripping off me onto the ground, it actually felt cooler to run as you’d then feel a slight breeze.
The area along Brandywine Creek was magnificent, huge bridges of impressive architecture, greenery that reminded us of rainforests (with all the sounds too) and we even ran by the Brandywine Zoo.
The best thing ever?
There was an aid station on the course put on by a local Italian cafe providing lemon ice in cups for runners. It would have amazing on any normal day, but with the conditions we were running in it was phenomenal. I couldn’t imagine anything better to have been given. It rivaled the iced coffee we got on the course in Miami for one of the best things we’ve had at a marathon aid station.
We were both finding it tough, the course had some hills which were tougher than they looked on paper due to the humidity and at each mile marker we definitely felt like we had run further than we had at that point. We reached halfway in 1:51, pretty much the same as the weekend before, so it was a relief to know we could be slower in the second half and still get the sub 4.
There was a slight difference to the start of the second lap but after that it was the same as we’d just run. There were a few Maniacs out and the nature of the course allowed you to run by people going the other way in a lot of places, so it was great to be wearing Maniacs gear and to shout out to each other.
Our second half ended up being a lot slower than the first (2:03), so it was good that we had banked some time early on. The humidity was draining and we were tired from not sleeping well in the hotel the night before. Full disclosure; we also spent longer at the lemon ice aid station the second time around. We walked with our cups until we had finished the whole thing.
We were relieved to run down the hill towards the finish and as we came in towards the line the announcer read out that we were running our 64th and 54th marathons and 44th State. We crossed the line in 3:54, which meant Leah set a new course record for Colorado Females in the Delaware Marathon! The previous record had been 4:20.
We spoke to another runner afterwards who had run the event before and it turned out the humidity wasn’t usual. When she ran it previously it had been relatively cool. So it sounds like we were unlucky, but on the other hand there can be far worse weather conditions so it didn’t affect our opinion of the race, it just made it a tougher challenge.
The course and organization was great and in terms of swag we got a load of stuff at the expo including:
– A glass
– A cap
– Free GU gels
– T-Shirt (non-technical)
– Kit bag
Definitely a recommended event for your Delaware State.
Elevation graph from my running watch:
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