Marathons: Paul #69, Leah #59, State #47 : Lake Placid Marathon 2015
14th June 2015, Lake Placid, New York, USA
Finish Time = 3:42:16
Leah: 1st Place Age Group
For our New York State you might be wondering why we didn’t run the New York City Marathon. Well, like a lot of the World Marathon Majors the entry is based on a ballot system so it’s just a luck of the draw as to whether you get a place and the chances of us both getting a successful entry in the same year would be far less. The marathon is hugely expensive, not just the entry fee but also the accommodation and flights, all which get raised way above their usual rates due to the event. But most of all we’ve come to love smaller races in scenic locations, outside of a large city. The logistics are easier, the people are friendlier and it has a more personal touch to it. This was exactly the case with Lake Placid and we couldn’t have been any happier with choosing it our New York State.
We drove up from New York City on the Friday night and had the full day to explore on Saturday. We went for a walk in the morning, exploring the unique shops along Main Street and continuing on to complete the circumference of Mirror Lake. We went to the expo to pick up our packets and got talking to the people from the local running store that were there.
We went for a shakeout run around the Lake, stopping to admire the views across Lake Placid and ended at the finish to check out how it was going to look.
We finished up the evening with some red wine and a pasta dinner buffet at one of the host hotels.
In the morning logistics couldn’t have been easier, our hotel was about a minute’s walk from the starting area so we made our way over, warmed up and then we were off. The start of the race is immediately uphill which was interesting. It then follows the circumference of Mirror Lake, the same route we had run the previous day for training.
It was a perfect day, the sun was shining and it glistened off the lake. We had followed some previous advice we had read and as well as wearing suncream we had bug spray on. We found out it wasn’t mosquitos you had to be worried about, but black flies. They’ll leave big red bites on you, as I had found out the day before when we’d gone running without any spray on. I already had 2 bites on my arm. We got talking to a guy who was telling us that last year they were really bad and people had loads of bites all over their bodies.
We started chatting with Logan, she had run the Lake Placid Marathon the year before and had an infectious smile. For the finish of the race, during the lap around the old olympic speed skating rink, she told us she was going do that lap and cross the finish with her German Shepherd, Watson. Again, it’s the smaller races where you can do things like this which really make your race. We ran with Logan for quite a while, the 3 of us talking and the miles passed with ease. We ran by some unique sights including the old ski jumps from the 1980 winter olympics and some tranquil scenes of fishermen in waders standing out in the middle of the long, flowing Chubb river.
We completed the first lap, following the same route as the half-marathoners and then set off on the second, which was modified slightly to run out longer due to the omission of the Mirror Lake section in the second half.
Soon after starting the second lap a fellow Maniac who wasn’t running but there was to support, noticed Leah’s visor and called out to us. She snapped a picture and posted it up on the club’s Facebook group:
The second half had an out and back loop which was good as we were able to shout out of the other Maniacs we saw (although you sometimes get some blank looks when you aren’t wearing the kit yourself) and we also saw Logan again, who was still smiling! 🙂
We kept up consistent pacing and felt strong throughout, it’s funny how there can be so much of a difference with only a week apart from events. We had heard that there was going to be a climb at the end and sure enough the last 3 quarters of a mile are a 160 ft ascent to the finish. It wasn’t too bad, despite some of the opinions we had read, but it did add one last challenge on top of the 25 miles we’d covered. We ran our lap around the speed skating oval, with the announcer calling out our names and crossed the line in 3:42, completing 14 marathons in 14 weeks and one of our fastest times of the 14! It’s amazing what your body can adapt to.
We finished and stretched for a while and then looked out for Logan. We didn’t have to wait long, we spotted Watson running by her side and knew it was her. We cheered as she crossed the line, snatching a sub 4 victory. After a while some of the results got printed up and we found out Leah had won first place in her age group! The award ceremony wasn’t for another hour so we quickly went back to the hotel, showered, changed and checked out and then made it back to the finishing area in time.
We couldn’t believe we had come to the end of our back-to-back marathon weekends, totalling 14 marathons in 14 weeks. Yes, you read right.. we have no plans to run a marathon the following weekend. This is largely due to there not being any held in the States that we still need.. but I digress. We’re actually looking forward to having a weekend at home, it fully hits you at how intense it has been when you realise that it’s the middle of June and we haven’t spent a weekend at home since February. We don’t even mind that the streak is coming to an end, we’re just ready to enjoy a weekend off. The the weekend after that? Well there’s a marathon we need to do..
Elevation Graph from my running watch:
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