Providence Marathon 2015 – Race Report

Marathons: Paul #63, Leah #53, State #43 : Providence Marathon 2015
3rd May 2015, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Finish Time = 3:53:20

We were apprehensive going into the Providence marathon. After pushing our bodies to a fast finish at London the weekend before, it had taken us longer to recover than usual with very sore legs for a few days afterwards. We had also travelled back to the US and were still adjusting to the time zone, just trying to sleep through the night.

We explored Providence the day before, on foot of course, covering 8 miles in the process. We figured it should help loosen up the legs at least! The weather for the weekend was warm and sunny.

Walking over to the Expo

Walking over to the Expo

View from one of the many bridges

View from one of the many bridges

State Capitol building

Rhode Island State House

On the morning of the race we used the 1 mile from our hotel to the start line as a warm up jog. We arrived and found our friend Heather at the start line. We got to catch up which was great as we hadn’t seen her for a while. After a slight delay to the start due to a car accident that had happened on the course, we set off.

Chatting with Heather at the start. Photo credit: Heather Zeigler

Chatting with Heather at the start. Photo credit: Heather Zeigler

We had noticed from exploring the previous day that some of the roads were in need of repair so there was quite a bit of hole dodging and uneven footing. We ran through the streets, out of Providence and headed South alongside the Providence River. There were some great sights of the river, lakes and the nice quiet neighbourhoods built on the edge with fantastic views over the waters.

There were a few hills but nothing too serious, it had sounded worse in the course description than it actually was. We reached halfway in 1:52, which was perfect. We were of course aiming for the sub 4 but we didn’t want to push it too hard. 1:52 was great as it meant we could cruise a 2 hour second half and still finish with time to spare. It was then that we saw Andy “Tambourine Man”, a Marathon Maniac that runs with a Tambourine on his back. We had met him at the Pilgrim Pacer marathon back at the end of 2014. We talked for a bit with him, he had run a double the weekend before, one marathon on Saturday and one on Sunday!

We pushed on, running by an impressive country club and golf course with views over the ocean. The clouds parted and the sun came shining through. It was hot! We were a little glad we’d had cloud cover up until that point.


We ran through a mix of neighbourhoods, bike paths and over bridges across the river heading back to the city which we could see in the distance. We ran beside a guy who said he couldn’t believe how easy we were making it look and said he thought we must be ironman athletes. We explained that we didn’t do ironmans (triathlons), but we were running our 8th marathon in 8 weeks.



We eased off a bit in the last few miles, it was hot and sunny so we took our time to drink a couple of cups of water at the aid stations. As we ran back into Providence we were directed back to the area we’d started from and ran up a short incline to the finish. We crossed the line in 3:53, glad to be able to stop running and very pleased to have completed another State in under 4 hours. We celebrated by enjoying the pizza on offer to the runners in the food tent. 4 slices for me.


An interesting fact about Rhode Island is it’s the smallest State in the US, only 37 miles across and 48 miles from top to bottom. There’s only 3 marathons in Rhode Island throughout the year so it’s one of those ones you have to make sure works in the planned schedule. Providence is a good choice, although I would be interested to see how the Newport marathon compares in terms of scenery. Newport is at the bottom of the State, right on the oceanfront which I think would be nice. The only caveat is that Newport is run in October so it’s a big gamble with the weather. I’m glad we ran Providence, it was an enjoyable and actually a relaxing weekend, well, as relaxing as we get..

Elevation Graph from my running watch:



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