Arbuckles to Ardmore Bar Nothin' Marathon, Ardmore, OK - 03/20/16

When I signed up for this one, I was basically just planning on running it relatively easy to check off Oklahoma as a state on my 50 states quest. However, after running slowly (albeit under windy conditions) at Mississippi River in February, I decided to try to run this one for a PR (weather conditions pending). I drove up on Saturday, did the packet pickup, and drove the course. Although the course was a net downhill, the hills after mile 17 were a bit more serious than I had expected. I took some pictures of Turner Falls near the starting line, then did the spaghetti dinner before heading down to Murray Lake State Park to camp. Ran a variable paced warm-up run before turning in for the night.

Awoke before dawn to go meet the buses to head to the starting line. Temps were about 35 degrees, with a light wind out of the north. Over the course of the race, the wind would pick up to around 10-15 mph out of the northwest. For most of the race, this meant a tailwind, but there were about 4 miles of headwinds that slowed me down, probably by about a minute and a half judging from my watch data.

The first 2-3 miles were mostly uphill, but not terribly so. I managed a fairly steady pace between 6:45 and 6:50 over this part of the course. We then dropped out of the Arbuckle Mountains in a fairly steep descent, at which point my pace picked up to just under a 6:30. As the course leveled off after mile 5 or so, my pace dropped back to about a 6:45. I lost a little as we turned east onto the Bar Nothin' Ranch (a slight uphill), then as we turned south, I was able to pick the pace back up again. Then I turned north into the wind which, along with the uphill, caused my pace to drop to about 7:09 for about a mile. But I was able to pick back up with a tailwind when the course turned back to the south, at least until after mile 17 when we started up the hills. They weren't steep enough to slow me by a whole lot, but when the course turned west and uphill at mile 20, there was the wind again, which got worse after mile 21 and 22 as the course turned due north towards town lake. At that point, I knew the 2:57 PR I'd hoped for was a lost cause, because I'd had too many miles above 7 at that point, and I just hoped to hold onto the sub-3 hour marathon.

Turning back with the wind at my back didn't help as much as I'd hoped, but I kept gutting it out as we headed back to Noble Stadium for one lap around the track. As I rounded the last curve, I could see the seconds ticking down 2:59:50 . . . 2:59:51 . . . 2:59:52 . . . I mustered as much of a sprint as I could . . . last number I saw was 2:59:59, but the folks standing around at the finish let out a groan as the clock ticked to 3:00:00. I clicked off my watch a full step past the timing mat, and when I looked down to check the time, it read 2:59:59. My official time on the race website was 3:00:00. I'm guessing that if I had the ability to see splits of a fraction of a second, that the "real time" would be something like 2:59:59.8 or some such. I'm going to go ahead and count it as a sub-3, though LOL. I finished 5th overall, and 1st in the 45-49 age group.

The race was fairly well run, the aid stations plentiful, and the first 5 or 6 miles were free of traffic (road closed completely). Due to differences in the courses, there was a lot of overlap between half and full marathon runners, but there was ample room to maneuver around the walkers at the back half of the half-marathon pack. Not one of my favorite all time races, but it was a nice little race nonetheless.

Gear Check:

Shoes:  I ran in Altra Instinct 2.0s, size 10.5 that I bought off eBay. 

Shorts:  I ran in my black 3" split shorts from Adidas.

Shirt:  I wore a "Captain America" compression singlet that I bought off eBay from China. I also wore "Lust" sleeves from InkNBurn. At the last minute, I decided not to wear gloves - my hands were cold the first 3-4 miles, but I they warmed up as the sun came up.

Hydration:  I alternated water and gatorade at aid stations, probably took liquid at every other aid station.

Socks/Compression:  Injinji medium weight no-show toe socks and CWX calf sleeves.

Fuel: I took Apple/Cinnamon Hammer Gels at miles 8 and 16. I also ate a 4-5 gummi worms along the way.

Hat:  Marathon Maniacs classic hat.

Glasses: I wore my usual Custom Oakley Flak Jackets with Red Iridium lenses.

Watch: Garmin 610. No problems

Watch Data