Charlevoix Marathon - 6/25/16

For our Summer Vacation Marathons, this year we picked the Charlevoix Marathon in Michigan and the Dances With Dirt Devil Lake trail marathon in Wisconsin. We drove up from Texas in late June, spent a few nights in the Missouri Ozarks, then made the long drive up to the northern part of Michigan's lower Penninsula to look for Kirtland's Warblers before driving over to Charlevoix to race. We camped at Fisherman's Island State Park right on the shores of Lake Michigan, which offered us the pleasue of dipping our race-fatigued legs in the cold lake waters.

The week after Vermont City, I tweaked my upper calf doing speedwork, and that injury caused me to be out of sorts for most of my training between races. On the trip up, I vigorously made use of the electrostimulation tool to try to work out the kinks, and I was mostly successful at doing so - my leg held up until the last couple of miles. My stamina, however, didn't quite. I think that this was more of a symptom on running my 8th marathon in 8 months - despite two of them being "pacer" races. I set out to run a sub-3 marathon, but just couldn't hold onto those paces in the 2nd half of the race.

Temps the day before the race were downright cold in the morning (lower 40s) but race day was much more balmy, with a starting temperature in the upper 50s and a finishing temperature just above 70. This was a nice course, a 13.1 mile out-and-back . . . the first half mostly run through town, and the 2nd half right on the shores of Lake Michigan. Most of the course after about mile 3.5 was run on a paved bike trail, with a few sections of boardwalk over marshy areas. It wasn't pancake flat, with a noticeable climb at mile 10 and then a gentle uphill back into town at about mile 20. Some of the sections run along the Lake Michigan shoreline, were in full sun, and got noticably hot in the 2nd half of the race. I held onto the sub-3 paces until about mile 18, but I basically knew that it wasn't going to happen by the half - miles 14-17 were just too much work. I ended up running a 3:07:07, which was good for third place in the Master's division and 13th overall. Had I run this on fresher legs, I feel like I would have probably won the Master's Division and placed in the top 7 or so. Oh well, Michigan out of the way on my 50 states quest.

A couple of details about this race. There was not really an expo (just packet pickup) or a pre-race meal. Post race spread was adequate, but nothing fancy. They did have an early start for Marathon and Half Marathon walkers, then the Marathon start, followed closely by the Half Marathon start. This was well planned such that most of the Half Marathon runners and walkers were off the course before the lead of the Marathon runners came back in to finish. This was important, because of how narrow the running path was in places - there was never really a "traffic jam" of slower runners/walkers to navigate around.

Gear Check:

Shoes:  I ran in Altra Instinct 2s, size 10.5 - very comfortable.

Shorts:  I ran in my standard 2" split shorts from Adidas.

Shirt:  I ran in an Inknburn "Tank" singlet. Worked fine.

Socks:  Injinji medium weight no-show toe socks – same socks I’ve been running in for several years.

Compression: 2XU calf sleeves on both calves, KT tape on my left calf for added support.

Fuel:  I carried 3 Apple/Cinnamon Hammer Gels, one taken at mile 6.5, 13.1, and 19.5. I ate 3 or 4 Gummi Worms along the way.  I took lots of water and Gatorade from alternating aid stations.

Hat:  Marathon Maniacs classic hat.  Very comfortable. 

Glasses:  my red iridium custom Flak Jackets from Oakley.

Watch: Garmin 610. Worked great, as usual.

Watch Data