After running Boston slowly due to her limited injury recovery plan, Marla asked me to pace her to a Boston Qualifier so that she could get into next year's race. She wanted to run at least a 3:49:30, which would give her a 5 minute plus qualifying time. We set out to run that, but felt pretty good in the second half so we picked up the pace.
We flew out of Houston Friday night . . . torrential rains had all flights delayed, and we ended up leaving Houston around 10, and arriving in Boston around 3. We didn't get to our hotel until 4:30! Ugh . . . Saturday, I slept until 9:30, then got up and went out chasing Odes locally. After lunch, we drove up to Burlington, stopping once in southern New Hampshire for odes and hiking. Temps Saturday were pretty warm - by the car's thermometer temps were 93-95 degrees F! Hotter than Texas. Arrived in Burlington around 5 for packet pickup, then went and met Heather (my cousin) at a local restaurant/bar where her husband and son were playing a gig. Stayed at Heather's place, which turned out to be just 4-5 houses down from the starting line. Most convenient start to a marathon ever!
Anyway, the closer we got to the race, the worse the weather forecast got. By Sunday morning, temps were over 70 and most of the race was run under conditions much like south Texas - mid 80s! As we ran, we watched the warning signs at aid stations go from "moderate" to "high" risk . . . and after we finished, we heard that they started putting up the "extreme" risk signs shortly before they called off the race 4:30 in.
Anyway, we started relatively easy at 9:00 minute to 8:45 paces, and then picked things up in the 2nd half, dropping the paces to the 8:20s and, finally, to under an 8:00 minute mile for the last mile. We finished in 3:46:39, considerably faster than Marla's target time and a BQ by almost 9 minutes!
Burlington seems to be a great town, and for a smaller local race, there was tremendous support from the community. Tons of people out cheering, lots of people with water hoses and spinklers, people with water and ice all along the course. We really enjoyed this one, and I want to come back and race this one sometime.
The hills weren't too bad, mostly gradual grades rather than steep inclines and the course was mostly shady except for the out-and-back section in miles 4-8 or so. If I could give the RD one suggestion, it would be to start the race at 6:00 rather than 8:00 am. It gets light in northern VT around 5:00 am, and starting earlier would allow for the random heat wave and let more runners finish (since New Englanders don't have the opportunity to train in the heat like Texans do).
Shoes: I ran in Altra Instinct 2s, size 10.5 - very comfortable.
Shorts: I ran in my gray pinstripe split shorts from Adidas. Got very wet by the end of the race. Thank goodness for Body Glide.
Shirt: Since I was pacing for Marla, I ran in my Marathon Maniacs Pacer shirt. Again, it got very wet (sweat and sprinklers) by the end of the race.
Socks: Injinji medium weight no-show toe socks – same socks I’ve been running in for several years.
Fuel: I carried 2 Apple/Cinnamon Hammer Gels, one taken at mile 8 and 18. I ate 3 or 4 Gummi Worms along the way. I took lots of water and Gatorade from alternating aid stations, and dumped a LOT of water on my head, shoulders, neck, back, and legs. I also ate a few flavored ice sticks.
Hat: Marathon Maniacs classic hat. Very comfortable.
Glasses: my red iridium custom Flak Jackets from Oakley.
Watch: Garmin 610. Worked great, as usual. With all the turns and making no effort to run tangents, the course measured 26.48.