Thursday, June 2, 2016

Race Report: Horse Capitol Marathon

Don't tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.--George S. Patton


My 5th marathon of 2016 was going to have an unexpected result. Although this wasn't the halfway point, it was a point where I was in a rhythm of running a marathon a month.

As exciting as it is to run these races, a certain degree of routine creeps in. I don't mean this in a negative way at all. The first marathon was amazing. It was my first marathon of the year. It was the first of 12 for the year. The program that I created was designed to perform at the first one. I assumed that I would manage the rest of the 11 marathons. It had also been a while since my last marathon that ended in the medical tent with an Achilles injury. The cherry on the top of the entire marathon Sundae was the adrenaline.

The 2nd marathon was 2 weeks later so the adrenaline still flowed. I had the ability to silence the naysayers who told me that I couldn't do 2 marathons in 2 weeks and I had to stay in a hotel and I felt like I was in "The Right Stuffl" with a mission to accomplish. Number 3 was a hometown race as I lived in Atlanta at the time. Native marathons enhances the motivation a bit. I literally raced on streets I trained on. The Knoxville Marathon was awesome because I traveled with my entire clan. My 5th marathon, the Horse Capitol Marathon in Lexington, Kentucky, offered no such amenities.

I had to travel to this one but I've done that before. It was an unfamiliar city but not my first unfamiliar marathon city. Now for all of you travel snobs that will fire off comments about every city has its charm, I will caution you that your cries will fall on deaf ears. I arrive in these cities with just enough time to eat, get some rest, run a marathon, and then I get back to my family. I don't explore or soak in the culture. The routine of a marathon a month is like a bouncer in a strip club.

All of that said, I didn't know what to expect. I read that the University of Kentucky is in Lexington. I learned that Lexington has one of the largest LGBT communities so I felt that it was probably a pretty progressive town. The coolest  part however was the horse raising and racing history in Lexington, hence the title of Horse Capitol. One of the selling points of the race was that you wouldn't be out of sight of a horse farm the entire race.

Although the race is the main ingredient of this post, I have to tell you about the race before the race. Before my 2nd marathon I arrived in town too late to pick up my race number. I hate race day pick ups. It interrupts my morning routine and there are countless unpredictable  circumstances. So this time around, I left work even earlier in order to get to the expo in order to arrive on time. So I zoom down the highway but Atlanta on a Friday without traffic is like food without taste. Traffic slowed to a crawl and the ETA my navigation made all sorts of anxiety bubble up like bad Chinese Food. I made it on time but I probably did number 1,2 and 3 on the highway because of stress.

The marathon delivered on all of its descriptions of the beautiful horse farms. I couldn't stop taking pictures of the horses and the farms. It was kind of a double out and back so I knew that I would see many things twice but things looked so good that I took photos early. Like most of the races this year, there was a full and half marathon. After the split, the roads get lonely and all of the runners look like they're straight out of that Nike ad, "There Is No Finish Line".

There were rolling hills but no significant climbs. After the first loop of the course the scenery became repetitive and less intriguing. I became less focused of photos and almost completely focused on the task at hand. I met an older gentleman who used the Jeff Galloway run-walk method. I did it with him for a while but it didn't work for me. After about 5 miles I felt that I could go ahead and run how I feel. I didn't see him again but he was a nice old guy.

All in all I got the job done and another medal for the collection. If you enjoya beautiful scene and you don't mind seeing it twice, then the Lexington, Kentucky, Horse Capitol Marathon might be for you. The expo was tiny but complete at the legendary Fasig-Tipton. The volunteers were great and I have no recollection of a thing that I needed along te course that I couldn't get.

5 comments:

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