Thursday, March 15, 2018

March Madness - Running Edition

March can only mean one thing in sports...


That being said, I've made my own brackets of the 32 greatest runners of all-time and will put them head to head each week in the running version of March Madness.  Included in each round will be a brief reason why I chose one runner over the other.  This is my opinion, but I will listen to comments and feedback on the matches.  No results will be modified in hindsight.

Here are the 3 criteria I will use to pick the winners and roughly place them with seeding:

  1. Performance - Simply put, results matter. No runner is ever undefeated, but if you want to be considered one of the best you need to prove it.    
  2. "Just win, baby!" - Al Davis
  3. Influence - It's one thing to win a race, it's another to make the masses follow. 
  4. "A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops" - Henry Adams
  5.  Records - Setting records are will be a big factor.
  6. "Records are made to be broken. It is in a man's nature to do just that" - Richard Branson

Here are the brackets:

    Here is a closer look at each bracket:

    I'd be lying if I said cutting this list down was easy, given the many famous and different types of runners over the millennia humans have been running.  In the end, I decided to limit this bracket to 32 runners, mainly for time and sanity on my part.  It was also very difficult to separate runners and seed them given how widely different the various disciplines or running are. 

    Take for example the 1 vs 8 seed matchup of Usain Bolt vs. Jared Campbell. Bolt runs 100 to 200 meters on a track, while Campbell runs 100+ miles through mountains and forests.  There could not be two runners more different than these two but that is part of what made this intriguing to me. How do you fairly compare these two?  Same goes for the Wilma Rudolph vs. Rob Krar matchup.

    Before I finish this post, I'd be remiss to not mention some of my honorable mentions:
    Deena Kastor, Ron Clarke, Jim Ryun, Babe Didrikson, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich, Bill Rodgers, Grete Waltz, Yiannis Kouros, Shalane Flanagan, Paula Radcliffe, Frank Shorter, Hicham El Guerrouj and Leonidas of Rhodes.

    Each week, I will go through and update the rankings one round at a time and give my reasoning for why I chose the winners.  This bracket is wide open to opinion and influence from outsiders who can provide me valid reason why a runner is better than another.  A lot of thought went into these seedings to make interesting matchups throughout and to provide plenty of debate. March 18th, will be when I go through the initial round of the bracket.

    Feel free to chime in on Twitter (@216Runner) or in the comments section.  Citations and references are appreciated!

    As a shameless plug, if you register for the 2018 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, use code EGCLE10 at checkout for 10% off

Monday, February 26, 2018

Olde Girdled Grit Marathon

Save 10% on with code EGCLE at checkout!

In terms of iconic cities that invoke the wild spirit in trail runners everywhere, Concord Township, Ohio is probably not one of them. Most people, even in Ohio, probably would have a hard time pointing it out on map.  This is part of what had me intrigued when I read about the Olde Girdled Grit trail race hosted by the Greater Cleveland XC as part of the Lake Health Running Series.  Once I found out there was only 300 spots available for the 50K, marathon and half marathon distances, I figured that it has to be a bit of a purists type of trail race.  I was in.

As I drove to the parking lot of the Lake County Metropark, I couldn't help but notice how overcast the weather was.  Checking my watch, I saw there was a very high chance of rain and thus the dreaded wet feet.  The start of the Olde Girdled Grit marathon was scheduled for 8:15am, right next to the Environmental Learning Center in the Lake County Metroparks.  The learning center provided an excellent heated location to serve as morning packet pick up, restroom stop and place to gather before or after the race.  Since the Olde Girdled Grit marathon was two laps of 13.1 miles each, the middle point of the race was also the Learning center.  This center provided a full loaded aid station, restroom and medical stop.  This type of service was greatly unexpected from such a small race but much appreciated.

Shortly after I arrived and the race staff announced the marathon start 10 minutes beforehand and helped guide the runners to the start, a short walk from the learning center.  I quickly pinned on my racing bib and headed out with the other runners.  As the pack lined up at the start line, I could see this was a small race, with only about 20 or so runners in the marathon.  The race staff announced that the 50K runners were already on the course, with a 30 minute head start on us, and the half marathon was staggered 30 minutes behind us.  This was a great idea to stagger the events and helped me pick people to pace off of much easier. There was a quick countdown and off we all went down the road.

The first 1.8 miles of Olde Girdled Grit was not a trail race.  It started with a run that was on the road and only partially shutdown to traffic, which we were told to take all normal precautions with running around moving vehicles.  Although this was not a trail, there was a bit of an insidious climb that started around the 1/2 to 3/4 mile mark and went on for the better part of a mile, with a few brief flat spots. The climb looked worse than it was but it still but a some wear on the legs early, the last thing any distance runner wants.  This road lead to the entrance of the Girdled Road Metropark Reservation and the first water only stop.  There was a surprising number of aid stations for this small trail race, even though two of them were water only, the course looped back on them nicely providing any runner the ability to run this race without carrying much in way of supplies.

The race continued onto some nice wide and well groomed trails, with a nice downhill to the highlight of the race, this bridge:

This bridge was amazing!  It bounced all around and really required some attention when crossing it.  The sides where lower than normal and I'm sure I could have easily fallen over if I were to actually run across it and gotten off balance.  I walked across this bridge each of the 4 times I crossed it in the race (roughly miles 2.5, 9, 15.5 and 22) just to be safe but enjoyed it each time. I was also forced to walk for about a minute after each crossing (or more) as my legs were left feeling very wobbly and borderline unsteady.  I think this bridge really showed my lack of recent work on accessory muscles due to this wobbliness.  Either way, this bridge really made for some fun in the middle of this race!

After the bridge, there were some steeper climbs up the trails over relatively smooth trails that bobbed up and down through the densely wooded areas of the reservation.  Nothing was too aggressive and all of these hills were runnable.  The trails opened up to some very well kept wetlands, that are probably pretty amazing once the ducks and geese return to Northeastern Ohio.  There did appear to be a good sized beaver dam that spilled onto the trail providing some more proof of how much wildlife this small reservation holds.  After looping around several small ponds, through a well stocked aid station, there was a quick dive back into the forest over the previously mentioned bridge, up a large hill and back out to the road where the race started.  The map below show the roughly 9 mile loop in the Girdled Road Reservation.
After heading back towards the Learning Center, there was an additional small loop on a trail next to the Learning center that included a rather large hill.  By mile 12, this hill was kind of brutal given the profile change of this race and most runners were walking it.  I was not ready for this as I did not scout the full details of the race and I'll admit it was a bit demoralizing even though it was a nice little jaunt through a nice little wooded outcropping.  On the second loop it did feel nice, sort of like a victory lap to the finish except there were no fans.  

The double loop nature of this course was nice, as to it helped me pace myself well on the second half, taking full advantage of the uphills, the water only aid stations and save some for the flat spots.  This was not my favorite race and is not as difficult as other races I have run, but for being a race in Ohio, I really found it quite enjoyable.  February can be brutal for running here but the weather held off, not raining once while I ran.  The event hosts had the course VERY well marked (see the white sign and red arrow in the bridge picture) and it was impossible to get lost. Despite being a fairly remote race, there was plenty of aid and I really can't say enough about how nice the Learning Center was.  There was enough food at the end to have a full HOT lunch and coffee!  I've never seen this before and it really added a great warm feeling to the cold weather.  The final thing two things that made me really love this was were the great custom made sweater blanket they gave everyone for participating and this awesome medal that is pretty large and heavy:
There aren't many February marathons in Ohio and only the crazy runners will run them.  I never expect much from small races, other than timing chips and a medal, but this race really took it once step further and made the race feel like an event among friends.  I'm happy I did it and, pending calendar issues, will plan to do it again.  

Here are some pacing and elevation charts from my race.  Sorry Strava shorted me a little less than a mile, but please trust I did the full course as it was laid out for us:

Friday, January 26, 2018

Favorite Podcasts to Listen to While Running

Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Discount Code: EGCLE10

     If there is one thing that I hear over and over again from non runners is, "I get too bored to go out and run for that long!  How do you keep yourself from being so bored?!?"

Well, for one, I am running.  Running is a thing, ya know.  It's like soccer but with one less goal per event, and less back and forth.  Also, podcasts.  Podcasts are free, fun, and sometimes educational.  I love the chance to learn something to better myself, while I am running (or even mindlessly doing chores).  Podcasts are also a great way to listen to funny stories, the news or a litany of other topics.  If there is a topic you want to listen to, there is a podcast for it.  Below are some of my favorites and why I love them (categorized to help you find something you may like).


NPR Politics
     OK, don't run away on the first suggestion!  This is actually a really well done podcast that comes out 2-3 times a week and discusses all of the big political events.  The hosts do a great job of discussing politics in a neutral way and try to show both sides of the coin.  They are actually surprisingly witty and fresh.

On Point
    This podcast is a little drier that NPR Politics Podcast but is very on point with their discussion and very neutral.  Sometimes this podcast overlaps with the previous one, but many times they have different discussion points.  Personal preferences of presentation will set this one apart from NPR.

Up First
    A great morning news podcast new each weekday with a 12 minute length that is perfect for early morning runs, or your daily commute.  Not as dry as your grandpa's NPR!

The Daily
   This is another great weekday newscast that does more deep dives into bigger stories.  The 20+ minute length is another good podcast for morning runs or commutes.  This is a little dyer than Up First by NPR and has a little more political bias in it, but overall is great reporting.  Basically, it's a free snippet of the New York Times each morning!

Pulse Check
     This is a great podcast about America's healthcare system.  This podcast focuses more on content and information than it does entertainment, so it can be a bit dry at times.  If you are in healthcare or want to learn more about how healthcare works, this is the podcast for you.  It updates often based on what is going on in DC.

Stay Tuned with Preet
    This podcast is hosted by Preet Bharara and is focused solely on evaluating the recent news and the legalities of it.  Preet is a great host who is funnier than I imagined, while providing great insight from his time as the U.S. Attorney from the Southern District of New York.


Trail Runner Nation

   If you're a runner who loves the trails and ultra running this is a great podcast for you!  Often around an hour long (or more) this podcast has a lot of good banter, running stories and follies that will keep you entertained for a long run.  There are quite a few ads at the beginning but I've used most of the products myself and see why the shows has them on.

Becoming Ultra
    This podcast is a great source of inspiration and coaching for those who are looking to tackle marathons or ultra marathons.  Each season there are professional coaches who train runners to tackle an ultramarathon.  The catch is that most runners aren't the most seasoned and usually have not completed a marathon, so their jump to this level is immense.  Great coaching advise and insight on this podcast!


Bigger Pockets
    If learning how to invest in or manage real estate is your thing, this is an essential podcast.  The hosts are funny and relatable, while providing an immense amount of knowledge and insight.  This show can be very long at times and is great for the right person who needs to also get in a long run.  Personally, I've learned a great deal from the podcast and used it in my own life.

How I Built This
   Inspiration abounds here as Guy Raz interviews some of the wealthiest people and leaders of industry in America.  They explain how they started and what they did to get where they are.

Politico Money
    Money and politics are two things that have been aligned together since the dawn of the USA. Ben White does an amazing job of drilling financial and political leaders with tough questions about the financial well being of our country.  This podcast is anything but dry and at times gets off course and shows you a side of well known people you might not know about.

Planet Money
   Despite the name and the NPR moniker attached to it, Planet Money is anything but dry.  The hosts tackle current and relevant topics while always having tongue in cheek fun.  How they do this while also making the podcast somewhat educational is beyond me.  A great shorter podcast to keep you enthralled.

Dave Ramsey Show
   If motivation to do better financially is what you need, Dave Ramsey is your guy.  Some of what he says is controversial but the simplicity of it is brilliant.  A good listen for anyone who wants to focus on self improvement.

Wall Street Journal
    The Wall Street Journal is know for the reporting on finances.  Their series of podcasts do not disappoint and are of various lengths and topics, making them great for changing in and out on a long run when monotony kicks in.


    Although this podcast was never carried on for a 3rd series (at least yet), it tells amazing stories.  The story of Adnan Syed actually helped bring his case back to trial and showing issues with it.  The case of Bo Bergdahl is well known but interesting on it's own right.  This podcast will leave you wanting more.

   This was the most downloaded podcast ever, so it should not come as a shocker that it is on this list.  The story of a southern man who can't seem to leave his hometown is captivating, disgusting and absolutely enthralling.  I hope they pick up a second story soon, this podcast is GOLD!

   Deep dive stories are kind of a trend here, and since this is a running blog they are great to energize you for your next run.  Embedded is made in the same ilk as Serial and tells amazing stories by a great voice.

    Hip hop and storytelling are like peanut butter and jelly.  The story of Chris Lighty is an important one behind most of the well known rap from the 80's, 90's and 00's.  The host of this podcast recently passed, which makes this story that much more painful.  His way of storytelling was unique and uplifting, even if the topic wasn't.

    Presidential history is key to learning about America and it's past.  With a big spotlight on every president's personal life and administration, Presidential will open your eyes to America's leaders in a way you have never seen them.

Story Corps
    A shorter storytelling podcast that really provides a lot of personal and heartfelt emotions.  Great variety and tons of stories with a lot of new ones each week.  Great for a random journey.

What It Takes
    Whenever you have a chance to hear a legend or role model tell their life story that got them to where they are you should listen.  That is all What It Takes does for many people you know and admire.


Hidden Brain
    The deep dive into the human psyche can be mind boggling (rimshot)!  Hidden Brain does this one or two facets of it with each podcast and provides a great chance to learn about how we act and do what we do.

Reply All
   Geeking out over internet trends, controversies and randomness is what Reply All is all bout.  Hilarity always ensues as the the hosts are childish, funny and amazingly witty and smart.  I've always enjoyed their escapades and office battles to prove each other wrong.

     Freakonomics has inspired a movie and several books. Stephen Dubner dives into random topics that will challenge the way you think and act, all in the name of improving either yourself or our country.  The mental gymnastics this podcasts will make you do are sure to get you lost in deep thought and question everything around you.  This podcast has even impacted state laws around the country.

    Managing people is tough.  Entreleadership can provide a basis for self development and reflection to help improve this skill.  Great insight and discussion will have you self evaluating what you do at work or around others and probably make you a better overall person for listening.

Intelligence Squared
    Debates can be brutal mudslinging fests.  John Donovan does not let this happen on his show.  Donovan holds participants to a Cambridge style debate, letting each side explain their argument and challenges them in the process.  Audience participation adds some curveballs to the show and helps decide who wins the debate.

The Nerf Herder Council
     It's all Star Wars here!  Nerdy, fun, not like other podcasts!  I know one of the hosts personally and this is one of his favorite things to do, talk Star Wars,

Do you have any favorite podcasts I left out? I'm always open to trying something new to listen to while out on the run.  Drop yours in the comments.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Don't Forget These Things Before Your Race

Use code EGCLE10 at checkout for 10% off the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon!

    If you're like me, you are usually excited the day or two before race day.  You've trained for this day, you have goals and aspirations for this day, you want it to be a great day!  Waking up early to go hop in a car and drive to the race is never the highlight of anyone's day, particularly if you forget something that you might need.  I've shown up to races and realized I left my headphones at home and I've had friends show up in their work shoes instead of their running shoes (yes, they still ran the race).  Just like all of the training you did to prepare your body for the race, don't forget to prepare your gear the night or two before the race.

Here is a quick check list of things I would recommend doing prior to your race.

  • Skin protection - This might not be essential for shorter races, but for half marathons on up, this is essential.  Areas that can often chafe and need something to protect them from being rubbed raw during the race. Some of these areas include: nipples, waist, armpits, groin, ankles, toes.  I usually use a product like Body Glide  or Vaseline, in small amounts.  Another thing that can help is make sure to use a good lotion all over to ensure your skin is hydrated and properly maintained.  This might also alert you to some possible problem areas.
    • Of note, never share your Body Glide or like with someone, who knows where they have used it! 
  • Pinch the toes of your socks - Many runners suffer from the infamous black toenail after long runs.  Simply leaving a little extra room in the toes of your socks can help prevent this.  Toenails can catch and rub on the sock if it is too tight, sometimes leading to sore toes as well.  This little extra room can be a serious toenail and sore toe saver!
  •  Don't over tighten your shoes! - The morning of a race can be packed with nerves.  Be sure when tying your shoes not to over tighten them.  Obviously you don't want a shoe to come off in the race but this can lead to pain in your feet, particularly your metatarsals.  This was a problem for me several years back and lead me to my only marathon DNF.  After I dropped and fixed the problem, the pain was gone in 30 minutes.  So was my motivation to run.
    • Start snug, but not tight, you can always retie them on the run should they come loose or need tightening.
  • Check your equipment the night before - Sounds obvious right?  I've went out to a race only to have gear not latch correctly or a water valve not work.  That can be frustrating and panic inducing if you realize this at the start line or during the race.  Make sure to check everything, even your shoes the day before. Give yourself time to possible go get new gear if it might be needed.
  •  Lay everything out the night before - Making this a ritual is a good thing to do, but it will ensure success on race day.  My list includes: Shirt, shorts, shoes, socks skin protection, keys, cell phone, wallet, gel packets, sunglasses, towel (for the car), and waster bottle.
    • Colder races add: jacket, running pants, gloves, balaclava, handwarmers
    • Wild card: music device, running watch, headphones, hat, hydration vest or belt
  • Sleep - The best advice I heard was make sure you get sleep the whole week leading up to a race, particularly two nights before the race.  This is important because the night before, you probably will be so excited you won't sleep well.
  • Hydrate - Clearly drinking plenty of water and taking in the correct electrolytes are key.  Taking this a step further, try to avoid caffeine intake at least the day before a race.  Having a small cup of coffee in the morning is OK, but copious amounts even two days before may leave you dehydrated for the race.  Caffeine has a half life of about 5-6 hours. In pharmacology, something is considered to half fully left you body after 6-7 half lives, roughly.  This puts caffeine totally out of your system at around 34 hours.  Levels that effect the body and heart rate should be gone by about 15-18 hours, depending how much was consumed.  Caffeine intake can be done during the race, but I believe it is better to decide this on the run with a fully caffeine free body, rather than having too much prior and having to try to calm down a rapidly beating heart.
  • Develop a game plan for the day - This won't matter so much for shorter races like 5Ks, which are basically all out races, but will matter a lot for trail races and races of a half marathon or longer.  Decide how you want to approach steep hills, will you power hike it or run it slower?  Will you try to make up time on downhills or go slow to enjoy the break and not batter your legs?  Will you not stop running no matter what or is it OK to walk and let yourself rest for a bit?  Will you run with a friend or is it everyone for themselves?  Will you run based on feel or are you sticking to a certain pace?  Sticking to plans like these are vital to avoid being caught up in the moment or possibly injuring  yourself.  You can always change them if you feel great that day but having a plan will help keep you levelheaded and avoid a DNF
  • Set up breakfast - Go with what you know!  I double check to ensure I have my Eggo's, peanut butter and bananas already for me, since this is my go to breakfast on race day.  Whatever yours is have it ready, so you aren't wasting time or annoyed when one thing is missing.
  • Remember to take time to enjoy it, no matter what happens.  Even a bad race day is still a day you tried your best.  If an injury happens, learn from it.  If you PR the race, celebrate it.  Just enjoy it!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Run for Regis - Government Shutdown Edition

If there is one thing for certain these days, you can depend on nothing to be the same!

     With my goal to run 12 marathons in 12 months in 2018, I knew I would need to start off strong, just in case I had to miss a race later in the year.  That said, January in Ohio is a great time of year to start running marathons (shakes head vigorously side to side).  The Run for Regis was the first marathon on my list in 2018, which I was very excited about since last year I did the 18 mile option and loved that it opened my eyes to the great asset with have in Northeast Ohio with the Cuyahoga National Valley.  I used these trails extensively in training for the Leadville 100 last year and for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon.  With a lot of elevation changes (for Ohio) and some truly great forests, ledges and trails, this was just the place I needed to stay motivated and excited for running.

     This year the Run for Regis was going to be very different than last year.  For starters, I was upping the distance from 18 miles to 26.2, there was even a 50k option.  Second, this year had a lot more snow on the trails.  It did warm up later in the day and melt some of the snow, but last year was mostly mud the whole way.  I preferred to run on the snow as I can not stand having wet socks or feet.  Lastly, the night before the race, the event organizers posted that if the government shut down at midnight they were unable to officially time the race or set up aid stations as their permit for the race would be invalid.  The crew would be there to pass out swag and medals, but any runner who planned on running the race would have to run fully self supported. Even the restrooms would be locked. Looks like the difficulty just got turned up a notch.

    Race day...

    I drove to the Ledges shelter where the race was supposed to start from.  I was dark as the sun still hadn't risen by 6:58 AM here.  I walked up to the van the race crew was handing out gear and medals from to collect mine.  While there, I grabbed two extra bottles of water, figuring to leave them in the car in case I needed some extra water from what by hydration bladder could hold.  I laced up my shoes by the light of my car, through on my running pack and started off on the trails at about 7:15 AM.  It was dark and a cold 33 degrees.

Course Map

    The trails were well marked this year with white signs that had large red arrows, reminiscent of a garage sale sign you would see.  These signs were a marked improvement over last years signs, which almost caused me to miss part of the trail.  As the race started by running into the ledges section, the trails were well packed with snow and easy to run on.  Some spots had ice and any runner knows to watch for rocks and roots that can just out of the snow and catch your toe. It was very clear where the race went, which was surprising to me as I appeared to be on of, if not the, first runner out on the course.  I enjoyed Boston Run part of the trail due to the constant change in scenery, the rolling undulations of the hills, the bridge crossings and the familiarity I had with having now run this section multiple times through multiple seasons.  While this is always a beautiful place to enjoy nature, the pristine whiteness of winter really captures the beauty of the park.  The sunrise was spectacular through the trees.

    After running for roughly 2 miles, I went to take a sip of water from the over the shoulder hose connected to my hydration bladder.  Nothing came out.  I tried again, sucking harder this time.  Nothing.  I took a few deep breathes and tried again, much harder now while even pressing with my hand on the bladder, nothing.  Although I filled my hydration bladder the night before, I forgot to test it out, rookie mistake.  I ran the rest of the loop, sipping sparingly from the soft water bottles that were strapped to my chest.  This was not a good way to start a self supported marathon.

     As I came back towards where the run had started, I could see the soft glow of light coming a van.  The race crew was still parked in the parking lot handing out the last of the medals and swag to those who still came out.  Running towards them, I grabbed several extra water bottles to carry with me for the race.  Quickly dropping off my 2 litter hydration pack and hose in my car, I stock my pack with three half liter water bottles, leaving three more in car passenger seat.  This would be enough to get me through the race, even if I had to run the last loop with no water.

    Having now gotten enough supplies, despite an almost race dooming oversight, I was now calm and ready to go about the rest of the race.  The next loop was an almost 9 mile section with several aggressive hills.  The Salt Run loop was very picturesque and cross a roadway twice, luckily with little traffic especially on a Saturday morning.  Running around Kendall Lake, a sledding hill and trails that make up some of the Burning River 100, this trail was a blast!  One thing stuck out to me though, I'd have to run this aggressive hilly section twice this year.  Last year, this section snuck up on me and took a lot out of me.  Knowing this, I power walked the hilly parts and took my time to enjoy this.  Knowing after I finished this loop, I would only be half way done was a bit intimidating.

     The Salt Run loop had bathrooms (pictured just over the hill above) where I thought I could relieve myself.  Unfortunately, the park rangers had locked these due to the government shutdown.  Guess, that only leaves on option.  Running down the trail parallel to the sledding hill was fun.  Watching kids (and some other runners) slide down the hill, on the second lap, was uplifting and brought a smile to my face. Who cares if they were course cutting, they were still close enough and enjoying the park, while snubbing there nose to the government shut down. That's a runner's spirit!

    The hardest part of the Salt Run loop was the Pine Grove loop.  It felt like I was almost back to the end of the loop and this dastardly little loop just keep snaking around playing mind games with me, until finally dumping me back on the trail I had run in on.  It was flat and easy to run, but the torturous part of thinking I'm almost there was a little brutal in the cold with few supplies.  The trek back to the car was pretty fast from there, grabbed some more water bottles, left the empties and carried on.  Mental math telling me I had enough water to finish this race was encouraging and I trekked on through the snow.

    Coming around for the second of each loop I saw more and more runners.  Some of them started rooting for me, telling me I was "in first place" and "no one is ahead of you".  There was no way for them to know this as everyone started at different times, but the cheers were welcomed and motivating each time.  I typically retorted with "No I just started at 5am!" which usually drew chuckles from the others.  Exchanging a few high fives and motivation with others on the second of the loops was great to hear and see as so many others still came out and did this race despite having no aid due to the government shutdown.  By my estimates from last year, I'd still say half, or more, still showed up and ran.  Guess you just can't stop some runners.

  As I came back in towards the finish from my second loop of Salt Run, I checked my Strava app I was using.  It said I was only around 24+ miles.  This concerned me as I knew I had run the whole course.  To be sure I was not short changing myself or the race, I started back on the Boston Trail loop for about 1/4 mile out and then turned back, to see if my GPS would correct itself.  Strava did not accurately measure the whole race, which I confirmed with other race vets who I saw at the parking lot.  Subtracting the extra roughly 1/2 mile I ran this means I finished in 5:00:52.  This was not my fastest run, but I beat my 18 mile run last year in distance and time.  

     Considering this race was fully supported and required me to carry more, have less aid and make a few stops at my car, I was happy with this.  The 3,200 feet of elevation gain and snowy trails made this much harder than the road marathons I have run in the past.  Although this was my second slowest marathon, although it was my fastest trail marathon, I am happy with it.  Run for Regis will serve as a great stepping stone and training run for the rest of my year and help push  me to what will hoepfully be a PR at the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon this year!

My Strava data for this race.

MAJOR shout out to the race crew who despite all of the political drama around this date with the government shutdown, still had the course marked, handed out medals and swag AND let us submit our times to post them later.  You are the real winners here!

Also, the pullovers they gave out at this race were AMAZING!  Worth the registration alone!