Why Blue Ridge? Where is the recap?
I started this blog about a month or so after I ran the Blue Ridge Marathon, I like to write my re-caps within a day or so of running the race. This is why I have not included a recap of the 2013 Blue Ridge Marathon.
However I remember so many great things about the race that I am returning to run the full marathon again April 26, 2014. The main thing that sticks out are the people involved.
Last years event was the first marathon ran in the US after the Boston Marathon. Security was tight. The porta-potties were locked prior to the race, the trash cans had been removed from the course, there were law enforcement personal at every corner. Safety was number 1.
The volunteers were informative and friendly. From the pre-race expo to the fuel stations along the course, always willing to help with a smile.
Spectators keep me moving on a course. There weren’t too many along the entire course, but the ones that were present were loud and had signs. They were even funny, they told us at every peak, it was the last. Residents on the course served mimosas and bloody marys, you could even join in some games on the top of Peakwood. Some kids were giving out grapes or had set up their own Gatorade stands.
Runners, if I already hadn’t got the sense of community from all other race participants, it was the runners themselves that created the best race day atmosphere. This is one of the only races I have been a part of where conversation happened on the course. I had the opportunity of running part of the course with a twitter friend I had just met. Then encountered a guy who thought his method of running down the peak backwards was the best approach to save his muscles. Or the guy who had pulled his hamstring weeks before the race, he actually said the bloody mary on top of Peakwood made it worth it. Or the guy who rode down with his buddies, but injured himself on the course and was going to be happy to finish. Then there was the woman who ran Boston days before, then woke up early and ran the “unofficial double” BRM. Everyone was just so nice and had a great story or journey to share.
Lets not forget the race director and organization itself. With weeks to go before the race there was a facebook chat answering questions. It was also easy to contact organizers through twitter if there were last minute concerns. Also the hand shake from the race director when you cross the finish line, that was awesome.
I also had the opportunity to meet Bart Yasso, and listen to him speak along with Bill Rodgers and Frank Shorter.
#runchat friends: If you have been playing along at home, you know I won entry into this through the twitter chat. Not only was I fortunate to be able to run with one, but I have made some new friends I hope to run with in the future.
Bottom line: anyone involved with this race is amazing! You should run it…or maybe run it twice, you never know who you will encounter