Columbia Marathon 2012 – Additional Ramblings

Mar 14, 2012 by

Columbia Marathon 2012 – Additional Ramblings

Earlier this week, I posted my Columbia Marathon review.  Now that I’ve had a few more days to reflect, I have some thoughts to add.

Ideas For Next Year

Need More Cowbell

One thing the marathons I have completed (a whopping 3) have in common is lack of spectators.   Most, if not all, runners are used to this.  We train countless hours in solitude.  I understand watching long distance running MAY not be the most exciting thing, but on the rare occasion when there is a crowd, it is appreciated.  How can this be improved for Columbia?

University of South Carolina was on spring break, and that might have been strategic on the race director’s part, but as I ran down Green Street and then on Sumter Street in front of the U.S.C. Horseshoe, I could almost hear crickets chirping.   What about a U.S.C. pep band in this area or some bands in other areas?  What about a noise contest between fraternities and sororities as we passed the Greek Village on Blossom Street?

Contest Within The Contest

In the neighborhoods, we passed several churches, but only one had any people outside cheering (both laps!) – thanks Wesley Memorial UMC! .   Maybe  churches and other business organizations could setup unofficial aid/cheer stations.  Perhaps someone can come up with an idea to get  neighborhoods more involved to put on a display (adopt-a-street?, “Welcome to the neighborhood” signs?) and get a crowd.  Some humorous motivational signs up Trenholm Road would have been funny.  The runners could then vote on the best street/area at the end.  I think the now defunct Labor Day 15K at Ben Lippen did something like this.

Finish Announcer?

Maybe this is impractical for a large race, but one nice feature of some races is an announcer who lets the crowd know runners’ names as they approach the finish line.

Random Personal Notes

My quads ached for two days.

The official website lists the marathon as having 653 feet of elevation gain. That’s roughly the equivalent of climbing 65 flights of stairs.  I think that it had more.  Either way, it is no wonder my quads hurt.

Near the end, as I struggled up the Gervais Street hill the second time, a young girl blew past me.  “Curse, you, young person,” I thought, “How can you be that fast up hill at this point?”  Then I noticed her Newton shoes.  I smiled. “Go, Girl!”

One lady had a sign that said ‘Your feet hurt because of all that @$$ you’re kickin!’  I wanted to ask her: Since my @$$ was hurting so bad, was I the one getting kicked?

In the mid-late ’90’s I worked at a small, now defunct  start-up company in Columbia. We had less than 15 employees at that time, I think, and no runners.  This weekend, three of those former co-workers completed marathons, one even at the bottom of the world!  Congrats, Ben and Dean!

Here’s a video of Ben talking about his experience (6th video down the page, labeled 3 Friends Talk about the race):

In the 13 weeks leading up to and including the race, I logged 353 running miles and 141 exercise bike miles, totaling 73 1/2 hours of training.  That’s just over 27 miles running and 5 1/2 hours of training per week.  My wife might argue that seems too little, but the GPS watch software doesn’t lie!

Here’s the video my son shot as I finished:




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