Fiasco de Albuquerque

confused at mile 16The prodigal blogger has returned from happy days in New Mexico. I wish I had better news to report but all was not well in Tiguex Park on Saturday morning… hence the title. Still, before I relate my tale, I have to tell you it was a blast ! I met some great folk on the course, enjoyed running well at 5000+ feet and the event lived up to my expectations.

However… I didn’t run the marathon. I didn’t even run the half-marathon. Along with a bunch of runners I ended up running off course. Well, we were still on the course, but on reaching the mile 16 aid station, the monitors were strangely absent in the wooded riverside area where we had to transition back to cycle trail from city streets. A number of us then ran back to the finish line to complete approximately 20 miles. I was puzzled to hear some woman congratulating us as we ran strongly through some streets. I was further confused to hear her urge us on with “only 2 more turns and you’re there”…Boy was I surprised when I saw the finish and heard the band with only 2:38:00 on my watch – ha ha :-)

I still took the medal. I still ate the free bananas and energy bars. I still had a blast chatting with all my fellow “20–milers” as we commiserated on our day. Hey… it was the inaugural event of this race – a few glitches are inevitable. I noticed that of the approximately 250 full marathon entrants, only 103 are listed as finishers. Either there was an unusually high drop out rate or many of us have been added to the half-marathon results (as I have) – perhaps that was the only way it made sense for the organizers to account for the times of some people…

Ultimately, what I am most happy with was my general running performance in New Mexico. I have been training since the New Year with high-altitude-anxiety as my constant companion. I ran well and was maintaining close to an 8 minute/mile pace at 5200 ft… Even more than any result I might have had, that made me feel like this was the best running performance I have so far given.

So, I don’t have number 6 (of 50 sates) yet. I’ll be back there next year to earn the medal. Next race – Edinburgh on June 11th.

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~ by John Rankin on Apr 24, 2006.

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