Thursday, October 9, 2008

New Hampshire Marathon more photos and memories

Enjoying a gatorade along the course around Newfound is a very pretty course and was a lovely day

At the Newfound Lake lighthouse, I am a bit puzzled why such a small lake needs a lighthouse but it is really cute!
Enjoying some time with my new friends at the Hebron Village General Store, they took several more pictures as I completed the race and I chatted with them briefly after finishing...they suggested I should get an award for having the best time during the race:-) A self picture with a Donkey along the course, he was really sweet and I got to pet him for a few minutes and feed him some grass

A self portrait at sculptured rocks (the second time through...I could not find any hikers to do this)
New Hampshire Marathon is a delightful small marathon. This year was my second time running this race and it definitely will be on my list again in the future. It is small and personal. The start at the Bristol school is convenient, has lots of real bathrooms and even shower facilities (although I did not make use of them).
The folks along the course are very cheerful and enthusiastic. Having water stations every 2 miles ensures the runners have cheering crowds at regular intervals. The race director shaking all finishers hands and giving the finishers medal is also a very nice touch.
The volunteers manning the aid stations are really impressed with the runners and act excited to see each runner arrive. At almost all the aid stations I felt like I was coming home, they were warm, welcoming and cheerful (even the aid station that was in a wind tunnel about mile 14/18).
Of course the beautiful course really adds to this experience. Leaves approaching peak, beautiful scenes including lakes, streams and reflections of the tree's along these water bodies were just spectacular. And the cliffs into the lake along the back section of the course form an impressive backdrop. I probably spent 10% of the race running backwards appreciating the views both coming and going (which always give a different and unique perspective).
And of course meeting new friends and catching up with others is typically difficult in larger marathons, but when you are one of 500 starters and 150 marathoners it is fairly easy to do.
I run marathons to enjoy scenery, get fit and meet other friendly runners. This marathon really enables me to fulfill all of these goals.
My next endeavor is the Baltimore Marathon this weekend. I may be able to post a bit about our New Hampshire Vacation. It was really alot of fun and we probably packed many activities in only 4 action packed days. The weather was a bummer (it rained a portion of at least 3 out of 4 days there), but we went on many hikes. Tristan climbed a ridge he had not previously done (which had 6 inches of snow about 4,000 feet above sea level). We went to Franconia Falls (which we had never been to...and we were lucky that because of all the rain it was quite full). We had a really great time on our trip.

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