Monday, February 18, 2008
2008 Lost Dutchman Marathon
Yesterday, Sunday February 17th, I ran the Lost Dutchman Marathon in Apache Junction Arizona. This is about 25 miles East of Phoenix. I arrived Saturday morning, picked up my car and drove straight to the expo. I wanted to see a presentation by Anthony Reed, director of the National Black Marathoners Association (NBMA). Tony is the first Black person to finish marathons on all seven continents. His presentation was very interesting.
I ran this marathon because it was designated as a meeting for this group, and I wanted to meet the people who were a part of it. They were all good people, and it was interesting to hear their stories and why they ran.
The organization of this marathon was first class. The organizers did everything they could to make the runner feel special, and I did.
They considered moving the start of this marathon, because there had been rain in the days before, and there were streams running across the road. I didn't want to run through water, this wasn't an ultra, but in the end, I'm glad they didn't move the start.
I attended the pasta dinner, it was good, and they had games. I went back to my hotel got everything ready for the next morning and went to bed. I slept well until around 3 and then couldn't go back to sleep. This didn't worry me, and at 4 I got up and started getting ready. I drove to the pickup location, and got on the first bus to the start. When we got there it was nice. Pads on the ground for us to lay on, and campfires beside each pad. Plenty to drink and eat while we waited.
Seven o'clock, and we're off. I was near the front, and it opened up fairly quickly. It wasn't long before we came to the first stream running across the road. I decided not to run through it, and went over to the side to get by. There were a couple more of these and this slowed me a bit because it was pretty much single file through here. We were on dirt roads for this part of the race, and it was fine after we passed the water. Later we were on the highway, and I felt good this entire way. I was trying to hold an 8:45 pace, but was a little under that at this point. They had plenty of aid stations, so hydration wasn't a problem. This race had rolling hills throughout, and a few kind of large ones. I was up and down from about 14 on. Around mile 20 we started hitting some more hills. I was fading a bit now, and my pace was dropping. But I was still on a sub 4 pace. At mile 23 there is a hill they call the Dutchmans revenge, and it was tough. Anyway, I didn't quite make my goal of sub 4, and I finished in 4:01:13. This is a nice small marathon, and I would recommend it to anyone. I also met a lot of good people at this marathon, and I hope to see many of them again soon.