Saturday, September 12, 2015
I had narrowed down my choices to two races in Idaho, Pocatello and the Freakin Fast Marathon in Boise, both downhill races and both run on Sept. 5. I finally decided on Pocatello because it's a more gradual downhill, and a more established race. That turned out to be a better decision than I thought as the Freakin Fast Marathon cancelled with less than a week to go because of road construction.
My travels to Pocatello included flying into Salt Lake City, then driving to Pocatello. There were no problems with that, and I went straight to packet pickup/expo which was held in the host hotel. I was staying across the street so I was near the pickup/drop off area.
The morning of the race I walked across the street to catch the bus to the start. It was somewhat cold at the start area, but part of the race swag was a backpack that served as our drop bag. So I wore warm clothes to the start, put them in the backpack and picked them up at the finish. This was just one of the little extras that made this a well run race. The start was fairly normal, Star Spangled Banner then a gunshot. The time I was hoping for was sub 3:50, there were pacers, but no 3:50. So I ran with the 3:45 pacer for a while. In retrospect, it would have been better to just keep my 3:50 pace. I ran with the pacer for about 5 miles before I decided I should slow down. Besides, the pacer was really running a 3:35 pace and he planned to slow up once the course evened out. I passed the 1/2 mark around 1:51, but could tell I was starting to fade. The first 13-14 miles are downhill, then gently rolling terrain after that. Around mile 20 I was beat. I started walking/running. My pace dropped to 11/mile and I watched my sub 3:50 go out the window. Around mile 24 the 3:55 pacer passed me. I thought I'll try to keep up with her. I was able to start running without stopping, and ended up finishing just under 3:55.
The finish area had plenty of food and drink, but I'm seldom hungry right after a long distance run. I did get the "Steak on a Stick" by Sizzler, but it was cold and tasteless. I decided to go back to the hotel for my car and clothes and head back to Salt Lake City. Again, no problems getting back home.
This is a nice small marathon that doesn't skimp on extras, I would recommend this race for almost any reason you run marathons. The state, the swag, a fast time, a good time.