Hughes' Views & News

OBX Marathon race report

Posted in Uncategorized by tahughesnc on November 9, 2009

Here’s one of the things that I most love about doing endurance sports.

Yesterday I ran the Outer Banks Marathon. Although I traveled to the race with friends, there was no one in our group who runs at my pace.  So when I lined myself up at the starting line, I didn’t have a running partner lined up for the race.

But about 4 miles into the race, I noticed a man and a woman running together in front of me at about my pace.  So I ran up to them and said, “You two are doing a good job of setting the pace.”

“You’re welcome to take the lead now, if you want,” the man replied.

Shot of me on the beach at Kill Devil Hills.

On the beach at Kill Devil Hills, the day before the race.

“I don’t want to take the lead, but I’ll join you, if that’s OK,” I said.

The man’s name was Ian, from Cincinnati. The women’s name was Lauren, from Boston.  From mile 4 until shortly before mile 13, the three of us ran together.

One section of the course was an unpaved trail, and I began to pull away from the other two on a climb near the end of that section. Lauren caught up to me soon after we got back on pavement, but Ian remained further back. So I ran with Lauren until about mile 18 or 19, when she began to slowly pull away from me and I couldn’t keep up.

My pace began to seriously deteriorate after that, and I hit the wall at mile 23. From there until the end I alternated walking with running. About 1/4 mile from the end, Ian passed me, and finished a few places ahead of me. When I heard the announcer call his name, I learned for the first time that Ian and I have the same last name.

This was my fourth marathon (or six, if you count the runs from my two Ironman races), and it was my slowest finish time of the four. But thanks in large part to the temporary camaraderie I found out on the course with two people I had never met before,  it was still a fun and rewarding experience for me.

I’ve had similar experiences in several other races, and each time it happens, I get a charge out of it.

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