398.8 miles raced, 7480 meters swam and 202.3 miles biked in 2011
Race: Drake Well Marathon and Pikermi
Place: Titusville, PA
Miles from home: 1851 miles
Weather: 60 degrees; some rain
This is definitely not a recap concerning my effort in the Pikermi (otherwise know as half-marathon.) Because it was the first official "Pikermi" (if you are confused, read more here) I simply had to take part in the race as a participant. As soon as I finished the race, I planned to jump right back into my duties of assisting the Titusville Leisure Services in directing the race I helped create a few years ago. By running the Pikermi I could see first-hand any potential problems which may crop up. So, I did finish second overall in 1:29:36 to a stellar 1:21:01 running by Ben English but this race, and the marathon, belonged to so many others. I am going to try to touch on more than a few of them here.
|All photos are courtesy of http://www.marynicholsonphotography.com/|
|27 states down for Shannon!|
*While the Drake Well Marathon is essentially four years old, only three of the years have been run on the quickly becoming quite infamous Double Gusher course. In keeping with the oil history theme I heard one runner call the two separate three hundred foot hills "gushers" and I think that might just stick. Only three runners that I know of have done all of the new DWMs:
1. Rick Rayman
2. Stephen Velott
3. Douglas Basinski
Rick made this marathon his 255th lifetime marathon. That is not a typo. To have rick back every year is an honor. Doug has posted times of 3:04, 3:00 and 3:02. If you take a look at this course and its elevation profile you will be quite impressed by those times. Stephen, after running 3:45 and 3:54 in the previous two years, crushed out a 3:06 at Drake Well this year. Talk about improvement!
|Jason, Julie, me and CJ. 94 tops!|
|Tracking down wayward runners.|
In fact, as soon as I crossed my finishline I continued to run off the track and out of the field to make sure they got back to where they needed to be. Obviously both were disappointed with the snafu but were quite gracious after the race.
|Before a second bout of rain soaked my poor Mom again!|
But the rain did relent and even if it had not, the wonderful 7 mile out and back section of the bicycle trail provided the perfect cover for runners. Virtually every foot of this bike trail is covered in thick, green forest which keep even the most torrential of downpours off of the runners. I did find it funny when one person told me they chose this as their first marathon ever but did not like out and back sections. "You saw the map, right?" I thought.
The biggest change came from renamed the half to the Pikermi as numbers of registrants soured. The race nearly doubled its participants and will force us as race directors to evaluate what we need to do to handle all runners adequately. While we had portapotties at the start and again at mile 10, I know some were wishing we had them along the beautiful bicycle trail. I know a permitting issue with the state park we run through may make that difficult but we are going to see what we can do.Without a doubt, the desire is to get more runners to the race so we can showcase what a great town Titusville is, but we do not not wish to do so if we sacrifice the quality of the race.
As I was wearing my medal, bib number and Beef It's What For Dinner shirt, I did not necessarily look like a race official to many. This allowed me to mingle around the race participants and here their positive (many) and negative (few) comments about the race. When you work so hard creating something you always hope that every single person loves it. Of course there is always work to be done and no race goes smoothly but this year was far and away the best race we have ever had. There were so many fantastic individual stories from this race as 31 different states, three countries and the Netherlands Antilles were all represented. For a town not all that easy to get to in a race in only its third year we were so pleased to welcome this diverse of a group to our race and town. with such positive feedback, there is even talk we may need to cap the race registrants next year as we will be simply bursting at the seams with runners.
I am sure the race can hold far more than we think, just like I kept the original Drake Well Marathon to 25 participants because I did not think any more than that could adequately fit on my track for 105.5 loops. After the race I saw it could have easily handled three times that number. but taking baby steps and moving forward each year in a positive step is what we at the Drake well Marathon and Pikermi are all about. I have zero doubt even better leaps forward will be made in each successive year as this race grows and grows.
We'd also like to thank the Boston Marathon for having its registration open just three short weeks after our race making us one of the last chance to qualify for the new Boston standards! That can't hurt attendance at all. Hope to see all of you in 2012!
Results can be found HERE. Pictures can be found HERE.