On Saturday, January 18, 2014, I went out to support some of my running training partners as they ran the 4th Annual Charleston Marathon. Luke was running his first ever marathon, and Evan was running her 3rd marathon in 90 days to qualify for Marathon Maniacs!
The race started at 8 AM in front of Burke High School and had 5,000 runners combined in the marathon and half marathon. The announcer stated at the start that there were runners from 46 states and 10 countries. The weather was brutal with a starting temperature of 28 degrees and a wind of 15mph, and only bettered to 35 degrees at the finish some 4 hours later.
Because of the weather they allowed everyone to wait in the Burke High School gym until the start of the race. This was also where the small expo was. While we waited there for the start, the Burke High School Drum Line performed for about 10 minutes. The kids were really awesome. They also came out to the starting line to play during the start.
We even saw an interesting rendition of Superman. Zoom in on the picture to check out this outfit configuration. Yes, that is Under-roos over running pants!
There were no starting corrals nor pacing time flags, so it was a large gaggle at the start. Since Luke & Evan were running for time, they had to do some quick navigating at the beginning to get around people.
The race route took them around by the Charleston Riverdogs Baseball Stadium, and around to The Battery. Here is a stock picture of how the Charleston Battery looks. It is such a beautiful view. We typically run this route at least once a week.
They then turn onto King Street and take this to North Charleston. To see how bad the wind was, look at the fountain in Marion Square.
In North Charleston, they had to do a lot of turns and navigating through communities. It was almost like the race developers were trying to add mileage in unusual ways, even running an out and back on a pier.
Here was Luke & Evan at Mile 15. The guy Evan was with was running his first marathon. Evan was in true form running with him for encouragement! Even though they did not realize it, Luke was only about a minute ahead of Evan at every spot I saw them,
The Finish Line was in front of the North Charleston High School. You can tell this was the fourth year of this race. It is getting better, but still has some serious flaws to become a more popular race, especially repeating serious issues that have been overlooked in past years.
According to Luke and Evan, there were several other bands and drum lines along the course for entertainment. As promised, there were aid stations every 2 miles, which helped keep the energy up. They stumbled a little bit keeping the cups filled around the 10-14 mile markers but things improved well into the late teens mileage when it was really needed.
|Stop #||Distance||Aid Station Overview|
|3||5.5m||Water, Gatorade, Jelly Beans|
|5||9.8m||Water, Gatorade, Cola|
|6||12m||Water, Gatorade, Hammer Gels (Vanilla or Huckleberry), Bananas|
|7||14.7m||Water, Gatorade, Cola|
|8||16.5m||Water, Gatorade, Hammer Gels (Vanilla or Huckleberry), Pretzels|
|10||20.3m||Water, Gatorade, Hammer Gels (Vanilla or Huckleberry), Cola|
|12||23.8m||Water, Gatorade, Hammer Gels (Vanilla or Huckleberry), Pretzels|
|13||24.7m||Water, Gatorade, Bananas|
|14||26.2m||Water, Gatorade, Recovery Food|
Evan said she thought the race was much prettier than she was originally lead to believe–could’ve been a weather thing. All headwind aside, it was 70% scenic, 30% not so much. There was plenty to enjoy the first 7-8 miles, and then miles 12-16 were nice.
All in all, she was pleasantly surprised with how much she enjoyed it (probably because she had such a good day overall). Would easily do it again.
Here is a driving tour of the entire marathon course route.
I drove ahead and was able to see Luke & Evan at about 5 different spots to encourage them, and gather clothing they would shed throughout the race. I was so proud of Luke and Evan. Luke finished the race at 4:18:10 (9:51 pace) for his first marathon. Evan finished in PR fashion with a 4:23:05 (pace 10:02) to qualify for Marathon Maniacs!
Here is Luke and Evan coming to the Finish Line!