2015 Abebe Bikila International Peace Marathon Race Review

Race Date: 09/12/2015
Time: 4:27.37
Weather: Pouring freakin’ rain
Course: C&O Towpath near Fletcher’s Cover
Run Again: Nope

Very rarely do I go into a marathon with a time goal. That’s the only reason that my body is able to handle so many in a year. But for this race, I did have a goal. I wanted to break 4:00.00. I trained for it. I was ready. But it just didn’t happen.

I’ll start with the marathon details. This race uses the same course and logistics as the spring race put on by the same organizers, the Potomac River Run Marathon. So I was familiar with the parking and the course. But it’s really not too difficult. The main things you need to know are that it’s good to get to the parking lot early, and that the course you will be running in is a flat as a pancake 6.05 mile out-and back that you run twice. So you back-and-forth over the same general course four times. Also, it’s crushed gravel. If this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, you should probably pick a different race.

But this seemed like as good of a race as any to shoot for my time goal. I even saw a rainbow pre-race so I thought for sure that sub-four marathon was in the bag!

Sadly, it just didn’t happen. For starters, it absolutely poured during the entire race. It literally started raining during the National Anthem and did not stop until I was on my last lap. But I honestly don’t think it was the rain that slowed me down. Pre-race, it was hot, humid, and sunny. So when the clouds rolled in and the rains came down, it actually felt good. Refreshing, even. And I wasn’t troubled by blisters of chafing.

So once again I’m left wondering why I ran out of gas. Why I just couldn’t seem to hit the same paces on race day that I hit during training. Hopefully, that’s something that will come to me after a few weeks or months of reflection. But for now, I’ll just say that I’m totally bummed.

Of course, none of that is the fault of this race. It’s inexpensive and well-organized and the race staff obviously put a lot of effort into putting on a simple race for purist runners. But I’ve run this course twice now, and I’m good. Plus, I do have to say that the food is well, it’s not that good. Cheese-free, gluten-free pizza? What’s the point of that?