Wednesday, March 30, 2011

50 Is A Lonely Number

When I ran Surf City in 2010 and 2011, I was one of many runners on the course. I got somewhat lost in the crowd at the San Francisco Marathon as one of many who tackled the hills last July.

When I line up for my fourth marathon in a week and a half (!) I will likely encounter different circumstances. I might find myself all alone on the course.

The Diamond Valley Lake Marathon will be a much smaller race. Much smaller. How many runners finished last year's marathon?


That's a five followed by a zero.


I thought the marathoners I lined up alongside at Surf City were small and hearty, but this is taking small to another level.

I won't have the sometimes pleasant distraction of watching fellow runners, of yo-yoing ahead and behind other runners, of trying to keep up with or stay ahead of others.

I will be lonely out there on the course.

Seven runners finished between 4:20 and 4:40 last year. I think I'll come in somewhere around that window of time, so if statistics hold for this year I'll be running with maybe a handful of other runners if I'm lucky.

Now, I'm not entirely upset or bothered by this. I knew the race was small when I signed up for it. I suppose this 50-runner figure is just a bit of a surprise, something that I just realized this morning.

I've prepared mentally for this race, having run 10 of my recent 20-miler on a track. I proved I can take a mental pounding that day, so whatever mental challenges this small race poses I hopefully will be ready for.

And ultimately, it will be a new experience, to run a marathon essentially alone.

I suppose if I get frustrated I can scream really loud and nobody's going to be around to hear it, nobody's going to think I'm crazy or anything.


Stacey said...

I always like the smaller races...good luck and have fun!

Morgan said...

50 finishers? Um yeah, it's a good thing you spent some time chasing your tail on the track, def good mental training for this one!

Jim ... 50after40 said...

I would totally be singing to myself in a race that small. I guess treat it like a 26.2 training run ... I've never ran one that small, but it might a good chance to meet some really cool people! You'll do great!

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

While I haven't run a marathon that small, I will say that I MUCH prefer the smaller marathons. I hope you find that you like this one. Good Luck!

Michael said...

Wow, I think that would be really tough, of course I run by myself all the time so maybe not - but you just expect the excitement of other runners on race day. Good luck, look forward to hearing about your experience.

Kerrie T. said...

If LB screams on the marathon course and no one is around to hear it, is he crazy?

Angelina said...

Santa Barbara was bigger, but I ran most of it alone. It was a new kind of challenge, and I actually enjoyed not worrying about if I was slowing anyone down, or going too fast.
As always, you will do great!

Willoughby said...

I have no experience running marathons so I don't know whether I would like that or not. I'll be interested to hear how you feel about it afterward.