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2008 Country Music Marathon
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Mini Race Report of Mark's Country Music Marathon 2008 - as recalled in 2012 - This race had close to 5,000 full marathon runners (and about 25,000 half marathon runners).

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My first Marathon... the Country Music Marathon. I had been running casually (about 12-16 miles per week) for a while, but all very light running. I began doing a little more near the end of 2007, but only in January did I decide to run the Country Music Marathon. I had little time to prepare. The casual running, while not much, was a big help over not being prepared at all. At least my body was accustom to the stress of running even though not for these distances.

I went out too fast (for me) at around 7:20. At mile 9, my patella tendon began to hurt (I had been having problems with it because a year before, I had doubled mileage suddenly (big mistake). I stopped and put on a "jumper's knee" brace and hobbled for about 5 miles, at which point, it stopped hurting, so I resumed normal running.

I gradually slowed until about mile 17 when I was around 8 minutes per mile and over. At mile 24, I was falling apart and was doing calculations to see if I had just a few seconds in which I could walk instead of run. I did so, twice (about 20 seconds each). I wanted to stop so badly, but the allure of a BQ on my first marathon kept me going through the pain. I held it somewhat together to cross the line for a BQ.

I stopped suddenly (which I've since realized I cannot do without penalty) and began tingling, then badly cramping. It was lack of electrolytes (and super high effort). At this point though, I just didn't care. I knew that I qualified and I was on "cloud 9" amid all the cramping and medics going around.

It was gruelling and I was incredibly sore for a LONG time (at least a week). The stairs in our house were incredibly painful for a few days. But what a huge reward. I was hooked. I became a marathoner.

Medal for Country Music Marathon


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