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#15 – You Only Get One Shot Marathon

Marathon Man - You Only Get One Shot Marathon

8 February 2013 – 5 hrs 10 min

Following a few days locked away in LA making phone calls and talking with potential sponsors I was up early to LAX airport and into a rental car to escape the city for Orange County.

It had been less than 24 hours since I had stumbled across the team from “Criminal Minds” filming across from the hotel while getting lunch; and it was interesting to note Police checkpoints in place. The search for ex LAPD rouge gunman Christopher Dorner who was targeting LA Police on a personal vendetta had placed the city on high alert during this bleak drizzly morning.

It was great to finally be able to repair the Garmin GPS unit at Best Buy and this would soon make life so much easier while travelling around the USA. After arriving in The OC it was not too long before reaching Dana Point for what would be the first of three marathons in three days. This would be the first afternoon marathon and also the first of the low key Charlie Alewine Racing Series events.

Marathon Man - You Only Get One Shot MarathonThe rain had been falling most of the way to Dana Point although it had cleared a little on arrival to The Point Restaurant and Bar for the start of the marathon. This was a unique Friday marathon event set up to celebrate Andrea Casella Kooiman’s 38th Birthday with those of us able to make the 3pm start lining up and others starting out a little later after the working week. I was feeling good after a few good days rest and was ready to get out and run.

It was good to meet up with Charlie Alewine for the first time. He handed out a small printed guide with the street directions to help orienteer the marathon course. There were five of us assembled for the afternoon start with the birthday girl Andrea briefly running through the general course layout at the start although this would soon be a distant memory.

Marathon Man - You Only Get One Shot MarathonThe small group started out together before the Laura Sohaskey and I pushed ahead in the crisp early afternoon breeze. It was good to catch up briefly before we found ourselves more in the middle of an episode of “The Amazing Race” rather than a marathon. In passing the unmarked crossing and then backtracking a little we soon took the wrong turn before finding our way back on course after crossing the golf course and asking a number of people for advice. It was pleasing that this diversion while costing some time did not add to my overall distance travelled with the total distance spot on at the half marathon stage.

The weather soon deteriorated with rain falling and the cold evening making it more important to get this done as soon as possible to be ready to go again a few hours later. Perhaps the major challenge of the night was circumnavigating the path behind the golf course with no lighting and uneven pavements making for a very challenging and cautious approach over the out and back 3km track. It was always going to be the case although the two running items that I wish I had packed for the adventure were a running water bottle belt and the head torch for the early morning and night events. This would be the last time that I would test out the night vision and hopefully would find time to get a head torch for future events.

It was great to have a table staffed by volunteers in this weather set up at the turn around point under a bridge in total darkness with snacks and drinks to keep us going. This event was primarily another solo marathon for me with the majority of the marathon run on my own with the late start group heading out with around 20 runners taking on a quarter marathon, half marathon and marathon prior to getting together for a Birthday Party later at The Point.

Marathon Man - You Only Get One Shot MarathonIt was great to see smiling faces on the out and back course to help provide some support during the event. The evening was getting cold and the rain continued to fall consistently making the challenge greater on the night. There were rolling hills throughout the course and it was more of a mind game than anything else to break down the course and focus on certain targets to keep me moving forward.

It was a great relief to be the first across the finish line from the original group that set out at 3pm in the afternoon arriving back just after 8pm. There was just enough time to dry off and have a quick bite to eat before catching up on a few hours sleep and doing it all over again the next morning in Long Beach.

2013 Statistics:

Marathons Run – 15
Total Distance Run – 632.9 km / 393.0 miles
US States Completed – AZ, CA, FL, NV, TX
Total Drive Distance – 1,395 km / 867 miles
Total Flight Distance – 11,828 km / 7,351 miles

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