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#16 – Bayshore Marathon

Marathon Man - Bayshore Marathon

9 February 2013 – 5 hrs 54 min

This was by far and away the quickest marathon turn-around time this year and would prove to test the body and the mind today. The weather was very cool although the skies were overcast with Patrick Grengs and Lea Reyes the only other marathon competitors joining me on the start line and a few other half marathon runners starting with us at 7am.

There were others that had started the event earlier to walk the marathon course. The event was staged in one of the most picturesque areas of California running along the Long Beach Boardwalk. The day out was to soon prove to be challenging with one of the unfortunate realities of running in unfamiliar locations proving to catch me unprepared.

Marathon Man - Bayshore MarathonI was steaming ahead at the start of the race and enjoying the cool morning breeze chatting with the other marathon and half marathon runners before it was soon apparent over the opening stages that it would be necessary to visit the toilets. It seemed as though the toilet blocks were well spaced and I was confident of making it to the next block ahead although as can sometimes happen on arrival the toilets were locked and I would have to make it to the end of the beach more than 3km away to reach the next stop.

Let’s just say that this proved a moment too far and would see me take a little time out to recover and get back on track to resume the event. It is never pleasant to be caught short and sure does hit you hard making it a challenge to keep moving forward when feeling not quite right in the stomach.

Marathon Man - Bayshore MarathonThe turn-around point had proved a little challenging to find with all runners searching for the turn on the first lap. The reality of running another out and back course four times can also prove to be a mental challenge with a personal preference for a point to point course.

It was a very good thing that there was lots to look at to take my mind off the job at hand with the scenery changing throughout the morning with the early morning fitness groups, cyclists and joggers joined by those walking pets. There was one cyclist that was not impressed when I attempted to pass a walker in front and rather than steer clear almost took me out on the course with the running and walking track very narrow in comparison to the wide two way path provided for bikes.

Marathon Man - Bayshore MarathonLater in the morning couples, families and teams playing volleyball added some colour. In the wake of the NFL Superbowl, it was very impressive to see two guys independently doing speed drills on the sand with flags placed around 100 metres apart. The classic Long Beach Life Guard House and Pier were architecturally impressive as roller bladers flashed past on the course.There was the standard prospector waving the magic wand over the sand searching for anything of value and a crusader spreading the message of the Lord writing “God loves you” in the sand.

Yes – so back to the marathon … The turn-around point had been clearly marked on the next lap making it a lot easier to find for all. The day was very much a matter of simply putting one foot in front of the other, following running only a few hours earlier, and with the knowledge that I would be doing this all over again early tomorrow.

Marathon Man - Bayshore MarathonIt was great to have the sun out today and I wished that I had started with the sunglasses today after the early morning cleared to perfect blue skies. The Marathon Man hat provided some assistance and it was great to get this done and find myself the third across the finish line and be presented with the first official marathon trophy after such a challenging day. It would now all be about getting some rest and refuelling prior to the final marathon in Long Beach to bring together the three day streak.


2013 Statistics:

Marathons Run – 16
Total Distance Run – 675.1 km / 419.2 miles
US States Completed – AZ, CA, FL, NV, TX
Total Drive Distance – 1,465 km / 911 miles
Total Flight Distance – 11,828 km / 7,351 miles

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