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Monday, March 24, 2014

Oakland Marathon 2014

Oakland Running Festival
Oakland, California
Mileage - 26.2
Time - 2:43:58
AEG - 964ft
Pace - 6:15
Place - 4th Overall

The Oakland Marathon, so many highs and only a handful of lows.  I mean that literally and figuratively.  Let's start with the lows and get them out of the way first.  Registration at the expo is something I would like to forget, my advice is to sign up in advance!  Questionable turns and poor course marking late in a race is a huge pet peeve of mine and it shouldn't happen.  Now on to the good.

The first high I want to mention is the top of the hill.  You know, the one that started at mile 2 and went up to mile 11...yeah, that one. (Wait, maybe it should have gone in the lows.)  Anyways, if anything was going to make this race challenging it had to be that, right?  Actually no, it was the quad shredding, hip jarring downhill immediately after you reach the 11-mile mark that generated most of the leg fatigue later on. Basically what took nine miles to go up came down in about three.  In comparison to other marathons, I honestly didn't mind the hills because we all knew what we were in for and I prepared myself well. 

The people were great!  Volunteers, spectators, Raiders Cheerleaders; thanks to you this race was a blast. As difficult as the course appears on paper, it was really fun to run.  There were a few other details that I noticed that took some special planning to avoid a clustered finish for the marathoners.  Thanks for that.  The shirts and medals were nice and the gear check for commuters is a fantastic idea.  Post race food, space blankets and massages were well appreciated.

Lastly, my race.  I usually come down on myself for things I could improve upon, though not today. A personal best was out of the question with almost a thousand feet of elevation gain, I was just pleased with my ability to climb the hills and not allowing my mile splits to go above the 6:40's and the late miles never went over 6:20.  About every six miles I would get a fresh batch of marathon relay runners to contend with and somehow I always ended up right behind the first female.  So any time we passed an intersection everyone would cheer for her because they thought she was winning the marathon.  Then when I would roll through approximately five seconds later, no one seemed to care making me look like a chump.  Not a big deal, I was running for time.  My validation finally came around mile 24 when some big guy said out loud "That dude's not in the relay, he's flying!"  Thanks buddy. 


Results page:    http://www.oaklandmarathon.com/Results.htm

News recap: http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_25404731/oakland-running-festival-enjoys-good-weather-tough-competition

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