The Delaware Marathon was a first-class event. Logistically the State of DE tried to throw a wrench in the day by closing I-95 North this weekend; but the RD, Wayne Kursh, would not be denied. The e-mail traffic leading to the event was timely and helpful. The support staff, including volunteers and traffic officers were plentiful and very professional and kind. Even the Pike Creek Valley Runners (local running group) were well-represented with an aid station - serving liquid carbohydrates I might add. In addition to the immaculate attention to detail, the runners were privileged to share the course with the largest "50-Stater Club" contingent i've ever seen. It was impossible not to talk to them during the event, and i've found them over the years to be eternally optimistic. And we all know at the marathon surrounding yourself with optimistic folks can be very helpful.
Quite frankly it would have been very easy to blow this one off --- four loops during a road marathon has never been my cup of tea. Brings back bad memories of "Last Train to Boston" and trying hard to focus on a 4th loop. But it turns out the RD Wayne had manipulated and improved the course turning it into more of a real loop; rather than just an out and back. The Mudstomper found this a great improvement over last year's Inaugural Event. And i had the pleasure of his company once again for most of the day. We didn't find any mudd; of course we had our mudd quota for the year 2 weeks ago with the Traildawgs.
Honestly I had kind of a pitiful run. I was not focused at all; and never got into it. I was paying way too much attention to the surroundings and goofing off with my buds. A good chunk of the run is right on the waterfront. And on this sunny and warm day the she-peeps were out. Everywhere, and by everyone, this marathon was supported well. Even a small business owner was handing out iced 24-oz bottles of water. Yet, every Slug knows that even a pitiful performance resulting in a finish is a "good run." No doubt about that. The Mudstomper on the other hand had a great run; and managed to potentially recruit our FIRST British Slug. Unless this website :) scares her off. And, who could blame her. Anyone with any sense would detour away from Slugs. Me and the M. were a bit wired today. After all, we were having fun out there; and sharing it with good friends makes it all the better.
This was my 82nd marathon finish and i've seen wonderful ideas and course set-ups at marathons all over the United States. Today however, i did witness a "first" for me. Along the course planted on individual signs; were every single marathoners name, homestate, and number of marathons completed. We each got one. What a nice touch. Gets Team Slug's Three Thumbs Up (don't ask). I'll tell you at a run someday. As the morning wore on, the humidity began to creep up, and that final six miles was a rough trek for many folks. Muddy and the Brit pulled ahead of me and I eased in with Vi. Out on her 12th marathon and full of enthusiasm. She was a joy to talk to and definitely helped my time by 15-20 minutes. I was ready at 22-23 miles to death march it in. She wouldn't let me. Thanks Vi, i did appreciate it.
The finishing balloons were a welcome site and having a few folks to cheer you in were even better. The medal was nice, the RW T-Shirt (Del Marathon Class of 2005) was fantastic, and the food was awesome. Arby's Deli sandwiches were plentiful, and a cold beer to chase it down. I not only recommend this marathon highly, but i've already placed it on my schedule for 2006. Happy Trails and Keep Breathin'