Last Sunday (6/6/2010), we ran the North Olympic Discovery Marathon. (I ran this marathon 5 years ago; race report is here) Runner’s World calls this marathon a “boutique” event due to the smallish nature, which was part of the attraction after running San Antonio in November with 30,000 other folks.
Training for the NODM was a bit more haphazard than my last marathon. Between injuries and cold/flu/allergies I felt like I missed half my training (although my running log tells me I made all my long runs)
Like last time, we flew into SEA on Saturday and drove out to Port Angeles, this time making a detour through Port Townsend. Very scenic drive with gorgeous weather (which wouldn’t hold). We hit the tiny expo, picked up our numbers and then were off to the excellent pasta feed (note: when the pasta feed is sponsored by the Sons of Italy, it is going to be a good meal).
The race started at 9am (!) and we had to catch a bus to the start. Heading to the finish line, we caught the bus at 6:45 and around 7:15 arrived at the starting line. The weather was threatening rain, but the temperature was a very nice 55 degrees and the race sponsors had a nice dry largish building open for the 400 marathoners while we waited for the starting gun.
Initially, we ran a 5 mile loop, which took us south-east of Sequim and then back to the start. From there we headed in a westerly direction, across some incredibly beautiful terrain. The course was very similar to the last time I ran this race, however, the Olympic Discovery Trail has expanded somewhat so we spent less time on the streets of Sequim. We crossed several rivers/creeks with wooden bridges and great views.
Like last time, the 3 ravines were larger than life, especially the last one at Mile 20. The weather starting spitting around Mile 16 and finally turned into solid rain around Mile 25 (which was ok with me). The finish was great, even with the rain. We cooled down for 30 minutes or so, headed off to Starbucks (I am *not* the mayor of Starbucks in Port Angeles unfortunately) and then hit the Y for a shower. One long drive and big steak dinner later, I slept like the dead until it was time to catch a flight home the next morning.
Overall, here's how the run rates in my book:
Organization – Well-organized with the course clearly marked. Mile markers were accurate. Grade: A+
Course – Incredible scenery Miles 0 – 5 and 8 – 26.2. Grade: A
Aid-stations – Water and Heed at every station, which were staffed by local organizations which made it a lot of fun. Grade: A+
Swag – Long sleeve, dri-fit shirt. Grade: A