Today (Sunday) I ran the Potomac River Half Marathon along the towpath of the C&O Canal. We started at Carderock and ran east toward Washington before turning around to do an out-and-back course. There were three aid stations and the course was extremely fast. There was a marathon and a half marathon running simultaneously and start times of 7.00, 8.00 and 9.00 a.m. so runners were all over the 6.5 mile course. I heard people talking before the start and I guess the course/race is certified for BQ though I don’t really know what makes a BQ course and what doesn’t, this one has to be a good choice if you are on the bubble because it is so flat.
I ran as the guide for Joe Aukward a paraolympian and local runner. He is training for the 2016 Boston Marathon. We set out running at his goal pace right around 9:00 min/miles and held fairly steady until mile eight when he started to lose steam. He was responsible for pace and I did the navigation. Most of the way we ran with a tether — about 14 inches long — and several times he took my elbow for about :30 or so at a time. We finished in 2:08 and although he was the first disabled athlete to cross, I don’t know where we finished in the field. The race very low key and there was absolutely no tension as people passed. There were a lot of smiles on the course. It had the vibe that I’ve often heard about events from 15, 20 and 30 years ago or from ultra races of a decade ago. It was calm — just a bunch of people out for a supported run and there were some cones out to mark the turn. Bonus: There was a woman making pancakes at the finish line for the runners.
Later this week I’ll get something on the blog at https://radicalimmersion.