Sunday, June 19, 2011

Vancouver USA Marathon 2011

Today I completed my tenth marathon in what the city's mayor declared, in a spirited pre-race speech, "the original Vancouver," Vancouver, Washington: I speak of the inaugural Vancouver USA Marathon. My finish time was 3:44:46 (8:34 min/mi pace, official), which is the second slowest of the marathons I have completed, but  perfectly in keeping with the quality of training I put in over the months leading up to today, and hence an appropriate result about which I have no reason to grouse, whine, bitch, or moan.

Despite recent flooding that forced race organizers to reshuffle the course, the 26.2 miles served as a fine introduction to the unexpectedly lovely sights of Vancouver. I had seen the park surrounding Fort Vancouver, but I had not bothered to take a good look at the inner downtown area, the multi-use trail hugging the Columbia River, or the quiet stretch of land leading out to Vancouver Lake. On the theory that a city should use a civic marathon to exhibit its most appealing sights and attractions, the Vancouver USA Marathon succeeded wonderfully.

The volunteers did an excellent job keeping the runners safe from traffic, handing out provisions, and otherwise making the event go smoothly. I thanked several of them personally and wish I could have thanked them all. As always, I salute all of today's competitors on a worthy accomplishment.

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