The Marathon this past weekend represented the culmination of a lot of hard work by the Craftsbury Nordic Center staff. Whether it was planning, organizing volunteers, grooming or shoveling snow onto the course, everyone pitched in to make the 30th Craftsbury Marathon a spectacular event!
The Craftsbury Marathon was actually my first 50k race in 10 years of ski racing. I enjoyed the marathon immensely for both aesthetic and competitive aspects. I went into the race not really knowing what to expect. It is said that when training for a running marathon, you can only prepare for the first 20 miles of the race, after that you have little idea what your body will do. This thought was in the back of my mind throughout the marathon. I went out reasonably conservatively with the lead pack, hoping to maintain this pace for the first half of race, but at about 10k the remainder of my first marathon turned into an individual start 40k race. I lost the 2 leaders, multi-time runner-up Justin Freeman and eventual winner GRP’s Pat O’Brien, but managed to stay ahead of the chase pack. I was just dangling out in no man’s land with the leaders in sight, but not able to maintain a connection due to sub par waxing, another rookie mistake.
At 35k I realized that I had never raced this far, followed by a second realization that I actua
lly still felt pretty good and there was only 15k left in the race. I think this was a turning point for me. I had been eating plenty, and my energy level was still high. I knew I’d have enough to hold my own to the finish.
It was a pleasure to do my first Marathon in Craftsbury, on my home trails with the support of staff and locals. The weather was perfect, grooming impeccable and race support was superb. The 2011 Craftsbury Marathon undoubtedly goes right to the top of my list of favorite races. Only 363 days until next year’s marathon. See you there!