Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Reflections of the Frederick Running Festival 2013

Frederick Starting Line at 0700
Sunday, I enjoyed an early morning run, vicariously, through the efforts of Mike and Jeremy as they ran the Frederick Half Marathon as part of the Frederick Running Festival.

It was a beautiful March morning, oh yes it was really May morning. So in terms of beauty it was definitely a nice day, but cold! But, it was clear. We met at the house at 0515--yup, 0515 on a Sunday morning to drive off to Frederick, which is about 40 or so minutes away.
Walking from Parking to the Start Line in the Early Morning

The drive was easy, because there are only a few crazy's on the roads at that hour.

Arriving in Frederick, though, it was clear that this was the big event. Traffic backed out onto Route 70 and we worried that perhaps we had not allotted enough time for parking and getting to the starting line. But, the plan was well thought out and once we made it into the town we parked easily and walked the half-mile or so to the Festival.

Jeremy and Mike before the Half Marathon
I was intrigued that we walked past a working horse barn on our way to the starting line. I don't know why, but maybe there is still some farmer deep in my veins.

Being an amateur photographer, I enjoyed the lighting conditions during the just after dawn period before the race began. The hot air balloon which took off was great fun to watch rising into the morning sky. I could not get free form the lines and my other best shot included a row of port-a-potties, which just don't work in a picture.

We walked to the starting line with 4,000 of our new, best friends. Runners are truly like a close fraternity. Everyone had their places for the start, and despite the campy and too loud music being blared over the speakers, it was fun. After the National Anthem and then a rendition of Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline to be in solidarity with Boston after the bombing, it was time for the start.
Mike and Jeremy in the final 100 yards

Once the race started, I had two hours of alone time. And it was really alone. The place became a ghost town. My only negative for the whole day is the lack of spectator support during the period from the start until about an hour and a half later as the runners began crossing the finish line. There was no where to even get a cup of coffee!

Thankfully, although it was cold, it was a beautiful morning and I enjoyed watching the dawn and also watching the Frederick Fair Race Track Infield come alive in advance of the runner's return.

I was able to track Jeremy and Mike via a runners tracking system provided by the race organizers, but even better through the Friends feature on my iPhone. I knew they were planning on finishing in about two hours and so they did. 1 hour 59 minutes and 2 seconds for a 9m6s pace over 13.1 miles!
Mike and Jeremy Closing in on the Finish

Awesome job!

I, luckily, spotted them as the ran towards the finish line. I was awed that after 13 plus miles they still ran together and looked as if they could run on for more miles.

Good training! I admit, I am not a runner. I can't get my head into it, but seeing them finish together made me very happy for both of them.

Sadly, while the iPhone is an adequate camera, it has some flaws and so I missed them actually crossing the finish line. Jeremy says they sprinted and I think that messed up my timing.

Nonetheless, they finished the race. We met up and enjoyed some of the celebration in the infield area before heading home. We arrived home about 10:30 and still had the rest of the day.

It was a great morning and I was proud of both of them. They set a goal and achieved it!

I also enjoyed the Frederick Running Festival.

Great morning. Great time. Do it again?

Sure.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD



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