Brian Johnson (MM8807, DA707, HF7287)-
- Marathons 34-38
- States 19-23 Complete.
- Rhode Island,
- New Hampshire,
144.1 miles over 6 days.
This trip to New England was a chance for me to use the last of my race deferrals from 2020. I had 2 races that I needed to use with Mainly Marathons. So, this trip started with 2 planned races, then 3, then 6.
How do you plan for 6 days of running a marathon back to back? You don’t. Whatever your plan is and however you have trained, it doesn’t include traveling, relocating and early starts.
Enter Mainly Marathons. The New England Series.
One of my goals is to complete 50 marathons before I turn 50. Between breaking my arm in 2021 and the pandemic in 2020, I was way behind.
With some help from a friend in the weeks prior to the race, I was able to plan some logical spots to stay during the 6 day series. I left home Sunday, June 5th for a week. I drove from Ohio to my Hotel in Mass. where I would stay for the first 3 days. It was centrally located to the CT, RI and MA races (about an hour from each). 11 1/2 hours later, I was at my hotel getting ready for the first race on Monday.
Mainly Marathons gave a description of, “Imagine of running a Marathon was a social event?” They were true to their word.
Day 1. Connecticut.
There are 2 start times. There was an early start (5am) and a late start (6am). I opted for the late start since I didn’t get my packet the day before.
The race course was a very simple 2 mile loop. One mile(ish) down and one mile back. You get to see everyone multiple times over the course of the day.
There are people doing distances from a 5k to a 50K each day. As you complete a loop, you get a rubber band to put on your wrist to help you keep track of your laps.
The course is very nice and very shaded. I also saw a lot of club members (Marathon Maniacs/Half Fanatics) along the way.
I ran a bit and walked a bit. I started at 6 and was done around 2:30 that day.
At the end of Day 1
I did get a chance to try some local food (from a pub). And I even saw where the Boston Marathon Starting line is. That was a little underwhelming.
Two of the fun things with Mainly Marathons, 1. They celebrated different events each day. If you are having a birthday, you may have everyone sing Happy Birthday to you. 2. There are people completing their 50th state, or 100th race, or more. They are also celebrated each day.
There is also a lot of food. Every time you complete a lap, anticipate food.
Day 2. Rhode Island.
I opted for the early start (5am) today. It still took me more than 9 hours to be done. I walked more than I ran because of the hill.
This course was a little annoying. It was 16 laps, but there was a big hill. It was only a 70 change in elevation, but over the course of the day, it was over 1000 feet.
This course was on a bike path next to a rest area off of the highway. A very beautiful course. Just the hill! I came in last this day and ended up getting an extra medal. I got the “caboose”. you can only one it once a series. It is awarded to whomever is last each day.
Rhode Island was my day to receive it.
I did finally get to try some seafood. I was a little bit hesitant because the last time I ate seafood before a race, I was sick the next day. It was really good.
Day 3, Massachusetts
This was probably the day with the best views. This was also the first time that it rained on us. The rain wasn’t bad, but it was annoying. I was also tired by the morning of day 3. I had to checkout of the hotel and get ready to relocate.
This day was also cool because there were a lot of ducks. we walked past family of ducks and geese on a regular basis
Again, over 9 hours to complete. 3 days. 3 marathons done.
Now’s where the hard part starts. I had to relocated for day 4 of the race series. Day 4 and 5 were in Vermont and New Hampshire. So, race for 9 hours, get in a car, drive an hour and a half north to the next site, move in, and get ready for the day.
I did like the choice of where I stayed. I stayed in Vermont in Mt. Ascutney State park in a cabin. I was 2 miles up a mountain with almost no people around. The views were beautiful!
Having never been to Vermont or New Hampshire, I went to dinner in New Hampshire. I was only about 10 minutes from the border.
I had dinner at a restaurant called, “The Common Man”. The food was good. The waterfalls outside were even better. I ended up there 2 nights in a row.
Day 4. Vermont.
This day was bad for me. I wanted to get 4 days in a row of marathons complete. I didn’t get to that goal. I ended up learning a few things instead that caused me to have to do just the half marathon.
It rained. And rained. And rained.
This is where I learned. your gear is great…until it’s not
Let’s talk about moisture wicking shirts and a self inflicted wound today because of them.
Moisture wicking shirts(think under armor) are a compression shirt designed to keep you cool in the summer.
I wear a long sleeve one all the time for a lot of reasons. One of them is because I sunburn easily. They also keep me cool.
Now the downside and the self infected wound.
When it’s raining, the shirt will do exactly what it’s designed to do. Keep you cool. When you are drenched from a downpour, you have to beware of hypothermia.
Today’s race had a multi hour downpour that I was wearing my moisture wicking shirt. I had to quit at the half because I was getting noticeably cold.
When I got to the car and started warming up, I started shivering really badly because of how wet I was. (Yes I was wearing a shell/jacket). If I wouldn’t have been wearing the moisture wicking shirt, I would have had less of an issue. I could have potentially been ok.
Point being…your gear is great…until it’s not.
I took the half marathon for the day. I will have to do Vermont on a different day.
This is easily my best photo of the day
I got back to the cabin and slept for a few hours. I was cold and tired.
I did find a laundromat that day. I was able to clean and dry a lot of my clothes (and my shoes).
I also got to do a bit of exploring along the way. I saw a couple of covered bridges and some old cemeteries.
For a multiple day race, having multiple pairs of shoes can be key.
On this runcation I had brought 3 pair of shoes with me so I could change shoes each day and give my feet a break.
I had gotten this pair of trail shoes a few months ago. They have quite a few miles on them but they looked stellar. Over the last couple of days when I had worm them my feet started to really hurt.
I looked at the tread on the bottom. The tread was gone on the sides where my feet were hurting.
So…guess which shoes aren’t coming home?
Check your tread. Make sure it’s still there.
Remember, your gear is only good…until it’s not.
Day 5. New Hampshire.
The rain was gone. The weather was nice. This course had a hill (again) but it was also partially trail. So I ran a lot more than I did the previous 2 days. I enjoyed myself a lot more. The views were still good.
The annoying thing was, there was a McDonalds 1/4 mile from the turnaround on the course. It tempted us all day.
I did complete the marathon again. I came in an hour faster than the day before. The rest helped a lot.
The hard part about this day was having to check out of the cabin, complete the race, then drive 2 1/2 hours to the next race location in Maine.
You also saw a lot of “Moose Crossing” signs as you headed toward Maine. I ended uo having Dairy Queen to eat when I finally got there.
For this day, I ended up staying at a campground. It wasn’t a bad experience.
Day 6. Maine. One last Marathon. One more day with new friends. A shot of fireball with those same friends at 7:30 in the morning.
Since it was a Saturday, there were a few more people than usual. There were also quite a few club members (Marathon Maniacs/Half Fanatics) there.
One more Day with Nature and rolling hills. 14 laps . Dirty feat.
5th Marathon Complete.