Saturday, November 15, 2014

Chickamaugua Battlefield Marathon - Georgia - State 47!

Getting closer to finishing all 50 States.....kinda surreal as it was not really a goal but became one when I started wanting to run long distance events and needed marathons for training. This is going to be short and to the point so I dont forget to write a little something about the event. The drive to Fort Oglethorpe Georgia was only about 6 ish hours so wasn't a bad drive at all.  I arrived and went to the church for packet pickup and found a panera bread to grab a bagel for Breakfast. I had totally forgotten to pack and gels and at the expo the place selling gu said there would be plenty on the course so I didn't purchase any. I did however grab an extra cinnamon raisin bagel at a grocery and put a couple pieces in a small zip lock baggie to pack in my waist belt as an in case case and was glad I did....there was no gel on the course but there was bananas and some sort of strange liquid product in a packet a little larger then Gu's- I can not for the life of me remember what they were but I do know they were not that good...the texture was kinda applesaucy and were a company I had never heard of. The first time I tried one it was a quick taste and that was it....I stuck with my 3 tiny bagel pieces I had packed and a small little banana from another place. I found myself later getting a little hungry and sucked one down as fast as possible so it didnt touch my tongue. Now back to the beginning.....I decided to drive because the shuttles from the race to the hotels did not return until 1:30 and the hotel only offered late check out until 1:00. With the event starting at 7:30am I knew it would depend on the traffic if I would make it back to shower or not before having to drive back home 6ish hours.  I thought if I left the hotel early enough I could get a decent parking spot so that would give me a better chance of getting back in time but the traffic getting to the race was unreal. This isnt a huge event either...maybe a couple hundred for all the distances but the traffic on the main road leading to the battlefield was bumper to bumper and not moving. Folks were sneaking around and trying to pull in front, typically in traffic I will let folks in but when there is only so many free parking spot near the race site Wait your Damn turn!! After not moving for almost 30 minutes I saw a church across the street where lots of folks were pulling into park so I switched lanes and headed that way. It cost $5 to park and was about a half mile or so walk to the start of the race but the church allowed you to stay warm inside and use their potties!! Totally worth the $5!!! I ran into my friend
Larry Wasson and George Boxley at the church. Larry and I walked over to the start together and it wasnt long after the cannon fired and off we went.  This was a 2 loop course for the marathon with a couple loops around other areas but was very easy to follow.  It ran on the roads mostly inside the battlefield and their were monuments representing different states and generals and such that fought the battle.  There was so much history and it was a beautiful place.  The weather started out chilly but soon the sun was out full and became a super pleasant day for 26.2 miles!!  I know there were many times where I would look out across the battlefield seeing the cannons and all and just try to imagine what took place in that exact location I was running.  I started searching the monuments for as many OHIO ones that I could find and took photos of about 5 that I found. I never was a history buff or did I listen in school much when it came to history but I had never heard of the Chickmaugua battle....even though the State of Ohio was involved I don't know if maybe we were not taught about it because it is further to the South or if I just wasnt paying attention.
I havent been running with my Garmin now for quite some time - I knew what time it was but wasnt calculating pace or anything like that. When I finished I had about 15 minutes to get to the hotel and take a shower before heading home so the choice was do I grab some pizza and soup and kick back and enjoy the food and the park afterwards or do I hurry and try to get to my room for a shower before driving home....I chose to eat first.  I walked back to the car and got to the hotel at 1:06....I walked up the steps to my room on the 2nd floor hoping the card would work but nope it was I headed to the lobby where the lady from the night before that checked me in was and I proceeded to the public restroom with towel and a change of clothes. The reason I bring this up is because she said they were doing something new by extending the check out to 1pm and I showed her where the shuttles don't even return until 1:30? She didnt seem to get it. I also told her a lot of hotels will have one room open for runners to shower - she didnt seem to get what i was saying about that either. So I went into the restroom and started running the water, washing my face, and other body parts in the sink.....I took my hair out of the pony tail and it was wet from sweat so I loved that when I brushed it out and it was wet it had the look of just being washed :) I packed my nasty clothes in a bag and walked on out with my towel draped over my shoulder....yes I was trying to have an attitude like you goofball...wouldnt you rather want someone to shower in a dirty room then in your hotel lobby sink ha. When I was walking out she asked how was your run? And I smiled and said it was great and I wanted to say and so was my shower in your sink but I didnt- ha

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