Friday, June 20, 2008

Paloheinä Midsummer Marathon

Today I was going to run my first race this year: Paloheinä Midsummer Marathon. It's a small but reportedly well-organised local event. They organise marathons there quite often, but I've never done it before. 

At 8.30 AM - 30 minutes before start - I started jogging towards Paloheinä from my home. The weather seemed a little cloudy and humid. It was only about 3K there so I wasn't in a hurry. 

I was surprised to see so many runners queueing for race numbers. The RD told me the total number of runners was 62, and 27 of them were going to run a full marathon like me. 

It was supposed to cost 15 euros, but the RD decided to take only ten this time. This was the largest crowd in race history. 

I hope the event continues to grow as more and more ordinary people want to run a marathon.  

For some reason they gave me the number one, although I told them I'm not going to run fast today!

The course consisted of an out and back, 5.27K, well-marked route on the dirt paths in the forest. The marathon was eight laps. The only aid station was at the start/finish area turnaround point. 

The scenery was wonderful. It wasn't very hilly, but it wasn't completely flat either. 

Soon after the start the sun came out. Temperature rose to around 17C (62F). I guess that's not exactly hot, but it did feel warm. There was no wind at all and it was humid.

After the first half I was running a little over 5 min/km pace when I noticed that my heart rate was skyrocketing. I'm not sure if it was the humidity or something else, but I had to slow down. I took the second half very easy. 

I finished in 4:18, my slowest official marathon race ever (I've finished only 37 official marathons, but of course I've run lots of self-supported marathons in addition to those). 

After chatting and loading a bit I jogged back home. 

All in all it was a good workout, 48.6K in 5:21. My average HR for the whole thing was ashtonishingly high (151), and boy was I done.

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