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Ashland Whistle Stop Marathon Report (Read 500 times)

    It was an eight and a half hour drive to Ashland WI for this race and the weather on the way up was a “nice” mixture of rain, sleet, snow and constant heavy winds. Fortunately the weather calmed down for race day, with the heavy snow hitting about 30 minutes to the east Smile. The temperature was about 33F and the winds were at 15-20 mph from the west, since the course was a point to point running west to east, the wind direction was nice. The course is an old railroad bed and is now “paved” with a kind of small gravel. Race organizers said the trail was in very good shape. I went into this race with a strained hamstring. While the trail was nice, I found that only the right hand side, about 24” wide or so was hard packed. The rest was pretty soft and really tore up my hamstring. I won’t go into all of the little details of my trials and tribulations during the race, since that would be too long and boring. I will just say that just after mile 14, my hamstring and ankle (not sure what I did to the ankle) were so sore that I actually stumbled while trying to bring the leg forward to continue running. I decided that was enough; I would stop at 15. When I got to that point I couldn’t find any volunteers to tell I was done. So I decided I would stop at 16. I tried several times during that last mile to figure out how I could get 10.2 more miles in, but I knew there was no way Cry. About 100 yards or so from mile 16 I noticed a race photographer sitting in the path with his big camera. I decided there was no way I was getting my picture taken while walking. I continued walking toward him and as he raised his camera, I started “running”; he took the picture, put the camera down and just shook his head. I laughed and went back to a walk as soon as he had lowered his camera. He said are you done. I said yep. He laughed and said thought so. I went to the drop vehicle, got my ride back to town and waited at the finish line for my wife who came in at 3:50:06. I would recommend this race as it is very pretty, mostly flat with a slight downhill slant to it, it’s well organized, there is pretty good support out on the trail and in town around the finish it’s awesome.
    "It is very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runner. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants to quit." George Sheehan
      Sad You'll get 'em next time! Go take care of your leg... Black eye

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