I didn't really know what to expect from the Firecracker Triple. Since I had never even completed a double, I thought it would be difficult. But it really wasn't that hard! I wish I'd tried a double sooner. And of course it was a ton of fun! I've sworn off road marathons for awhile, but I'll come out for a small, maniac-oriented race any time!
Stars and Stripe Marathon - Saturday July 2, 2011
The first two marathons of the triple were organized by 10-Star Maniac extraordinaire Steve Walters. The Foot Traffic Flat Marathon is always held on Independence Day and with the Fourth falling on a Monday it was the perfect opportunity for a triple. The Stars and Stripes Marathon was held in Tigard on a 2.6 mile loop. I ran the whole thing with fellow Manias Teri (a local running friend) and Rob, who I had met at the Forest Park 50k in May. My goal was to go as slow as possible and do a lot of walking. I set my Garmin to notify every half mile and then we'd walk for a tenth of a mile. It worked out perfectly and we finished a little over five and a half hours. A new personal worst for me!
Freedom Marathon - July 3, 2011
Day Two started in Gresham and was a double out and back on the Springwater Trail. Again I ran with Rob and Teri, but also had the good fortune to spend some time with the illustrious Larry Macon. For this race, I kept the Garmin on a a half mile notify, but we walked for approximately .15 mile each time. Fortunately, the cloud cover stayed all morning so it never got too hot and sunny.
Eventually, Teri and I were on our own but were soon joined by our friend Jodi who caught up to us after taking the regular start 30 minutes later.
We took our time, had a blast and I finished with a new personal worst of just shy of 6 hours. These slow leisurely marathons with friends were starting to grow on me!
Foot Traffic Flat - July 4, 2011
Did I mention that Marc ran the triple too? He's already done a stand-alone double, triple and quadzilla so didn't need to do this for stars or street cred. And since he's not a runner, he wouldn't just run a triple to run it. But a few months ago I asked him to join me, and because I asked, he did.
|Look who we found at the start|
Teri "only" ran the double so I was on my own today. My legs were feeling a little creaky and I decided that a slow shuffle was more comfortable than switching back and forth between a run/walk. I started out with some fellow triplers from Texas who I recognized from the first two days. I stuck with them for 6 or 7 miles but then lost them after a potty break. I soon caught up with Marc who was not having a good day. We tried to run together for a little bit, but our paces didn't match up and I eventually left him behind.
I ran quite a ways by myself. My goal was to keep up the running for the first half, but around mile 11 I started to poop out and I switched back to run/walk. Not long after this, Rob caught up to me and we ran a couple of miles together before he decided to speed up to catch our mutual friend and Maniac Monte. Not long afterward, I got my second wind and was able to pick up the pace. Surprisingly I actually caught up to Rob and Monte. I walked with them a bit but then decided to carry on ahead and I finished strong, despite the impending midday heat
My personal worst streak was over and I finished in 5:10, the fastest of the three.
Fortunately, around the half marathon point, Marc met up with another maniac (and 50-stater!) from New Jersey. Their paces and east coast attitude matched up perfectly and Marc had a great 2nd half. Thank goodness or I would have not heard the end of it the rest of the day. ;-)
|There were a few half marathon couple triplers, but I believe we were the only couple to finish the marathon triple.|
All in all I loved doing the triple. It really came down to the people. I recently responded to an online question about what makes a great race. My response: the people! Sure there are other factors, but for me, completing something like this is about the friendships and shared experience. Would I do it again? I'd certainly do a double again. A triple takes a lot of time. You basically have to spend the whole three days recovering and getting ready for the next race. But I could likely be convinced.