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Kiawah Island Marathon - RunMarathon

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Kiawah Island, South Carolina
United States
60F / 16C
Total Time = 3h 51m 7s
Overall Rank = 246/863
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Up early to make the drive from Charleston with Shannon. Unfortunately we were up a little later than I would have wanted the night before and actually indulged in a couple of beers and pizza. Kiawah was about a 45 minute drive where I finished off my morning coffee and Starbucks scone (usual race morning routine).

After we registered we had a bit of time to kill so we walked around looking at merchandise and then decided to check our bag. Oops! There was no bag check, rather there was a tent where you could put your belongings, but there was no one watching over our stuff. So we took our chances and left our non-valuables with the bag and Shannon carried the other stuff (keys, money, etc) in her pockets. After that we headed towards the start. I was also noticing that the weather was quite humid for a 60+ degree morning. I made a point to tell Shannon to take in plenty of water as the weather was warmer than it seemed. Call this foreshadowing as I didn't pay attention to my own advice.

When we got to the start, I was amazed. I guess there was a starting line, but there was no organization other than that. The start was for both the marathon and the half marathon and I guess there was 3,000 people racing. Runners were just standing around on one side of starting line, but there was absolutely no organization to aligning people by pace, etc. So, I decided to stand with Shannon somewhere in the middle of the pack. A little before the start some people started to hold up pace times, but it was too late. Can you say cluster????
Event warmup:

No real warm up - just some light stretching.
  • 3h 51m 7s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 49s  min/mile

As I mentioned, the start was a total cluster. I don't know if they sounded a horn or gun, but at one point people just started moving. I said good bye to Shannon (who was doing the half) and we were off. The problem was the first mile of the race was on two single lane roads with people of all different paces all over the place. I was weaving all over to find a nice spot to run where I could get into a comfortable groove. I was truly miserable as I actually had to walk at one point because I was being blocked by a group of walkers who seeded themselves near the front. Finally after the first mile or so things started to weed themselves out and I found my space. The first mile was 8:40, although I think I ran closer to 1.2 miles in the first mile.

With space I was finally able to get into my run. My plan was to run 8:15's and assess how I was feeling at the half way point and then again mile 20. Best laid plans. Much of the run was non-descript with miles going by at a pace anywhere from 7:50 - 8:15. I saw Shannon on an out and back around mile 7 and gave her a wave. Honestly, the course was a bit boring. There was very little crowd support and much of the run was through the residential neighborhoods in Kiawah. We saw VERY little of the ocean, dunes, or golf course.

Around mile 8 or so I started chatting with another guy running a similar pace. That also was probably the first time I took in water. Remember the humidity I spoke of??? Well, I was sweating a lot considering the 60 degree temperature, but I failed to recognize this fact. My body cannot handle sport drink so my hydration plan consists of water and E-caps. The other problem is I didn't have any E-caps with me as I was counting on a cold weather race. I did have 2 gels with me and I took one around mile 12. Anyway, I kept moving foward while chatting with my friend. We made the half way turn around 1:47 and I felt fine. At that time, I was hoping for a 3:40 - 3:45 finish. Miles 13 - 20 were non-descript and I dropped my friend at some point along the way. I continued to drink a bit of water at every other aid station.

Mile 20 was where I started to notice signs of trouble. My HR was really spiking and I was having problems holding an 8:30 pace. I finished my second gel (there weren't any offered on the course) and walked the water station to try and lower my HR. Well it didn't work. Miles 20 - 22 were a real struggle to keep an even pace, but I kept pushing on. Someplace after mile 22 is where everything started to get worse. Not only was my HR elevated, but I started having calf cramps like I've never experienced. Moving forward was a bit of a struggle and this is as close as I've come to experiencing the IM shuffle in a stand alone marathon. I walked slowly at each water station trying to take in as much liquid as possible, but the damage had already been done. I considered gatorade at this time, but I knew my stomach wouldn't stand it. I kept doing a combination of running and walking and people were passing me all over the place (including my friend from earlier). My only goal was to finish the race and take up golf again - endurance sports suck!

After 5 hard miles at the end, I saw the finish and shuffled my way across the line. Race over. Where can I sit???
What would you do differently?:

Go out slower and drink more - see below for real answers.
Post race
Warm down:

After I crossed the line I found a chair as I was very disoriented. I don't think I've ever felt this bad after a race (including my IM). Shannon came to sit with me and the muscles in one of my legs completely locked up for a couple of minutes. After about 15 minutes we got up and made our ways towards the shuttle busses. All the time I was telling myself - no more. I am done with endurance sports.

Well, 2 days later, I am continuing on with my training for the Disney Marathon and IM Moo later in the year. Like most of us, I have a short memory. :)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Overall, my lack of run endurance and the 10 pounds I've put on since CdA. The lack of proper hydration didn't help, but that was more of a symptom of stupid racing and poor training.

Event comments:

Average race and course at best, with poorly organized start. Somewhat boring scenery given the fact that we were running on an island. However, the volunteers and few spectactors that were there were great!!!!

It was a flat track, and given cool weather this would make a good BQ/PR race for someone looking to run fast.

Last updated: 2007-08-01 12:00 AM
03:51:07 | 26.2 miles | 08m 49s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 246/863
Course: 2 loops around residential neighborhoods in Kiawah.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2007-12-10 3:06 PM

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Chesapeake, VA
Subject: Kiawah Island Marathon

2007-12-10 3:58 PM
in reply to: #1093074

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Virginia Beach, VA
Subject: RE: Kiawah Island Marathon
Nice job with tough race conditions. Next time don't wait until mile 8 to start hydrating.
2007-12-10 4:18 PM
in reply to: #1093074

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Atlanta, Georgia
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Kiawah Island Marathon
Nice looking day, all things considered! I am considering this race for a BQ in '08, so your RR was pretty helpful.

Congrats again.

2007-12-10 6:18 PM
in reply to: #1093074

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Extreme Veteran
Williamsburg, Virginia
Subject: RE: Kiawah Island Marathon
NIce run. You get a chance in about a month to top it.
2007-12-10 7:06 PM
in reply to: #1093074

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Subject: RE: Kiawah Island Marathon

Way to push through, Doug.  You are tough, and you are a walking example of an 'athlete'.  Stamina, perseverance, strength, speed, discipline. You know you will figure out the other stuff. 

 It was a weird race and I agree, quite boring for a resort island.  But I would race with you anywhere...even Cincinati.    

2007-12-10 8:32 PM
in reply to: #1093074

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The Original
Subject: RE: Kiawah Island Marathon
Nice RR Doug!  And I totally agree with you- the start of that race is always so congested.  I don't know why they don't have corrals or have a staggered start for each race.  I can't imagine how mentally tough it was running the marathon- I've done the 1/2 4 years in a row and would not subject myself to that toturous 2nd lap.  For some reason people LOVE this race- but I think there are better ones out there for that price.  I can't wait to see how you run the Disney- this was a nice warm up marathon for you!

2007-12-16 7:23 PM
in reply to: #1093074

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Subject: RE: Kiawah Island Marathon

Nice race!

Great way to suck it up and finish with a good time and forget the pain and look forward to the next endurance event you are doing!! 

Nutrition/hydration is always a big issue in longer races and when weather is weird makes it harder to figure out.

Have you considered taking some type of electrolytes since you aren't drinking sports drink? I take Lava Salts and it has helped me as I used to cramp on the run in any tri longer than a sprint...electrolytes are the ticket for me. 

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