The Sugarloaf Marathon in Eustis Maine took place on May 18. With approximately 700 participants the race was small and personal. The weather turned out to be absolutely perfect for a run. The air was cool and the sky was clear. The promised rain showers were nowhere to be seen. The lakes were full and the mountains were vivid and green with the recent rain and snow run off. The race ran down route 27 along the Androscoggin River which was high and tumbling fast down the riverbed. The race starting on a flat, going up hill and cresting at the midpoint, and finishing downhill broke up the miles and made the course easy to break up mentally.
The best part of the race was the fans cheering on the side of the road. Since the road was open during the race cars and trucks leap frogged like the runners. Cowbells and car horns and signs and streamers were all along the course. A few clever signs made us all giggle a little and informed us that; 'You run better than the Government, Humpty Dumpty had wall issues too, and Sweat is liquid awesomeness!'
Right from the start I was leap frogging with a small group of people from Connecticut. I shared my 30 mile goal with a woman in rainbow socks who cheered me on and one uped me with having run 42 this year on her birthday! I was maintaining a 8:20 ish pace and was worried that I made my usual mistake of going out too fast. Everything felt good so I told myself to relax and keep going. Going into the hill I felt strong and thankful for all of the Caribbean island training. I knew Julia was meeting me at mile 11, after the crest of the hill. Just after mile 10 my shoulders started cramping up a little. Jules was bringing energy gummies with her. The sugar, potassium and caffeine were an instant pick me up. As the decline increased I let myself go with it and held a pace closer to 7:25. Jules dropped out before mile 14 and Reg jumped in at 15 to finish off the hill. My legs started to feel the miles around 17. My father joined me for a mile, Jen for a half mile and Julia jumped back in at 23. Doubts started creeping in just before 24. As another runner ran past, I expressed my doubts at speeding up. Before I could get too discouraged, Jules just said, "Go with her, you can do it." and as she peeled off I pushed through the tight hamstrings and mental doubts and kicked past the girl runner as well as a few guys in front of her. I had enough in me to finish the final two miles at a 8:30 pace and jogged it out after the finish until my watch reached 30 miles.