A Rebel Runners send-off dinner was held at Lamberti's Cucina after I jogged just one lap at Delcastle due to my sore
left leg. The last few weeks of my training had been hampered with pain and tightness in my left quad.
Nearly 30 enjoyed the pasta and traditional "good luck" cake.
Delaware had a large contingent of runners at Wineglass. Almost 20 Rebels,
family & friends carpooled up on a beautiful Saturday morning, watching the fall colors become more vibrant the
farther north we traveled. Rich drove Trish, Dar and myself on the scenic route through the Pennsylvania Dutch
country and along the Susquehanna River. We stopped for lunch at a small town restaurant just north of Williamsport, PA.
Arriving in Corning in early afternoon, we headed straight for the small, open-air expo where we picked up bibs
and the ladies did some serious shopping for Wineglass logo gear. The expo is at the race finish area, a small
park near Market Street, which serves as the downtown tourist area, with restaurants, bars, and glass retailers.
Much of our group re-united at the Market Street Brewing Co. before we drove a mile to Staybridge Suites hotel.
Immediately after placing my bags in the room, I walked back through downtown and up a hill to hit 5pm Mass
before doubling back to join our tables of 18 for a nice pasta dinner at Sorge’s on Market Street. Continuing
to wear his 26.2 jacket, Rich posed for several photos with admirers, including a lady who had had her picture
taken with him at the [equally small] Breakers Marathon in Rhode Island.
Once back in the room, I had to survive Smarty’s JoPa impersonations while we watched a Penn State
game before lights out.
We were up by 5:30am and got dropped off to catch a bus from the
finish area up the road to the start in Bath. Arriving at the large, open lawn at 7am, we had plenty of time
to enjoy a crisp and clear sunrise while waiting on line for the porta potties. I was wearing my neon green racing shoes
for their first run of more than 15 miles and opted not to do any warm-up jog. My left quad area had been
sore for several weeks and I had no idea how it would hold up.
With 1600 marathoners and another 150 3-person relay teams, the starting area was wide enough to prevent loss
of time. Conditions were near perfect, although ample sun made some of us wish that the point to point
course was more shaded. I ran the first 4 miles with Smarty, until he pulled ahead of our 3:20 group.
A few weeks prior,
I had been gunning for a PR (3:13), but I was afraid that my leg wouldn’t allow it.
Fields & Forests
Most of the course involves long stretches on quiet country roads, although one side was open to some traffic,
so we had something else to keep us occupied besides the grass and corn fields, orange & red mountains, and
occasional horses which watched attentively as we ran by. Water stations were adequate, with cheerful volunteers,
although one in particular was a bit disorganized with water and Gatorade completely intermixed.
By the first transition area (mile 9), I realized that my sore leg would not be a factor. I was just ahead
of the 3:20 pacer to avoid water stop congestion, but before the second transition (mile 18) the group slowly
passed me. I caught up at the next water stop, but they soon dropped me for good. My legs started getting
tight and I started to lose my stride. At this point I knew I couldn’t hold on for 3:20 and immediately
focused on staying ahead of the 3:30 group. As it turned out, I barely did that!
At mile 21, we went down
a dip into a completely shaded path, which felt great and buoyed my spirits. But my spirits were trampled
upon with each runner that passed me. It felt like my [similarly fast course] marathon in Sacramento the
previous year when I actually walked a couple times in the latter miles.
I felt decent, but the legs were just not cooperating. [Bad legs!]
At around mile 23, a little girl was jumping up and down with excitement on her lawn for each runner, which
put a smile on my face temporarily. For the first time since mile 3, I started looking at my watch, nervous
that the darn 3:30 group would catch me. It was uplifting to see the footbridge which served as a final
stretch to the finish line and I found something resembling a running stride as I crossed the line with a
chip time of 3:29:32.
Upon receiving my foil blanket and glass medal, I realized how hungry and thirsty I was. The 2 course GU’s
I took were a bare minimum of nourishment. After a couple unsteady steps, I enjoyed the warm sunshine and
grabbed soup, pizza, an apple, cheese stick and diet coke before wandering around. Rich soon appeared and
posted himself near the finish area to greet fellow Delawareans as they came in.
Two PCVRC club members made their marathon debut: Gelsomina had tears in her eyes as she crossed the
finish line in 4:53:16 and was immediately greeted by most of our group. Ryan ran an impressive 3:19:46!
The Big Finish
Most of us didn't burn up the course and had to be content
with the beautiful fall colors and enthusiastic spectators. With 1486 marathon finishers, this charming
and well-organized race will celebrate it's 30th anniversary
next year. The unique glass medal, a wine glass and small bottle of champagne are additional enticements.
Most of us walked directly from the finish area to a Gaffers, local bar. Up to 20 Delawareans were at two
tables across from the bar at any time throughout the afternoon watching the Jets trounce the Bills and the
Eagles lose to McNabb and the Redskins. Rich led cheers whenever someone would walk in sporting a finisher medal.
We finally headed back to the hotel after 6pm to shower.
Chip time: 3:29:32
Top 20% overall - 297 of 1486 finishers
Top 29% Male (45-49) - 43 of 150 finishers
Rebel Runners good luck cake
Corning, New York - race banner
Rich & a fan of his 26.2 jacket
Pre-race pasta dinner
Official race photo
Ray during the race
Marathon Man: hat on... hat off.
G is a marathoner!