Well…we are official Buffalo Marathon Finishers! I really enjoyed the views along the route. The crowd was very encouraging and fun! Some neighborhoods had music playing, signs out, people cheering, sprinklers going incase runners wanted to run through, oranges and water they were handing out separate from what the people putting on the race put out, people were high fiving! It was a really great experience. The route was mostly flat with some small inclines and declines.
There were people running the race as a relay with four teammates, running the half marathon and others running the full marathon. This race was MUCH bigger than the Binghamton Marathon that we ran last September. However, it was very well put together so the larger crowd didn’t pose any problems before, during or after the race.
The AirBNB we stayed at was a little over a mile from the start line, so we walked to the race in the morning. We met up with Adam’s cousin so we could all start the race together. It was great catching up with her and talking about our training! They let off fireworks just before the race started. I attempted to video the fireworks, but due to user error, missed the majority of them. lol!
The race started downtown Buffalo. I was trying to be very careful not to push too hard at the beginning of the race, but my body felt good at that point so it was hard to dial it back. You never know how much energy you need to save to the end of the race.
The crowd running with us was pretty thick for the first half. Then, after the half marathoner’s finished at mile 13.1 the road really opened up! It was so nice seeing all the people cheering on the runners and giving encouragement as we ran by. Our bibs actually had our first names on them, and people would call us out by name to encourage the runners and wish them luck.
At mile 14 we began running with a girl who said she was running her first marathon. She told us how happily surprised she was to find everyone so nice and friendly. She made a great observation, people who were running the race and watching were so kind and encouraging! It really made the run more enjoyable!
We also talked to a guy who said this was his 102nd marathon that he had run! I asked him which was his favorite so far; he said that he is a Marine and the very first marathon he ever ran was with the U.S. Marine Corps and that was his favorite. He said they ran the whole marathon in formation. I have read a lot of blogs about people completing over 100 marathons, completing marathons in every U.S. state, and on every continent. This was the first time I ever met someone in person who had ran over 100 marathons. The fact that he ran a full marathon in formation with his unit is a pretty impressive feat!
As we approached mile 20, I began to feel very sore and tired. The sun was coming out and getting hot quickly! Adam and I had taken water and/or Gatorade at just about every drink station we came to. The drink stations were every 2 miles from mile 1-13 and then every mile from 13-26.2. I felt like I had plenty of water in my system.
Thank GOD Adam was running with me, because without him saying anything to me, he is so encouraging and motivating to help me push through. Running takes a lot of mental strength. It can be easy to tell yourself that what your doing is too hard, your body is too sore, and that you should just stop. When you’re running, you have a lot of time to think. Which means you have a lot of time to talk yourself out of what your doing. When I glance over at Adam, I know if I stopped, so would he. I didn’t want to bring him down just because I was feeling tired. So, I kept going and pushed through. We slowed down when I needed a break, but continued to move forward and didn’t stop until we passed the finish line!
Overall, I had a TON of fun and will look back at the training for this marathon and marathon day itself as a huge accomplishment! Our ending time was 4 hours and 26 minutes. We did not PR this marathon as we had hoped. The afternoon that we finished, I said I might not ever run a marathon again. I was tired and I thought I’d had enough. However, since then I am considering signing up for the Buffalo marathon again next year. It was truly a great race and an amazing experience! I also really want to do better than I did this year, and even do better than my first marathon.
I’m not saying I am definitely signing up…. but I’ll let you know if/when I do!
Thank you so much for all of the encouraging words! I really appreciate everyone’s support and it means a lot!