Cold rain Saturday worried me but Sunday arrived sunny with temps in the mid-40's. A dozen of us set out on an official early start at 8:05 a.m. I edged ahead of the bunch, getting out on my own by m6 or 7.
After checking my pace at miles 1, 2, and 5 I decided to continue without consulting further splits. I'll just do my best and see what happens.
Some hills began on Thomas Landers Road (~m9) and began rolling more continuously after the turn onto 28A.
I made it solo to the Golf Course (m20) as I expected; then to Woods Hole (m21), and still alone even by m23. Here the course skirts the water. I enjoyed the refreshing cool breeze. The leader finally passed me just a few meters short of m24.
I could jog only in 1/5 to 1/4 mile spurts. The very early start meant no crowd support. Not crucial, but it might have given me a little more energy in this final section. I was maybe the 8th or 9th person to cross the finish line. I quickly made my way to the school for a wonderful 25-minute massage.
Usually I resort to psychobabble and indulgent self-pity by miles 18-20. That simply didn't happen today. I did feel physically fatigued, but emotionally I came through this one very well.
After the massage and refreshments (pasta and clam chowdah!) I volunteered briefly at the finish line. Then I came back to my B+B for a shower before joining the post-race party. There I met Burke Carlson, who at 72 years has done 160 marathons. After a divorce at 57, he joined some jogging friends, first building up to a 5K, a 10K, eventually his first marathon. His plans to do one a year became two a year, then more and more. Now here he sits at this party, discussing his experience in the Edmund Fitzgerald 100K. (Another guy at the table has done 265 marathons.) After a while I left to take in dinner at Liam McGuires, where I heard him and a friend play Irish and Canadian music on guitar, 12-string, mandolin, and banjo.
All in all, a very satisfying day.