The Clarence Demar marathon is in tiny Keene, NH, and runs at the end of September/beginning of October.
The race: This is a really small race, only a few hundred runners. It's kind of a "runner's race' - no frills, no big medal, lots of local history.
Registration and cost: $60; you can register all the way up to the night before the event, which is cool. But frankly that's a lot for a very basic race.
Swag: None, pretty much. There is a tech-T, but it's cheap material ( I do like the no-sponsor plain back, but actually this race NEEDS sponsors in a big way, so I guess that's a bad thing). There are medals at the finish...and that's it. Age group and overall plaques are given; I was accidentally given the wrong one. In their defense I didn't notice either.
Course:The course is advertised as "fairly flat and fast" and I do think it would be fast for runners who are used to hills. It's actually a rather hilly downhill course, and several runners commented that the course mirrored Boston's course. The first half is a rolling downhill; the second half is more flat, with some rolling hills and a few tough climbs. There's a net elevation drop of about 300 feet. The first half, in the mountains, is beautiful; it gets a little boring as you go but overall a pretty and enjoyable course. A major disadvantage is that the roads are not closed for this race and the runners aren't even coned off; it's a little nerve-wracking in twisty mountain roads. There are police directing traffic at major intersections, thank goodness.
Then there is this hilarity. Yes, the official course map actually informs you that the finish is not marked....but it's near a storm drain and a manhole cover.
|And it's in Comic Sans. I hate Comic Sans.|
Post race: Pretty sparse - bagels, soup, soda, fruit, cookies, and massages.
|Heck yeah I got a massage! Poor girl. I was SO sweaty.|
Photos: I don't normally comment on race photos, but I thought this quote from the website kind of summed up the whole marathon:
"2011 Clarence DeMar Marathon, Keene, NH Sept. 25th We had car issues and didn't make it to the finish line in time to photograph all the runners, sorry! Those of you whom we did get will have photos in three of the galleries. Everyone will have a photo with the race name. Thanks for looking!"
Etc - This isn't chip timed and for a 34 year old marathon, it still needs some work. For example, the course was long, almost certainly because we started well behind a spray painted "start" on the road. I commented on this, but I lined up with everyone else. My Garmin read 26.67 - that's more than poor tangent running. Oddly, the times were recorded incorrectly. If my watch time didn't match course time, I'd shrug it off. But I noticed that the time intially posted for me - 3:35:19 - was WAY off. Then I noticed that the time recorded on the website was different: 3:35:09. But my watch read 3:34:58, and I didn't hit the stop button on it until after I had finished and received my medal! As soon as I finished, David commented that the time on the clock had been "jumping around" (I, of course, was not looking, as I was too busy posing for the camera). Lo and behold, he caught it on film: look at the times in these two consecutive photos!
|I approach the manhole cover...|
|Dude, what? I took one step and lost 9 seconds!|