Dubbed “America’s Friendliest Marathon”, the SunTrust Richmond Marathon surely lived up to its name. With the sun shinning, marathoners were off promptly at 8am. During the first few miles, runners got comfortable and settled into pace. Around mile 6 we descended towards the James River. Before crossing the small bridge, a large crowd cheered us though, what an awesome party zone. The next couple of miles were next to the river, which offered great scenery and the ability to relax a bit. Miles 9-12 had some rolling hills, but were soon forgotten after 13-15 which was mostly flat.
Next we crossed the James River again via Robert E. Lee Bridge to break mile 16. The next few miles were all about adjusting pace and relying on crowd support. After mile 20 my legs signaled fatigue and I had to slow down. Even though miles 20-24 were flat, my legs were done, and I battled cramps combined with lower stomach pains. During the last 2 miles I made a final push and sprinted the down to the finish.
Even with my Boston Qualifier blown, I had a great race and achieved a new PR. Most importantly I had fun doing it, and will definitely return to run the Richmond Marathon again.
Would also like to recognize all the of the other runners from the Charlotte region that participated. Théoden Jane did a great write up, so I am going to recommended his blog post.