Last weekend I ran my sixth marathon — the Wineglass Marathon in Corning, NY!
This race had been on my wishlist for a while. I went to college in Western New York, and we had to drive though the area to get there. When I heard there was a group of runners from my town chartering a bus to drive up for the weekend, I immediately joined in. It was perfect — all the logistics and hotel were taken care of. All I had to do was pay and hop on the bus!
I knew how beautiful this part of New York was — and the course did not disappoint. We started in Bath, NY and traveled on rural roads, enjoying farms, mountains and small towns on our way mostly downhill to Corning.
If you look at the elevation chart on the official website, it looks like an extremely downhill course! But it was actually a lot more gentle and less noticeable. The hills were few and far between. It was a very enjoyable course!
I decided to run with a pace group. It made me a little bit nervous — my marathon PR was 4:22:22 in 2010, and my pace group choices were 4:10 or 4:25. Nothing in between! 4:10 seemed a little ambitious, but I was confident that if I was having a good day, a 9:33 average pace was definitely possible. If I had to slow down and leave the group, I’d be OK with that … but fortunately, there was not an issue!
It was perfect running weather. Cloudy and 45* at the start – just a touch chilly until we started moving. My pacer was from Baltimore, and I actually ran with his group for part of the Baltimore 10-miler in June! I really enjoy running with pace groups. Takes the pressure off (no Garmin-watching to keep my own pace!), and it’s nice having someone to chat with — both the pacer and other runners sharing the same goal. We had a handful of other runners in our group for much of the race, but as the miles counted down we kept getting smaller. It was sad when one woman dropped off around mile 23 after she got a calf cramp. She would have had a BQ if she stuck with us!
Up to the halfway point, the miles were flying by. I hit my usual slump after 16 or 17 miles where I want to stop, but I hung in there. Had to stay with the pacer!
And a little later, maybe 19 or 20, again I wanted to slow down or walk. Nope, I don’t have to do that. Stay with the pacer! He started pulling ahead of me a tiny bit around 22 or 23, but I hung in there.
The miles kept ticking by … and then I could see the bridge. The finish wasn’t far behind!
We came in about a minute under goal, giving me over a 13-minute PR. Wow!
Post race, there was an amazing spread. In addition to the usual bagels and bananas, they has chocolate milk, cookies, chicken noodle soup, and pizza!
I had some food, stretched a bit, and then walked over to the YMCA where our bus was parked. I didn’t have to bag check since all my gear was on the bus, and they let us shower at the Y. That felt great!
Once all of our runners finished and showered, the bus headed home. Always tough to have a road trip immediately after a race, but it was nice that somebody else was driving! We had plenty of room on the bus, too, most of us had empty seats next to us. Room to stretch!
A very long, fantastic day.
Chip time: 4:09:07
Age group: 63/139
This was a great race. Beautiful scenery, great support at the aid stations, and a nice fast course. I loved it!