Saturday, Dec. 31 & Sunday, Jan. 1
New Year's Double, AKA New Year's Eve Marathon and New Year's Day Marathon
NO REALLY, WHY?
This is a new challenge for me. I've run races on back-to-back days, but those were a half marathon and a 10K. This will bump me up from a 2-star Maniac to a 4.
WHO ELSE IS GOING?
There are 2,000 registrants in 4 distances over 2 days, but among those going 26.2, there are 190 on Saturday and 121 on Sunday. There are 88 runners planning to run both marathons, but with a 6-hour time limit and certainly a fair number of folks who, like me, haven't tried this before, I can probably guarantee a few DNFs on Sunday.
WHAT'S THE FORECAST?
Both races will start in the low 40s and finish in the low 50s, with hardly a cloud in the sky. The wind will be a factor, though, picking up out of the south as Saturday morning goes along, then turning around to become a pretty stiff north breeze throughout the race Sunday. There's a mid-loop straightaway of just over a mile that runs directly north-south; this could really sap some strength come Sunday (because the benefit of a tailwind is never as great as the punishment of a headwind).
HOW DO WE WIN?
The marathons will each have awards for the top 10 men and women, and since the registrant lists were posted, I did some somewhat-obsessive digging on Athlinks. Seems there are about 9 or 10 guys with faster PRs than me (and almost all of them are running both days). This suggests I might be right on the cusp of getting some bling. The wild card, of course, is strategy. Do I go all-out to make the top 10 on Saturday and just shuffle through Sunday? Do I sandbag Saturday and then go hard on Sunday to take advantage of everyone else being tired? If I do that, how tired will I be Sunday? If anyone cares about making the top 10, there's a good bit of poker to be played -- especially since the out-and-back loops assure you of knowing where you are virtually the entire race.