I've been looking forward to this weekend for about two months. From the day I was first told about the Boilermaker in Utica, NY , I started planning for it. I looked forward to this race for a bunch of reasons.
First,I saw it was coming up on the weekend that I was supposed to do my first ten-mile training run. Back in the beginning of May, actually completing ten miles in less then two months time appeared to be a real long shot. My first 5K at the end of April in Glastonbury was nothing short of pathetic. I couldn't make it a two miles without wanting to crawl under a hole and hide. Amanda and Hilary dragged me through it though. Since then, I've already exceeded running ten miles when I finished the Fairfield Half-Marathon. Tomorrow isn't a question of finishing, but in how long. My goal is to break 1:25:00. It will be difficult, but I think I can do it.
Second, I read in Runner's World that this is supposed to be one of - if not the - funniest race in the country. I got a sense of what to expect when I registered yesterday. From the huge banner proclaiming the start of the race as I got off the highway, to the two miles of cars and entire army of traffic police along the road heading into the expo on the Masonic Care Community Campus to the thousands of people roaming through at least a dozen circus-size tents. One television report said 30,000 people are expected for this race. Now, I don't know if that's just runners or includes all the volunteers. Whatever it is, its a huge number. Utica is not exactly a thriving metropolis. I drove through farmlands and old mill towns for almost two hours before I got to the "city". The community involvement for this race is nothing short of spectacular and the excitement should only feed my adrenaline. The race is covered from start to finish by the Utica TV stations and the coverage has been neat to follow online throughout this week.
Although, the preparations for the race have caused stress to some Utica residents.
The third reason I was looking forward to this was that it marks just about the halfway point of my training. When this started, I had no idea if I would even get to this point. The continuous weekend races, the support from other runners and seeing steady results have helped fuel my desire to run and finish the marathon in October.
I'm two months to the date of the Montreal "need to run 20 miles that weekend so might as well run 26" Marathon. 26.2 miles still seems like an impossible feat, but I'm alot closer than I was after finishing the Glastonbury River Run. Tomorrow will be the first race I set as a long term goal and didn't just run on a whim. I'm gonna enjoy it.