This last weekend I decided to run the Turtle Marathon in Roswell, NM. The Turtle marathon is a very a-typical race compared to any other marathon I’ve done. It is really a race that harkens back to the early days of modern marathon running where a few locals in a small running club decided to put on an event mostly for the club and whoever else wanted to show up. The race is very small, very informal and support is limited. Most of the “aid stations” were cases of bottled water sitting on the side of the road, highway 70. These were about every two miles and when you came to one you could just grab a bottle or two. At the turn around point for the half-marathon and then again at the turn around for the full marathon there were aid stations that had Gatorade, water and bananas so you hit one of those three times during the race. I carried two hand-held water bottles, four gels and some packets of salt during the race and never wanted for anything. The GeekGrl carried a hydration pack and some gels and felt the same way. Maybe it sounds kind of scary but it really was a pretty cool little race. I guess it really felt like a marathon as opposed to a circus; a race as opposed to entertainment. If you need to be pampered, need bells and whistles and want a lot of fanfare then this is not the race for you. If you just want to get out and run a New Mexico marathon on the cheap then this is exactly what you are looking for. Roswell is an inexpensive place to stay and the entry fee is $15.
I don’t know if this will end up being detrimental to my Rio Del Largo attempt but I’ll soon find out. I decided to treat this as a training run and tried to maintain a balance of running easy and smooth but tried not to spend an excessive amount of time out on the road. I think I struck a pretty decent balance and still felt good after the race. I ran a total time of 4:01:58 and was able to negative split the run, which was due in part to the fact that it generally climbs on the way out and generally descends on the way back but my pacing was good too.
Not much of a race report but I am pretty focused on Rio Del Largo…where I will be toeing the line with Gordy Ansleigh! I’m sorry but I am totally star struck, to race with the man who literally founded the modern sport of ultra-distance trail running. Too cool!