I spent the weekend on the marathon course taking final detailed measurements at all mile marks and associated landmarks for inclusion in the paperwork required for USATF certification as a Boston qualified course.
I have been running on these roads for almost 40 years and I still look forward (and sometimes can’t wait) to rev up the endorphins in the all the beauty in this area. My favorite part in the 12 mile loop (8 to 20 miles) is mile 11 to 13.1. It's my little slice of “Heaven”. Picturesque, quit and serene.
The canopied road, with a few rolling hills (40 foot elevation changes “speedbumps”), is sandwiched between incredibly beautiful vineyards (Pellegrini and Oakwild) and a cozy cottage (I always wanted to own) overlooking a pond loaded with wildlife. If you are taking pictures this is a great spot (on top of the knoll a few hundred feet past mile 12).
Remember, once you have had the rare and unique opportunity to run through the DeLoach Vineyard and Winery barrel room you have only ½ mile to go to enter this scenic area. In fact, drive the down the W. Olivet and Oakwild Lanes after packet pickup at the DeLoach Winery Expo and/or Google Earth and place the street level man along the route for great views.
That’s it for tonight. Looking forward to a ten mile early Monday morning run across another stellar part of this course.
July 17: The spring wheat fields have been harvested and replaced with summer corn that is already sprouting (miles 6 - 8). Ten feet tall, verdant and a scenic attraction by marathon day. First time this year I spotted five pelicans floating and feeding in the pond at mile 6 (half marathon), and, besides my little snowy egret friend that hangs around the bridge at mile 6 (Eddy's Bridge), a rare and chance sighting (that made my day) Alpine, the Great Blue Heron, was standing tall and statuesque at the same bridge. The vineyards in this pictureque and beautiful 5 mile loop are rich and green and laden with hanging fruit. No wonder I can't wait to run in this area everyday. Should be a crowd pleaser.
Since there are more runners training on the course maybe we will cross paths some day since I am on it everyday, either running early or later biking. Maybe a shout out to the old guy wearing the blue Santa Rosa Marathon baseball cap.
Important training tip: The number 1 reason for poor marathon performance (besides going out too fast) is fluid and electrolyte imbalance, which leads to dehydration, cramping and usually lots of walking. There is no reason for this to happen. Lack of water is one culprit, so I would make sure that you drink 6 to 8 ounces of water or Gator Ade at each aid station. Sodium imbalance is the second and maybe most important culprit. Best to drink the Gator Ade, which contains some needed elctrolytes. The best way to handle this sodium imbalance is to use a product like Hammer's Endurolytes. I down two of their capsules just before every other aid station and chase them down with the available water. It is rare when I cramp and if I do feel one coming on I simply down two or three more and they go away in a few minutes. I have used them at the 135 mile Badwater race for ten years and they prevent cramping and diminished performance. They work. Period. They can be purchased at a sporting or bike store for about $20 for a bottle of 120. Try them in training runs.
That's it for today. Any questions give me a hollar. Arthur. Runerof100@aol.com.
Thursday, July 24:
Just received confirmation from USATF that the Santa Rosa Marathon is now a recognized Boston qualified certified course. Anyone wanting to check all the paperwork and maps submitted for certification may find all that info (have to poke around a bit) at USATF.org. Certification code is CA14081RS.
Spending most of our time finalizing the hundreds of tasks it takes to put on a "quality" marathon, hopefully to be enjoyed by all.
By this Sunday the entire half and full marathon mileage markers will be on the course (numbers are sprayed on the ashpalt (to be blacked out after the race). If you train on the course the blue markers are the half marathon miles and the green marks are the full miles. Since it is hardpack in the half from mile 5 to mile 7 and no place to spray: mile 5 is a few hundred feet from the Fulton Road path entrance, mile 6 is at the pond and mile 7 is a hundred feet from the exit of the path at the Willowside Road Bridge.
Important training tip #2: Don't rush your start. Whatever your race pace is do the first few miles at least 15 seconds slower. If you have trained properly this time will easily be made up in the later miles. I have witnessed hundreds of times the runners who go out to fast walking in the later miles and it mainly comes from running faster than race pace the first few miles. Remember, with chip timing your time starts when you cross the starting line so no need to go out with the lead pack or other faster runners. If you start smart and drink about 24-30 ounces of water and/or Gator Ade and take some electrolyte relacement along the way as indicated in the above blog, there is no reason you should not reach your goal. Period.
Best in training.