Steamtown Marathon Course Report
Steamtown Marathon: MIND THE SPEED LIMIT AND LOCK YOUR CAGE.
Words of Wisdom from Veteran Runners: http://steamtownmarathon.com/course/
Go listen to the podcast where I talk about my DNF in July. I passed the 7-mile marker around the 53-minute mark and knew I was screwed. Why? My best possible outcome (not the most likely outcome, the best one where all the stars align God smiles down on me and angels sing me to the finish) based on my training at the time was 3:38. No way I was going to accidentally run a 3:10 race that day. That doesn’t happen.
This, too could be your story if you aren’t careful at Steamtown. If you don’t lock your cage and sit into that 25-mile downhill your quads are toast.
Courses with large downhill portions that are considered ‘fast’ can be deadly if you aren’t careful. Your veins and brain will be drowned with adrenaline and excitement, your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous response systems will be out of sync, and you will be amidst a bunch of people who are going to go out WAY too fast. Never assume anyone who comes near you knows this course better than you do or has a better strategy. Write your speed and effort limits on your arm, but you will probably rely on the speed limits more carefully.
The start line is positioned at 1600 ft and drops 150 feet in the first mile; so know ahead that it will be fast. Slight uphill, then miles 2-6 bring the biggest elevation drops in the race, patience is key here- MIND THE SPEED LIMIT AND LOCK YOUR CAGE.
The rest of the course is a relatively uneventful point-to-point, no crazy twists aside from one dogleg in Carbondale and a loop around mile 20, so just be patient, don’t get greedy, and you’re golden.