New England Challenge – 5 Marathons in 5 days! 2013

We would like to recognize our Ohio athlete, Frank Smith, who is on a quest to complete a marathon in all fifty states. This past week he was able to tick off a few more states as he completed the New England Challenge. This event consisted of completing five marathons in five days. That’s right, five marathons in five days! Twelve athletes accepted the challenge and Frank took fourth overall after tallying up the results of all five races. Here are his results and a few of his own comments. Way to go Frank!!!

Monday, Race #1: Pine Tree Marathon in Portland Maine: Cold, raining, foggy day (actually a great day for running).  After a 0.86 mile out-and-back, it was 7 laps around Back Cove, a beautiful route.  It was flat, groomed dirt path with the exception of climbing the bridge to cross the bay each lap. Phyllis ran this one with me and she did great.  I ran 5:06 and Phyllis 5:45.

Tuesday, Race #2: Granite State Marathon in Nashua, New Hampshire: This was a hot day (high of 91) with no cloud cover. The route was technical trail that was not well marked.  Everyone got lost at about mile 2, so we all (28 runners that day) ran about a mile off course, stopped, re-grouped and together tried to figure out the route.  We eventually got it right, but as we spaced out, I got lost a second time (along with many others).  It was an out-and back with 5 loops. We did an inadvertent ultra! Between trail, heat, more miles and time and getting lost, it was my worst day.  I felt poorly after day 2 (as it would turn out, days 1, 3 and 5 felt great and days 2 and 4 I didn’t feel as good).  I ran 5:47.

Wednesday, Race #3: Red Island Marathon, Warwick, Rhode Island: After an 1.9 mile out-and-back, we ran a nine loop course along the bay. It was a great run.  Asphalt path with constantly rolling hills—no flat!  It was cool with rain. I felt great and I ran easily for a 5:10.

Thursday, Race # 4 Nutmeg State Marathon in Hartford, Connecticut: Probably the hardest course, even thought it was 12 loops around a beautiful golf course on mostly service road. The loop was 2.08 miles, so after an out-and-back to get started, we did lots of loops.  We started at the top of the hill, ran a quad busting steep technical trail downhill, picked up the road for a short flat section, then ran a 1 mile up-hill with 2 steep sections.  The trail downhill killed my quads and the uphill was an energy sink–I could feel is draining my energy tank each time I climbed it.  It rained hard near the end, which felt great, but make for hard running.  I felt OK, but ran a 5:28.

Friday, Race #5: Old Colony Marathon in Springfield, Massachusetts: Great route in and around Forest Park.  After an out-and-back to start, we did 4 loops.  I felt great, and since I didn’t need to conserve energy anymore, I ran freely and easily for a 4:58. Again, it was cool with rain.