Ok, I loved this marathon. I had read/ heard a lot of criticism about it, so I expected some issues, but really had very few complaints. There are about 10 half marathon runners to every marathoner, so you do wonder why it’s not the San Antonio half marathon with a marathon option. And, yes, after the half turns off, it is much sparser, but this didn’t bother me. Yes, it could be expensive if you paid for parking and got extra shirts, but I registered a couple months out for $100, which is reasonable in marathon terms. Yes, there were some run down sections, but San Antonio is an older city and that’s a fact of life in an older city. And yes, there was an out and back, but it was through a beautiful park and once it was done, we were on mile 20, ready to start the countdown to the end.
The big bummer was 90 degree weather. My predawn walk to the start was already pushing 80, and super muggy. We’ve had great fall like weather for a few weeks now and this was just a freak heat wave, but it hit right on marathon day. I’m fine with slowing down, but I knew there would be a lot of carnage out on the course. I feel bad for the city and race organizers because I’m sure there were a lot of medical issues due to the heat. I just ran a little slower and really only suffered the final 3 miles, and even that was manageable. My big fail in relation to the heat was not bringing sunscreen ( it’s mid November for Pete’s sake!!!) and leaving my sunglasses in a car valet parked 4 blocks from our hotel.
I loved the course though. It went through downtown some really nice parks, a university campus, and a couple beautiful neighborhoods. There were a lot of military volunteers who were wonderful and said things like “good job, mam.” The high school cheerleaders were adorable, and there were a couple neat bands: a bluegrass band and some traditional Mexican dancers. There were two massive GU stops, well done water stops, and after mile 17 cold sponges every couple miles. The finish was well organized, the medals really neat with the Alamo on them, and there was good post race food for a race so large (smoothies, bagels, fruit, Gatorade and beer if you were so inclined. So, yeah, I didn’t get why so many people don’t like this race. Well, I think it likely because it is notorious for bad weather. It always seems to be hot. Really hot.
I loved it though and will definitely do it again. It’s a really fun weekend trip. The big downer for us was Jasper had some massive fits which prevented us from doing some things we had planned, but he did good in the hotel, and if he hadn’t had the fits ,we would have had some really fun family activities pre and post race, so normally this would be a good race to drag family along. There are tons of great restaurants along the Riverwalk which is near all the race stuff and lots for kids to do.
So yeah, a slow one for me. 4:09. But I’m happy with that. I ran consistently and passed a gazillion people walking at the end. This was actually the biggest marathon I’ve ever done….. Bigger than the Boston’s I’ve run. The first three miles were pretty thick with people, but it got much better after that. I really ,really liked it, despite the 90 degree November day. The only carnage on our trip was a pair of Jasper’s pants….but that’s a whole different blog post. 🙂