February 22, 2009, 01:00 PM
College of William & Mary
The marathon is a long-distance foot race at is 26 miles that is usually run as a road race. A half marathon is similar to a full marathon and is 13.1 miles. Small races like the popular 5k races are 3.5 miles. Most participants do not run marathons to win. For most runners it is their PRs or personal finish time and their placement within their specific gender and age group that is important rather than the actual winning of the race. Another goal is to break certain time barriers. For example, first-time runners or new marathoners will try to run the marathon under four hours; runners that are more competitive may attempt to finish in less than three hours. Others use smaller marathons and half marathons as training races and qualifying benchmarks for major marathons, like Boston Marathon, New York City marathon, and Washington D.C.'s National Marathon.
Many running clubs are dedicated to hosting or managing state marathons, such as the Colonial Road Runners and the Universitys Tribe Club that host and promote the Colonial Half Marathon. They do so to promote physical fitness through running within their states and surrounding areas. Running clubs welcome runners of all levels from beginning joggers to the highly competitive road racer to marathoners.
Most Marathons and half marathons begin with a pre-race pasta event the night before the race. These events are usually hosted by the local running club or sponsored by one of the race sponsors. These pasta parties are to build up the carbs and energy before race time, and have become a tradition for many racers and race clubs. Many of the smaller races do not hold a pre-race pasta event. Our own running club holds their own pasta party at local Italian restaurants while traveling to various race events around the country.
At the Colonial Half Marathon in Williamsburg, VA, more than 1,100 runners crossed the finish line at the 29th running of race. The course was a scenic combination of hills and flat stretches over Williamsburg's city streets and through its historic neighborhoods, the race begins downtown on the beautiful campus of the College of William and Mary and takes runners along a scenic, hilly route through the city's residential areas. The race then takes participants out to Carter's Grove Country Road and to the Busch Corporate Center, before returning to the College for the finish at the William & Mary Hall. The racers families and friends gathered in the William & Mary arenas upper seating area to watch and cheer as the timing clock click off times as each finisher turned into the hall and down the finishers shoot.
Post race parties are popular among the racers as well as the families and friends that support them. Post race parties start with carbs like orange, bread, beer, and eventually lead into pizza and sandwiches or hot soups. The parties are to help the races recapture the calories and energy they lost during the race. Especially since most racers do not eat before races.