Inaugural Mt. Nittany Marathon

STATE COLLEGE, Pennsylvania, September 1 2013

It was too freakin’ hot.

I would not have considered running this event – or any long race where there is a chance of temperatures over 80F – except for a confluence of four factors:

  • I wanted to scout the course* of the Tussey Mountainback 50 miler, which was just a few miles down the road.
  • I had not yet colored Pennsylvania in on my map.
  • I’ve been finding excuses to avoid or cut short my long training runs, and I figured that being in an official event would be good incentive to complete the distance.
  • It was the first year for this event, so at least for one year I can say I’ve run it every time it’s been held.

The organization was outstanding. There may have been more volunteers than runners, and they were uniformly friendly and enthusiastic. The first half of the course was somewhat rural and scenic. The second half was less so. The roads were not closed except for a short stretch in the beginning and another at the end.

Final time, 4:51:26, a personal worst by some eleven minutes, and almost an hour slower than my previous marathon time. From now on I’m sticking to October through April for long races**.

Miles this race – 26.2
Miles raced in 2013 – 197.9

*While I was scouting the course I drove over a rattlesnake which was stretched out in the road. I stopped the car and got out to see if he was OK. He was coiled up and vigorously rattling at me. I figured that if I’d hit him it would have been either his head or his tail, and both parts still seemed intact and menacing. I called it good and skedaddled.

**This is probably a lie.