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Week 16: Are you Ready???

I think I am ready. Iíve logged a lot of miles. I got my marathon haircut on Friday (#4 Guard all around). I drove the course on Saturday and took notes (more on that later). So I would say yes I am ready.

There are few more things that I need to do yet. One more long run (15 miles) which I will do on Tuesday. Put together my list of what to bring. Decide on what color shirt to wear. Pick up a few supplies. Thatís pretty much it.

One of the things that I found to be helpful last year was driving the course and taking notes. I drove the course the afternoon before the marathon and reviewed those notes the night before. I was in Duluth on Saturday so I drove the course. I will now have two weeks to review the notes. Just like the year before I was surprised to find the beginning a bit more hilly than I remember. I figure it must be an age thing.

Here is what I am looking at:

From the start line there is a slight incline for about the first .5 mile. From there itís flat for about a mile. At 1.5 some rolling ups and downs of various lengths until about 2.3. Slight descent and flat to the 3 mile mark. From there itís a slight incline all the way to 4 and another series of rolling ups and downs to 5. At the 5 mile mark weíll be entering the first small town on the course, Knife River. Lotís of spectators will be there. The route is flat through town. At the end of town thereís a hill thatís not as big as it looks but itís a significant hill nonetheless. Once at the top we drop down a bit, go under a railroad bridge and than up just a bit to the 6 mile mark. Itís pretty flat to 6.8 and again some rolling ups and downs to about 7.6. Thatís followed by a slight descent to 8.4 and uphill to 8.9. Than itís a down hill to about 9.6 and flat to 11. From 11 to about 12.3 thereís some small to medium rolling ups and downs. A bit of a rise at 12.9. Flat from there to just past 14 where it than goes down to 14.7. Again some small rolling ups and downs until 16. At 16 a small degree incline to 16 .4 and than itís pretty much downhill. From there to 18 itís a slight descent and just past 18 itís a bigger descent to 19 (Lester River Area). At 19 we will be at edge of Duluth and a very scenic residential area. From here to the finish there are lots of spectators cheering you on. Stays flat until Lemon Drop hill at mile 22.2. Significant hill at this point but not very long. Just over .2 of a mile. It is followed by a nice descent. At this point we have been in a business section of Duluth on the edge of downtown. A small hill just a block long as we go up to the next street over which is Superior Street which is just prior to mile 23 I think. This is where I feel the chills of ďHeck I am going to make itĒ. Flat from here to mile 25. At 25 we turn towards the convention center go down a hill than up a hill to cross over The I35 bridge and than back down. That will put us at about 25.2. One mile to go and itís flat. Turn by the convention center, turn by the ore boat museum, turn at the other end of the ore boat museum and then the itís the final turn onto canal street and into the finishers chute. Careful it may get wet here from the watery eyes.

After typing that it makes me wish it was tomorrow. The excitement is building. Maybe a small amount of anxiety too.

If you care to track me you can sign up at www.grandmasmarathon.com. Verizon wireless will either send text messages or email messages. You will receive updates as I pass certain points on the course. Runners have a chip attached to the shoelaces and when we cross the check points our time is registered. That information will be relayed to you.

Taper time is about to begin.


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Ore boat museum? How did I miss that last visit.

Race sounds hilly, you are one of the elite, very impressive.

- Dave

It's well worth admission. That is if youíre a child under 5.

Just kidding, it's actually kind of neat.

Thanks for stopping by. I'll be looking for my water on that elite table but I have a sneaky suspicion that by the time I get there it will be gone.


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