With an early wake-up at 4am, on Sunday, May 28, we ran our first marathon! As we write this, Charcoal is curled up on a couch and Violet is sitting in a living room chair with her feet soaking in epsom salts. We both have watermelon and strawberry seltzer. Yum!
Registration Cost: We registered early and don’t remember what we paid. But it was worth it!
Packet Pick-Up: We went to packet pick-up late in the morning on Saturday. We picked up our packets without trouble and enjoyed the expo. At the expo, we did a little extra shopping and sampling, which is practically a requirement. We also appreciate that there was nearby free parking in one of the garages in downtown Buffalo.
When registering, one of us checked the box saying that it was our first full marathon. The one of us who checked that box thought it was just for statistical purposes. As it turned out, the personalized bibs said “1st Timer” on the ones that had checked that box. That was an unexpected surprise, but nothing that a little White-Out couldn’t handle! Luckily one of us has a pretty good stash of office supplies 😉
Pre-Race: We arrived at the convention center between 5:30-5:45am for the 6:30am race start. We again appreciated the free parking in the garage, with easy access to I-190 for both arriving and departing. When we got to the convention center, we checked our gear bags and waited in a restroom line. We were pointed to a different restroom location with a shorter line by one of the convention center employees. That line took about 8 minutes to get through, so not bad!
We headed out to the starting area at about 6:20am and got in our pace area. We appreciated that there were several pacers for the course. We also enjoyed the pre-race fireworks. When else are you going to see them before 6:30am?!
Course: The course goes through much of the Buffalo city area, including Delaware Park. There are many nice homes and other notable architecture around the course. The course is also well-supported with many volunteers, police officers, and other officials. For the first half, there were water stops at every two miles. After that, the water stops were at each mile. They had lemon-lime Gatorade and water at every stop, and gels at some. Every stop had many volunteers and they were all great!
The support along the course was also helpful. There were also medical aide stations throughout the course stocked with Vaseline and we aren’t sure what else (thankfully we didn’t need these!).
Finish Line: There was an announcer and many volunteers at the finish line. Along with water, there were finisher metals, finisher keychains, apples, chips, and pizza. They also had the warming blanket/sheets and a bell to ring if you got a PR or Boston qualifier.
Post-Race: The after party had lots of bananas, oranges (cut into sections), water, beer, and pizza. It looked like earlier in the day there may have been chocolate milk.
Weather: After having the possibility of rain earlier in the week, it ended up being sunny with some clouds and in the 70s. It was 55 degrees when we were driving by a thermometer at about 5:30am.
Apparel: Charcoal wore a race tank top, Old Navy capris, a running cap, Balega socks, Saucony iSO Triumph 2 shoes. She also wore a “throw-away” long-sleeve tech shirt that was on its way to being donated (this made it until about mile 5). For fuel, she used a Nathan Trail Mix water belt with a Roo Sports magnetic pocket.
Violet wore two tank tops, compression shorts, Asics shorts with a lot of pockets on the back (well-stuffed!), injinji Women’s 2.0 toe socks, Asics GT-1000 4 shoes, and a running cap. In the morning, she wore a zip-up sweatshirt to toss when it warmed up (mile 2). She carried a bottle of water that could be recycled when she got tired of carrying it (around mile 22).