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Pic: The concrete boardwalk at Long Branch, NJ which was part of the route
The New Jersey Full Marathon, which I finished on May 2 ‘10, was the most difficult marathon I have ever run, and I am glad I could finish it.
It is a scenic route in parts and is a two-loop and mostly flat course with an oceanfront start and finish. Running through Long Branch and the adjacent communities of Monmouth Beach and Oceanfront, the Atlantic Ocean provides a uniquely inspiring backdrop to strenuous physical effort – and makes your achievement feel powerful and momentous when you finish.
The runners numbered 10,000 people and the event consisted of full-marathon, half-marathon and team relays. I ran the full-marathon which was completed by 1386 people, of which 810 were men.
It was by no means an easy run, not just for me but for many others too. There was a large number of dropouts due to the surprisingly hot and searing 90s (F) heat that day. Several ended up requiring medical help on the route. Not even water sprayed with garden hoses on the runners by helpful house owners on the route provide much relief.
And disappointingly enough, there was no food after the race, just bananas which were just not enough.
Am glad I could complete this difficult run. More so, because I had practiced very little due to my India trip and a very cold winter in NY this past season which prevented me from running much outdoors.
Its two weeks since the marathon and I am not yet fully recovered. However, I plan to get back to training from this weekend for the NYC Marathon I am running this year.
This morning I ran for the first time with the Jersey City runners. It was cold, between 30-35F, but the morning air and the waterfront was invigorating. Thanks to Chennai Runners in India for igniting the passion of long distance running in me and to Asha Charity group in NYC for helping me complete my first marathon. I hope to have a good running buddy system with the JC runners.
I ran with Sam who organizes this meetup. He ran at an easy pace and is the kind of guy a newcomer would feel easy to run with. Since we are still in winter not many members show up for the run. The weather is getting warmer now and so people will start coming out of hibernation for the run.
So if you are in Jersey City, then check out the meetup group and join us.