In a quest to run a marathon in all 50 states, getting 2 states in one weekend is a great way to get more bang for your travel-buck.
The New Hampshire Marathon and Maine Marathon fell on the same weekend, and only about a 2 hour drive from each other, as well as a 2 hour drive from Boston, where reasonable airfare from Milwaukee can be attained.
We arrived in Boston on Friday afternoon, did a bit of sight seeing on our drive to Bristol, stopping in Concord, New Hampshire's capitol.
The New Hampshire Marathon website says it is the most scenic marathon in New England.
The start/finish was at the local middle school. We were treated to pre-race music from the middle school concert band as they performed their rendition of Steppenwolf's Born to be Wild.
The rain started just before the marathon. We headed out for a soggy and scenic 26.2 mile journey.
The course is very hilly and scenic. It goes around Newfound Lake offering views of the lake, rustic old cemeteries, vacation homes, farms, and the small quaint town of Hebron.
My legs were tired from my recent 50 miler and Ironman, so I took a very conservative approach, keeping in mind I'd be running another marathon the next day.
With a field of about 200 runners, I had plenty of room, and always had other runners in sight.
From about mile 13 to 21, I was near a young woman who had her parents following her on the course, offering cheer and aid. After seeing me a few times, they recognized me, and cheered for me as well. I got a very sweet 'You can do this, Kiddo' from the dad. I wanted to ask 'Can you be in Portland, Maine tomorrow?'
We had drizzle to light rain most of the time, no wind, and temperatures in the 60s. Relatively decent running weather.
I didn't really have a time goal in mind, but wanted to keep a steady pace somewhere around a 9 minute mile. I finished in 3:53, soggy and tired, and wondering how I was going to do this again tomorrow. The hills took a bit of a toll on me.
The event offered free sports massages for the runners, and I took advantage of that, hoping it would speed up recovery in my legs.
After a quick shower and dry clothes, we headed to Portland, Maine, taking the scenic drive through White Mountain National Park. We stopped at one scenic overlook, and also at the Rocky Gorge area. Weather and time prevented us from doing any more than that.
This was a very nice, relaxed, low key, well organized marathon. It was definitely scenic. Unfortunately, the weather didn't allow us to capture that with many photos.
For those keeping score, New Hampshire brings me to: states 15, marathons 38, and 'marathon-or-longer' 51.