This was by far the most challenging marathon I have ever done. Not physically challenging, but mentally hard to stay with it. Total, there were 61 participants in the marathon. The race also had a 5k, 10k, and half with 200 or so runners altogether. Definitely a low key event, but spread those 60 other runners out over the of the course of 13 miles (two laps for the marathon) and it can get lonely. At one point during the race, there was no one in front of me for a mile and no one in back of me that I could see. The course was a big loop around the town. Half of that loop was on the “bypass” a highway that circumvents Maryville. That means 12 miles of the 26.2 were running on a highway with cars, trucks, semis and even tractors whizzing by. To top it off, a constant headwind prevailed over that stretch.
The race itself was really well organized and all the volunteers were eager to provide support. I really enjoyed the race, outside of actually doing the race! If anything, it was excellent training, especially overcoming every instant to stop after that first lap.