Even after countless races I still get butterflies at the start of a race. And that is a good thing! It keeps me coming back for more.
It’s 5:05 am and we’re jostling excitedly in the start corral at Reggae Marathon. It’s pitch black but the overhead flood lights do a decent job of lighting up the start line. Beyond that…darkness! If you’re a first-timer to Reggae Marathon there is the concern about running in the dark. Two bits of advice: Stay focused on running…not stopping to take selfies or running 3 or 4 abreast. The street lights provide enough illumination for the first 45 minutes until the sun starts to break the horizon to the east. Second, stay on the road. It may be tempting to pass somebody by moving to the right off the road but you run the risk of injury from the uneven roadside surface.
It’s now 5:12 am. The music seems to have gotten louder. Runners are checking their GPS watches to make sure they’re ready to hit start when they cross the start line. Reggae Marathon like most sanctioned races is chip timed. You will cross multiple timing mats along the course and your finish time will be your actual running time from start mat to finish mat. Old habits die hard though…I always press start as I cross the mats.
It’s 5:14 am and Race Director Frano is on a platform on his megaphone right at the start line. His last minute reminders include running safely and to have a good race. By this time the butterflies are flapping wildly and I have a big grin on my face. Promptly at 5:15 am Frano gives the signal and with a couple of final high 5’s we’re off.
For the first 100 metres or so I focus on my pace. It’s 10K, or 21.1K or 42.2K…not a 100 meter sprint. I remind myself not to make the rookie mistake of going out too quickly. For the first mile or so we run across the full width of the road. Around that point we are guided to the right and we stay that way to the end of all three events. By then the butterflies have flown, I’ve got my race pace and breathing under control…now it’s a cruise to the Finish!
Until next time…
Reggae Marathon RunninGuy