I think I have found the marathon that I will be running this year. I have decided to sign up for the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon formerly known as Ojai 2 Ocean. It is a small course that is capped at 1500 runners and has an early start of 6:00am which I really like. The marathon takes place on May 26th over the Memorial Day weekend which works for me since I will have Monday off. I have about 12 weeks to prepare but I think I have been keeping up enough to pick it up from here. I will be busy coming up with a 12-week training plan which will allow me to get at least two 20 mile runs in before race day.
So what are my goals? Of course I want to complete the race without injury. I would also love to complete this race in under 4 hours. I will be happy with a 3:59:59 (9:09 pace) to be 100% honest with you. I thought about running with a pacer but the only pace teams available are 3:55 (8:57 pace-maybe too fast?) and then 4:10 (9:32 pace-maybe not quite fast enough?) so I am not sure about that plan. The course is mainly downhill so I will have a little bit of help getting to the finish. It is a point-to-point race which I have never ran before. Not that it matters, but I am used to starting and finishing in the same location.
Other than that decent climb from Miles 3-5, the first 18 of 20 miles have a net down hill of over 700 feet, which is supposed to make you run faster but not hurt the knees. We will see about that. Downhill courses can be hard on the body (quads, calves, knees) so I am not sure how my body will hold up on this type of course. The last six miles, which I find to be the most difficult miles of the marathon, are pancake flat, which is also a plus for me. I know that I will have to control my pace going downhill which can make or break this race. I am sure that it is very easy to crash and burn in the early stages if you are not careful.
They say that the third time is a charm so hopefully I can run this marathon in under 4 hours. I am excited to challenge myself and see if I can meet this goal because I once I do, I will commit to training for that elusive BQ. One step at a time I will get there.
Have you ever ran Mountains 2 Beach Marathon (formerly Ojai 2 Ocean) or a similar course?
Any advice or training tips on how to survive this type of course?