The Hogeye Marathon 2022
Only my second marathon and my first Hogeye Marathon in Springdale, Arkansas.
This marathon featured nearly 1000ft elevation gain, great fan support, but a few long stretches of solo running in the last ten miles. Nonetheless, I was able to achieve my PR or PB and sub-4-hour finish.
Now that it is over, I can finally relax and enjoy running again. My 3:51 marathon time was my best and I’m proud. I also brought home the award for second place in my age group.
The wonderful race support from my wife and the abundant aid stations were crucial.
I must tell you all what I’ve only told just a couple of my close friends. But I was extremely disappointed in myself after the Tulsa marathon last fall. Not totally because of my time of 4:09, but because I hit “the wall” from not fueling correctly in that race. I pushed through and finished, but I was angry at myself. Because I trained for so long and messed it up due to a lack of understanding “the last 6 miles”.
My pace was spot on in Tulsa until mile twenty, and the wheels fell off.
The runner runs to win the prize. My prize was just a time goal I set, me against me. This is a life lesson, friend. What you do at the beginning of the race can impact the end.
You feed the soul at the beginning of your life race so that you can endure to the end. Feed it with the Word of God so that when you are at the end of your own energy, the life-giving Word of God takes over and fuels you to the finish line through the pain and struggles of this life.
I took the failure at Tulsa and learned from it. This time I utilized UCan Edge Energy superstarch every 45 minutes from the start of the run. And I had water at each aid station and Gatorade at every other aid station. I also ate a bagel and Premier Protein shake for breakfast around 4:00 AM.
At the Hogeye Marathon around mile 15 and 22, my wife gave me Drip Drop electrolytes in my hand carried bottle and encouraged me on my way. I was starting to struggle mentally with burnout at mile twenty-two, but Jamie pushed me not to fail.
After about a mile of solo running, a young man came up behind me. This pushed me back into a competitive mindset. I wasn’t going to drop another spot.
But after we ran together for about a mile, I noticed that this young man was obviously not in my age group, and I asked him how old he was. He was twenty-six and he was part of the relay. I was overjoyed because I now had a companion and not competition. He needed help pushing to finish his race. So, we helped each other. Of course, he had more energy to sprint the last quarter mile to the finish line.
Mile 25 was a big struggle even with my new running companion. But on mile 26 I started thinking about my friend Neal and his struggle with cancer. We lost Neal to the battle only a few days before the run. Thinking about his courage over the past year gave me a boost of emotional energy to push through.
My running kit included my Brooks Adrenaline 21s, Pearl iZUMi gloves, Under Armour socks, long compression leggings and two thin shirt layers.
The race started at 30 degrees Fahrenheit and ended around 48 degrees. The wind was around 5mph. It was sunny.
The route for the Hogeye Marathon was great. Crowd support was good for the first half. At about mile twenty a local school band was playing, and this was a great boost for me. And at mile twenty-two an excellent group was there cheering me on.
At mile sixteen we were able to run through Arvest Ballpark, and this was neat as the music was playing through the stadium.
Before the race I did notice a big six-mile gap in restroom support between Lake Fayetteville and Arvest Ballpark. So, I went ahead and utilized the portable potty at the lake area. I was hydrating well for the later miles. Route planning before a marathon is particularly important if you are running somewhere that you have never ran before.
The day before the race was packet pickup at the Jones Center in Springdale, Arkansas. I enjoyed the little running fair they had. I picked up a new Junk head band and a wooden display to use for my marathon medals. It was created by Lifespeed Sports.
The finish line area was well supported. They even had a long row of massage tables. I stayed for about 15 minutes getting a free sport focused stretch and massage.
Free post-race nutrition was available to start my recovery process. It’s important to start recovery as soon as possible, so this was a tremendous help. I also brought my own Premier Protein shake and Body Armor Lyte to start the recovery process for my muscles.
Follow me on Strava