52 Weeks, 52 Runs. No. 32: Maine-ly excellent

In our 2011/12 running tour of New England, we had somehow managed to overlook Maine. Nothing against that fine state, of course. Its tree-to-person ratio alone is enough to recommend it. And even though Crabapple Cove doesn’t really exist (that’s for the two M*A*S*H fans reading this), I don’t hold it against the Pine Tree State.

Anyway, we were excited to make the trek north for the Shipyard Old Port Half-Marathon and 5K in Portland, which, given its port-like qualities, promised a pretty backdrop to our respective runs (me, 5K; hubby, half).

Old Port Half Marathon & 5K

Starting scenery. The Casco Bay.

It was another hot weekend for a race (oh, for the day when I don’t have to write that). I was particularly excited when I was informed that this 5K would start on a steep uphill, and continue in that fashion for the first few minutes. Talk about getting off on the wrong foot. The rest of the run was a downhill grade. Allegedly.

The half-marathoners started first (on higher ground, mind you), leaving the rest of us to hang around for a while and get nicely crisped in the sun. My favorite moment was the start sign being shifted for the 5K – down the very same hill we were about to run up. Couldn’t they have just left it at the top? I’m sure no one would have minded.

Old Port Half Marathon & 5K

Going down.

The beginning met all my expectations in its level of suckery. I couldn’t run to the top. That’s right, I walked in the first three minutes. Never done that before. (OK, apart from the time I walked an entire half-marathon, but that was different.)

Old Port Half Marathon & 5K

Slanty start.

Stairs and poop

Just after the first mile, we had to descend a hazardous flight of granite stairs that took us through the woods and down on to the promenade below. (Guess that’s what makes it downhill.) Fearing for my bones, I took these at what some runners behind me might have considered an unnecessarily slow clip. I wasn’t breaking an ankle for anyone.

I was thrilled to arrive along the water, and was merrily chugging along until a truly vile smell almost stopped me in my tracks (we were running alongside a railroad). For a moment I thought it was just the sea doing its thing, but soon saw that it was a sewerage plant doing its thing. I picked up my pace. Nothing like eau de poop to make you really hustle.

Old Port Half Marathon & 5K

Hmm, I feel like I’ve been running for 12 miles, but maybe I’ve only run two …

Once I’d recovered from the olfactory assault, I motored through the last mile. It was stinking hot though (literally), so I knew this wasn’t going to be the day I managed a sub-30. Sigh. Especially given the stairs and the uphill start.

It’s always going to be something …

The folks who threw this bash did a great job. I particularly loved the plastic squeeze bottles of ice water we were all handed at the finish; and the misting tents were a nice touch. I got a little sunburned waiting for Hubby to finish the half. I briefly looked like a lobster, which was fitting given that we were in Maine.

Old Port Half Marathon & 5KThe event: Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon and 5K
The location:
Portland, Maine
The date: July 22, 2012
My time: 30.41 (pace: 9.52. Wooooo!)
Hubby’s time:
1.38.53 (pace 7.33)
The cause:
Habitat for Humanity
The T-shirt:
Blue tech tee
The aftermath: Bananas, oranges, ice cream, beer, Muscle Milk

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23 responses to “52 Weeks, 52 Runs. No. 32: Maine-ly excellent

  1. Red-faced from the run plus sun burnt – I’m sure you were a sight! Great post.

  2. Wahoooo! Awesome job! Maybe all your runs should involve stairs and a hill at the top?

  3. Great job! I’ve ran the Maine half marathon and full marathon in Portland and it’s such beautiful scenery. πŸ™‚

  4. i think you will be safe here….it will cool and breezy πŸ™‚ even it if it is hot for us…for you it will be a piece of cake

    • I hope so!! I wish it were going to be a piece of cake, but somehow I don’t think so! Can’t believe how soon it is. Eeeek. πŸ™‚

      • i can’t believe it is 8 days away/ i don’t usually say this but really OMG. i ran a 16k on vacation in Tofino this week and now it is 5ks…let’s see how we rock out!! it will be great

      • Go you!! I still haven’t gone farther than eight miles, so this will be interesting! As long as I finish I’ll be happy. Not too worried about how long it takes. Can’t believe it’s so soon!!!! πŸ™‚

  5. I’m sad that there isn’t a Crabapple Cove (being a fellow Hawkeye fan).

  6. You were so close to sub-30! πŸ™‚ Congrats! Looks like you’ll hit that goal soon.

  7. Always enjoy reading the very entertaining race details! Can’t believe no Crab Apple Cove!

    • Thanks!!
      I know, I was very upset when I first discovered it was fictional. I remember scouring a map of Maine and thinking it’s GOT to be there somewhere. But no. Bummer. There went my plans to do a M*A*S*H hometown tour (yes, I am a dork). πŸ™‚

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