Avenue of the Giants Marathon – Jael

Race: Avenue of the Giants Marathon

Runner: Jael

Date: 5/7/17

Location: Southern Humboldt County, CA

Results – 4:28:49, PR!

3 Bests – what aspects of the race did you like the most

  1. Beautiful course running on the Avenue of the Giants with giant redwood trees lining the road.
  2. Not very crowded.
  3. Perfect weather. sunny 40-60 degrees with the road shaded by the redwood trees

Not so much – aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

  1. Some aid stations only had water and Gatorade, luckily I brought my own GU’s for fuel
  2. I didn’t feel well from mile 17-24, but that wasn’t due to the race, most likely due to my choice of fuel.

Weird factor – what’s the weirdest thing about this race

At the start of the race, the announced called for the band (I guess they were going to play along to the national anthem) but the band wasn’t there, except for one tuba player.  Everyone laughed that the band had one member and the tuba player proceeded to lead everyone in singing the national anthem. Never did hear him play the tuba 😉  I heard the Humboldt band showed up a bit after we took off.

Highlights of your race – what did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular

I started off at a good steady pace and the redwood trees and shade made it a peaceful run.  There weren’t people standing all along the course taking photos like in other races I’ve been too.

Lessons for others – share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

I would suggest wearing either a hat or sunglasses for the sections of the course that are in the sun.  It’s not a very long section but I was happy to have my sunglasses.  Make sure to bring whatever fuel (GU, PowerGels) because you won’t find much on the course.  At the halfway point a guy was standing there handing out GU’s.

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

Book a hotel more in advance.  Figure out what to eat as the GU’s I had didn’t make me feel very good from miles 17-24.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

The first half of the marathon is on a cement road that has lots of potholes and uneven cement, so you need to watch the ground so you don’t trip.  

Aesthetics – is it a pretty course

Very pretty course

Difficulty – is it a tough course

Not a difficult course, rolling hills.  Only a couple shorter steep hills.

Organized and well run – did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

Pretty well organized except the website doesn’t list what exit to take (667a), only the GPS location.  It would have been helpful to list what exit off of 101 to take.

Competition – is there a strong field?

I’m not sure.

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

Need to book hotel in advance as all the hotels nearby fill up.  

Aid Stations

About every 2 miles was an aid station with water and Gatorade.  I thought there would be oranges and bananas at some of the stands, but most had run out by the time I passed by.

Enjoying the post-race, post PR bliss!

Weather and typical race conditions –

Clear skies, and 40-60 degrees with shade along most of the course.  A few sections were in the open and I was happy to have worn my sunglasses.

Gear – did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?

Nothing special, I would suggest wearing a hat or sunglasses and a sports belt to carry your fuel.

Spectators – is this a friendly course for your friends

Yes, spectators could be right at the front of the race with you if you wanted and they were standing at the finish line as you finished the race.  I also saw spectators on the side of the course, but they must have walked there as no cars were allowed.  A few police or service vehicles did pass during the race but they were driving slow and watching for runners.

Awards –

They had awards but I didn’t stick around for the ceremony.  Everyone gets a medal who finishes the race.

The Overall Score – how many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it

5 stars, most beautiful marathon course.

Post-race nap in the grass and very well earned!

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