Heather and I returned to my "homeland" this past weekend to partake in the inaugural Manchester City Marathon. We both opted for the 13.1 mile race-the half-because we just weren't up for the full. I ran the inaugural Eugene Marathon this past spring and it beat me up. Hey-it's 26.2 miles! Anyhow, this new race has the potential to become a New England Classic. After over 70 years absent from New Hampshire's largest city, the marathon has returned. The course is pretty, taking runners through some of Manchester's nicest neighborhoods and through the historic mill yard, once the largest in America. The crowd support was wonderful-lots of people cheering along the way. Of course, the good weather helped-it was 40 and sunny at the start-50 and sunny at the finish. Just a little wind here and there to remind you that it's November. The course however, is not easy, it's hilly. There is a doozy at mile six to weed out the well-trained from the not-so-well-trained. Note to self-train harder!
A pleasant surprise was finding out that fellow Washingtonians, maverick Marathon Maniacs Chris Warren and Steve Yee were in the line-up. These guys get around. But New Hampshire wasn't their destination-they were on their way back from marathoning in Europe. Manchester just provided a "rest stop" on the way back to the west coast. Okay-I have training to do. A half marathon in Washington in January and more races in New Hampshire when I return to the Granite State for Christmas.