The Inaugural Ventura Marathon is this coming Sunday, September 8th. This 26.2 miler starts on Harbor Boulevard near the Ventura Pier and will take runners to the Port Hueneme pier and back. The course is roughly 95% on roads, included approximately 18 miles on Harbor Boulevard and the adjoining Channel Islands Boulevard as the course past Channel Islands Harbor to Surfside Drive near the Hueneme Pier.
A long time ago I signed up for the race, well before my latest spate of injuries, namely a hamstring issue, that has basically eliminated long runs from my training for quite some time. I could easily just skip the marathon or perhaps change over to the half marathon or 5K. I'm not in particular speedy shape and I have done very few runs of any distance on the roads, so running a full on marathon solely on roads is probably a bad call for me.
But, what can I say, I'm a stubborn runner. Although I have no delusions of a speedy time on the course, I'm intrigued by the fact that the course is flat as a pancake, with course elevation ranging from 20 feet to 56 feet (I suspect that must be the bridges on Channel Islands Boulevard). I can't remember a flatter course than this one other than the graham cracker flat Chicago Marathon.
While there are no 18, 20, 22 milers in my logbook this entire year, I do have a couple recent hilly 15.5 milers on the Bulldog 25K course in the last 6 weeks. So my legs are reasonably strong for climbing and descending hills on dirt trails, but I've done pretty much diddly squat on the roads. That could be a major problem for me lasting through the entire 26.2 miles on the hard pavement. I did do a 2 hour, 20 minute trail run on April 7th and about 17 miles in Hidden Valley on March 17th, but that was a long time ago. I will have to think carefully about my choice of shoes for this run. No racing flats for me this go-around.
So let's see how it goes for Sunday. Perhaps I'll run with my camera and just take it easy and have some fun. The weather in theory could also be a factor as we are currently in a heat wave, but it is supposed to crescendo by Friday (two days from today), then taper off over the weekend...not to mention, this run should have ocean breezes much of the way.