Marathon #31: Mad Marathon, Waitsfield, Vermont

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I am pleased to announce that I just completed my 31st marathon, the 2024 Mad Marathon in beautiful Waitsfield, Vermont!

Matt Coneybeare - Marathon 31 - Race Results

This was supposed to be a fun run, a smaller race in between major spring and major fall marathons, but it turned out to be quite difficult! Despite the low pressure I put on this race, I was surprised by the hills, and even more surprised by my performance. Finishing in the top 5% of marathoners, 2nd place in my division, with an official 3:30:43 overall time.

Matt Coneybeare - Marathon 31 - Race Results
  • C Goal: Finish
  • B Goal: sub 3:30:00
  • A Goal: sub 3:20:00
  • Stretch Goal: sub 3:15:00
Matt Coneybeare - Marathon 31 - Weather

Today was a triumph over HHH: Heat, Humidity, and Hills.

It had rained locally all day yesterday and there was tons of humidity still in the air. It was up to 87% at race start, and was already 70°F at 7:00am. The sun was out, and it was a beautiful day, but it was pretty bad running weather. I was soaked in sweat before we even hit the first mile marker.

Matt Coneybeare - Marathon 31 - Run

Over the course of the race, the heat rose to about 81°F, and the humidity dropped to about 60%, but it was quite a challenge to stay cool and hydrated. I was drinking water and Gatorade at every aid station, but the blazing direct sun was relentless. Not a cloud in the sky to help me out, though an occasional tall tree would provide shade and a brief respite.

Matt Coneybeare - Marathon 31 - Splits

The course had steep hills of up to about 1600ft, going up and down for a total elevation gain of about 2100ft in total. The course was ended where it started though, so after chugging through the uphill portions, I eventually got to enjoy that same elevation loss on the way back down.

I had to stop and walk several times on the uphills, and I was passed by a few runners, but I was able to make up a good portion of that by bombing down the hills, increasing stride length, allowing gravity to pull me down the mountains. Near the end though, the heat was just too much, and I had to walk a few times on the downhills as well.

I wish I could say I finished strong, by my final miles were all on the slower side, despite being net downhill. 8:46 on mile 23, 8:16 on mile 24, 8:32 on mile 26. I even had to walk for a tiny bit while the finish line was in sight!

My individual performance, viewed in isolation, is not a good indicator of the overall result, however every runner today faced the same hills, the same heat, the same humidity. So despite not feeling great about how I ran the race, I still finished 15th overall, in the top 5% of all runners, and 2nd place in my division.

Matt Coneybeare - Marathon 31 - Medal

Next up, we have marathon number 32 in Portland, Oregon in October. Stay tuned!