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Mount Desert Island, Maine (bike and marathon related)(13 posts)

Mount Desert Island, Maine (bike and marathon related)Zenith
Oct 15, 2003 6:05 AM
Looking for a little logistical advice here...

My boyfriend and his brother are running the Mount Desert Island Marathon this Sunday. Right now, the plan is for me to don a backpack with extra Gu, layers, encourgement, etc. and bike to a few specific points throughout the course we will determine ahead of time. His brother's wife couldn't make the trip from Idaho so I am the sole supporter for these guys. Its my boyfriend's first marathon, but his brother has run a few.

I live in downtown Boston and have witnessed the carnage that is the Boston Marathon for several years in a row. The MDI Marathon is going to be a little different as it is a qualifying event, is limited to 1,000 runners, and won't have the same kind of spectator support that Boston does. From what I've heard, this is going to be all business.

Does anyone have any advice on how I will be the most helpful in this situation? I've heard that mile 22 is the hardest and I should defintely show up there.

Also, is anyone is familiar with the Mt. Desert/Bar Harbor area of Maine or with this event? This is only the 2nd running of this marathon so I am sure that there are going to be a few logistical wrinkles that haven't been ironed out yet. I am trying to figure out if a bike is going to be the best way to move around the course to certain points. Then I need to decide which bike to bring, the roadie or the MTB.

Thanks for any advice.
Best,
Z.
please do it.Steve_0
Oct 15, 2003 6:11 AM
My wife has biked around the course for about 1/2 the marathons. It is VERY helpful to the runner, especially if he's alone.

I think the early parts of the marathon are just as important, it will set the mood for his next 2-5 hours. My wife targeted the areas about 1 mile after the fluid stops, so I knew where to look for her.

Yes, mile 20ish is the breaking point for most people. Word of advice....most people are VERY edgey at this point. Things like 'pick it up', and 'only 5 miles to go' dont help; they just aggrevate the runner. Try 'you're looking great', 'well above pace', and 'I have a beer waiting for you at the finish' are much more enjoyable to hear.
What kind of bike did she ride?Zenith
Oct 15, 2003 6:58 AM
Thanks for the encouragement, Steve_O.

I was really hesistating about going in the first place, I don't want to just be in the way. It's nice to hear that I can actually be helpful.

What kind of bike did your wife ride? I am trying to decide if I should bring my road bike or my mtb.

Thanks,
Z.
mtb...Steve_0
Oct 15, 2003 7:29 AM
primarily because thats all she has. Does come in handy for hopping curbs, cutting through fields, etc. You dont need the speed of the roadbike, either. Depending on the course, it will probably be a pretty leisurly pace for you.

BTW - you can provide more than just mental support. My wife carries my vasoline (can be handy after two hours of running), my discarded gloves/shirt, and of, course the beer for the finish (which was a suprise the first year, and expected ever since).
ps ...Steve_0
Oct 15, 2003 7:40 AM
just re-read your original post. Have him carry his own gu...You dont want him bonkin' should you miss him (flat out, wrong side of street, whatever).
good point...Zenith
Oct 15, 2003 8:03 AM
...I've heard of people taping it to their arms.

Is there anything that made your day besides the beer at the end and of course, your wife's smiling face throughout?
dont do that...Steve_0
Oct 15, 2003 8:38 AM
tape them to his arse (just below the wasteband), or get 'marathon' shorts, which have high-mounted rear pockets.

he'll rip them off and throw them away by mile 6 if he tapes them to his arm (talk about chafing).

What makes my day

1. Wife's presence
2. Vasoline under the arms
3. Beer
4. The blind woman who passed me in '99 at mile 23 (and I was just over 3 hours - wow!)
5. Someone else driving me home
6. The hottub I didnt want buy but my wife talked me into.

My wife really enjoys doing it....you'll have a good time.
Update me
Gu packs...TNSquared
Oct 15, 2003 9:47 AM
I always carry gu by safety pinning them to the inside of the waistband of my shorts, in the front. Under the shorts like that they don't bounce, I've never had any problem with chafing, and it actually makes it easy to just reach down and rip a package off.

You just have to be careful to insert the safety pin through the part of the gu package that is above the seal, or you will have some very nasty looking shorts not to mention strange looks from spectators. :)
made my day...TNSquared
Oct 15, 2003 9:42 AM
a bag with warm, dry and comfortable clothes to change into immediately afterwards - something like long johns for a base layer, baggy sweats, wool socks and sandles. and if there are not going to be changing facilities at the finish, a large towel to wrap around his waist while changing.

Some marathons offer clothing transport from start to finish, and/or clothing "storage" if the start and finish location are the same. Still, I have *no* mental energy left at the end of a marathon, so having my wife find me with my clothes is alot easier than finding my clothes for myself.

and Steve-O's right on about edginess late in the run. I can't even stand to hear positive comments like "you're looking great" or "not too far to go now" - because truth is that after 20 miles I look like crap and even 1 mile is still along way to go when you've already run 25. Safest thing to say, in my mind, is simply to ask "what do you need?" and if still he grunts and glares angrily, don't take it personally. :)
Couple of thoughts...spluti
Oct 15, 2003 8:03 AM
See if the marathon organization has any advice, rules, help for support crews. Stay focused, it is a boring, unrewarding job and easy to be distracted. Let your supportees tell you what they want. Don't interupt them. Put food, water,etc. on a tray or basket so they can see and take what they want. Think about being able to do this from your bike, car, or running alongside. If they have different needs, be prepared to keep food, drink etc. separated and write their names on containers.
Couple of thoughts...Steve_0
Oct 15, 2003 8:43 AM
support crews arent legal, so i presume race directors wouldnt provide a lot of insight.

Like I said, for his own good, he needs to carry his own food if his race depends on it. Water and hydration fluid is plentiful around the course. Make sure he trains with the same fluid the race is providing.

Most important is just being there, imo.
I you are looking for someone to show you around go to.....Ligon
Oct 15, 2003 9:47 AM
Acadia Bike and Coastal Kyaking. It is located on 48 cottage street in Downtown Bar Harbor. I used to work there and my sister still does. I am sure that she would be more than happy to show you around. Ask for Kay and tell her her brother told you to stop by.

Good Luck,

Ligon
The bike is a great ideapedalAZ
Oct 15, 2003 1:32 PM
You will find that there are a zillion cars and narrow roads, so with the bike, you can get to where you want to be much more easily. An MTB should be fine, and more comfortable for the slow riding pace and maneuvering around obstacles (curbs, bollards, parked cars, etc.), and considering you will have a realtively heavy backpack (your stuff and his), which would be less comfortable in a flatter road bike riding position.