Featured photo for Red Island State Marathon

Red Island State Marathon

This was the first time I would run a marathon with only 67 hours of rest after running three marathons back-to-back-to-back, so I didn’t know how my body would feel. Fortunately, due in part to the remarkable leg recovery towards the end of the third 26.2-miler, the legs were actually feeling fresh.

Accordingly, after considering the surprising 3h28m performance in Marathon #1 and this rolling nine-lap (and a little extra at the beginning) course that was less than three miles, I set the Garmin 645’s Target: Distance & Pace function at 8:30/mile. That would correspond to a 3h44m marathon that I’d be very happy with. Actually, considering that this was the fourth marathon in six days, I would have been satisfied with any time less than four hours.

Shortly after the race commenced there were already nearly two dozen people ahead of me. I suspected they started out too fast, and my watch seemed to confirm those suspicions along with some early short hills where a few were practically running backwards .

I settled into a rhythm with three other folks on the first lap, but got ahead of them and then was running pretty much alone (not including all the people I was lapping) the rest of the way. I mainly focused on taking the tangents on the very curvy trail and keeping a steady rhythm. Every lap I grabbed a 12-ounce bottle of Gatorade and tried to drink as much as I could before tossing it a minute later into a cardboard box thoughtfully put along the trail by JC, the organizer, for this purpose.

The first half passed in 1h48m and I had banked more than three minutes.

The second half felt more difficult due to fatigue from the short hills. Particularly over laps seven and eight, I saw the time I had banked dwindle to about a minute.

The final lap definitely felt the hardest but with a sub-four-marathon virtually assured I just tried to maintain pace and not walk any of the hills.

Looking at Strava, the pace data seemed a bit erratic for the last third of the race which makes me think the numerous trees were causing GPS signal cutouts as the satellites moved across the sky.

Certainly, I don’t think I was running a mere 9:30/mile during the last 200 meters because I was nearly sprinting to cross the finish line.

Regardless, the final clock didn’t lie and I finished with a time of 3:42:18, or 8:29/mile. I was pleased with that.

It was a great way to conclude my week of running four marathons in six days. For a summary and overall impressions of the New England Challenge, click here.

Results

First half: 1:48:xx
Second half: 1:53:xx
Final time: 3:42:18 (8:29/mile)
Overall place: 5 / 68
Shoes worn: Puma H-Street+ (2012)
Official results

Strava
Buttonswood Cove as seen from Buttonswood Beach in Warwick, Rhode Island.
Runners gathering at the start of the 2021 Red Island State Marathon to listen to announcements by JC, the race director.
There were about 30 people who were doing the entire New England Challenge: six marathons in six days.
Finisher medals from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island. I didn't run Massachusetts or Connecticut because I had run marathons in those states already.