Saturday, November 4, 2017

2017 End of the Road Marathon Race Review

This was the first year for the End of the Road Marathon.  It was held in Waterfall, PA.  A good portion of the race was held on a portion of the PA turnpike that was abandoned in 1968.

Packet pickup was held at Forbes Road High school, the morning of the race.  That morning it was raining pretty hard so it was nice that the packet pickup and runner meeting was held inside the school.

After the packet pickup, there was about 10 minutes until the race start.  Due to the rain, everybody hung inside until about 5 minutes before the start time.  Then everyone made their way out to the start line outside of the school.  We lined up for the full first and the got us off on our way pretty quickly.  We were gone, and I believe the half started about 15 minutes later.

After leaving the school we headed out onto the highway for about half a mile.

Next we turned off onto some back country roads.

After around 2 miles we met up with the half marathon runners that came from a different direction.  Then after about 2 more miles we turned on to the abandoned stretch of the the PA turnpike.

Once on the abandoned turnpike, the roads are pretty broken up.  Also with all the rain there was a lot of puddling and lots of water running down the road.

After about another 1 mile we got to the first tunnel.

Once inside the tunnel the road was in great condition, and it was very dark.  Along the sides of the tunnel they had small batter powered tea lights (this had to take forever to setup), and some other LED lights.  Head lamps were still needed though.  It was nice to be out of the rain for a few minutes.

From the map on my GPS, it looks like the tunnel was a little less than a mile long.  When running through the tunnel it took a little while before you could see the light on the other side.

Once we left the tunnel and were back out into the rain it was around another mile until we saw the turn around point for the half marathon.

On the other side of the tunnel the road was the same as the other side.

Most sections of the road had a portion of the road that was decent to run on.

After the half split off there were a few sections of the road that were in much better condition.

October was a great time for this race with the trees changing colors.  I am sure they would look a lot better if it was not raining.

After about 3 to 4 miles the marathon runners entered the second tunnel.

This tunnel was a little shorter than the first, you could see the light from the other side shortly after entering the tunnel.  Headlamp was still a good idea, there were some rocks laying randomly through out the tunnel.  From GPS data it looks like the tunnel was about 3/4 of a mile.

After leaving the second tunnel it was only a little over 1 mile until the turn around point for the full marathon.

At the halfway point was another water stop.  

The water stops throughout the race were about every 2 miles, and they all had water and Gatorade.  On the way back they had some gu packets and different food for calories.

Now that we turned around, it was back the exact same path that we came.

Very quickly we came to the first tunnel.

The course was marked every mile with a sign.  Other than that course marking wasn't really needed, except for on the back roads which were marked and blocked perfectly.  

After a few miles were were back through the final tunnel (first tunnel).

Once through the final tunnel, it was a few back roads to get back to the finish line.

We finished at the school where we started.

After finishing and going back inside of the school they had lots of  pizza and snacks.


Two members of our group placed in our age group, and the awards were metal signs, one of the better awards I have seen.  It also fits the race perfectly.

The medals for finishing were the same for the half and full. Instead of a t-shirt, each participant received a sweatshirt, which was perfect for the weather.

Throughout the race I saw a couple photographers but they didn't post many photos.  I was able to find one of myself.

The race was great, even with the bad weather.  It was well organized, and a great change of pace.  The abandoned turnpike road and tunnels is what set it apart from other races.

See More at: Fit N Fun.Life

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