How bad could be a marathon with the word winter in its title? The weather was suppose to be twenty degrees and no snow, which I prepared for. What really happened? It was single digits with wind chill and snowed 5in during the marathon.
4 loops through the Watchung Reservation in New Jersey with 2,500ft of elevation gain didn't sound to bad. I have done a trail marathon similar, lets do it again.
My family came to the starting line to cheer me on. The first loop was good and what I expected. Some roots and rocks with some ice, nothing I could not handle. About half way through the first lap, it starts to snow. The trail begins to get covered with snow. Luckily, you can still see peoples foot steps to know you are going the right way. By the end of the first lap, I felt miserable. I
The next two laps went worse. My camelback was frozen and the aid stations coolers and snacks were frozen. The only thing available were peanut M&Ms and it was the best thing I have ever eaten. The combination of salty and sweet was the one thing I looked forward to each lap. Runners were becoming farther apart, to the point where I could not see the trail anymore. Regularly catching myself from slipping and brushing the snow off my face, I was cold. My face and hands lost feeling.
It was dangerous to go alone for the last lap. Luckily, Jeff Stuart, my sister's husband joined me. A trail covered in snow with 7ft drop offs are dangerous to travel on alone. We made it to the last hill to climb and my legs locked. Trying not to fall, I make it to the top and see the finish line. Friends and family waited for me at the finish line cheering.