by Matt Williams
About an hour before the start, BARFers (Birkdale Area Running Friends) will meet at Fleet Feet and run to the start (looks like the closest one is in Roanoke; pack an extra Gu).
Just before starting we will discuss a not too hilly route with Dave Munger. Dave will present various elevation graphs and maps showing markers for every water fountain and bathroom. We will also discuss if Todd Hartung unfairly elbowed out a 10 year old at the "Pumpkin Chunkin 1 Mile Fun Run."
In the early miles, Tim will complain about the pace after having done a speed workout two weeks earlier. Terry plans to run in the grass on the side of the course to prevent getting run over by other bigger participants.
Around mile 5 or so, Matt will eat a Gu, make bodily function noises, and blame Mark Ippolito. Competition will begin to drop like flies.
Between miles 8 and 11 we will debate why you can't see the light from the sun out in space at night time. If that is resolved we'll note how in low humidity the road noise from the interstate is amplified.
The course is primarily flat and rolling, but there are some hills around this point in the race. We will focus and repeat to ourselves, "It's easier than Grey Road. It's easier than Grey Road."
Around mile 16 there is a bridge we have been warned about. It is long and somewhat exposed, allowing wind to be a potential problem. But us BARFers are not concerned because we have run across the covered wooden bridge at the bottom of South Street many times. Although we didn't do any specific bridge repeats, we should be okay.
Some people say a marathon can be divided into two halves - the first 20 miles and the last 6.2. But BARF member Terry Ake is much better at math than those people and has assured us that you are way past halfway at mile 20.
The Wall often shows up around this time. The stategy for this is to shout "Hey Teacher! Leave us kids alone!" and push through.
Whatever energy the BARFers have left at this point will be used to silently cuss each other for the peer pressure to sign up for a marathon and to plot revenge.
At mile 28, Tim will vow to never again run a "marathon" course designed by Chad Randolph.