Eugene Curnow Trail Marathon Goals

24 hours from now, I’ll be departing at the Lake Superior Zoo, hopefully at a decent pace and hopefully not needing to pee already.

A couple weeks ago, I was wearing headphones on a run, one of the rare times I do, and this song came on and it is now my mantra for the race.

I will not go down under the ground
“Cause somebody tells me that death’s comin’ ’round
An’ I will not carry myself down to die
When I go to my grave my head will be high,
Let me die in my footsteps
Before I go down under the ground.

I’m not going to give up. I’m going to battle through anything this race throws at me, whether it’s heat or rain or mud or who knows? I’m prepared, or as prepared as I can be. I’m going to be a marathoner by tomorrow afternoon.

A Standard: 8:30:00
B Standard: 9:00:00
C Standard: 9:59:59

I don’t usually have a back-up back-up before the race begins, but there are so many unknowns that I figured I’d better have more options for success. I made a “laminated” (covered in clear tape) chart noting what time I’d need to arrive at each aid station in order to be on pace for each of these goals. This will eliminate any need to compensate for GPS error, and will allow me to know my situation even if my GPS watch dies.

All of these goal times are at paces slower than even my Superior 25K race, which was somewhat of a disaster. UltraSignup suggests I should target a finish time of 8:53:16, which is very precise. I’d take that, for sure.

I’ve still got a laundry list of things left to do, although the list is long because I have gotten very detailed. I have things like “fill hydration pack” on the list. I also have writing this post on my list. Check. So, I don’t have a lot of big stuff to do, just a billion little things that will take a few seconds apiece. I bought a lot of gels and put my precious vanilla Coke in the fridge. I’m ready.

The usual non-pace-related goals apply: I don’t want to puke, become incontinent, pass out, or otherwise have a medical emergency. I don’t want to get struck by lightning in the event of a storm. I don’t want to get poison ivy when I have to step off the trail to pee. I don’t want to get swept or pulled off the course for weather-related issues. (I don’t know if this race actually sweeps, they give no cut-off times.) I need get in a couple warm up miles, especially since I’ve been sluggish the past couple days. I will start at the back of the pack as I always do, and run my own race.

Let me drink from the waters where the mountain streams flood
Let me smell of wildflowers flow free through my blood
Let me sleep in your meadows with the green grassy leaves
Let me walk down the highway with my brother in peace.
Let me die in my footsteps
Before I go down under the ground.

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