Some 50 hardy souls lined up with me at the start line, drawn with a heel in the dirt. At exactly 7:30 we were off for an out-and-back run (once for half-marathoners, twice for full marathoners). The route was lined with beautiful fall foliage, which occasionally gave way to vistas of a distant hillside covered with windmills. Aid stations were more like what you would find in an ultra marathon – PB&J sandwich wedges, cookies, m&ms, in addition to water and gatorade. This was no coincidence, as race co-counder Mike Samuelson is himself an ultra-runner. Most runners were local, though one came in from Oregon for the race, and one, Bill Howes, was visiting from England and was running his 440th marathon.T-shirts were optional for a small fee, which seemed appropriate for a crowd that likely owned plenty of race shirts already, but a finisher’s medal is always appreciated, and the Gap Marathon did not disappoint, providing custom steel medals to all who completed the course.

All in all a great experience, for around half the price of most big city races.For more information on the GAP Marathon and other races produced by Altis, visit, or go to their Facebook page.


About horowitzrun

Jeff is a certified running, cycling, and triathlon coach, and is the author of "My First 100 Marathons" (Skyhorse Press 2008) and "Smart Marathon Training" (Velo Press 2011). An obviously addicted runner, Jeff has run at least one marathon in every state and on 6 continents, including marathons in South Africa, China, Bangkok, and Antarctica. Jeff is available for group, one-on-one, and virtual coaching. Options include: 1. Basic Training Plan. This includes a customized training schedule geared towards a goal race, with a detailed running schedule that would include all distances and target times for each workout, including speedwork, tempo, and endurance sessions. 2. Complete Fitness and Race Plan. This includes the plan listed above, plus the non-running workouts and drills that runners need for better overall fitness and performance. You would get strength & core workouts, as well as run-specific training drills and stretches. 3. Virtual Coaching. This includes all of the above, implemented on a week-by-week basis. We review each week's progress at week's end so that adjustments can be made. The program is tailored to suit you right up to race day. It involves more contact, on a weekly or even daily basis. 4. Full Coaching for athletes in the Washington DC area. All of the above, plus a weekly workout together including speedwork, drills, and strength training. 5. Individual track sessions. One-on-one track-based workouts. Contact Jeff for pricing.
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