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 altisendurance.com, or go to their Facebook page.