After beating a hasty retreat from Baltimore we headed directly (reads: unshowered and filthy) to packet pickup for the Atlantic City Marathon. There I was incensed again because I somehow forgot that Atlantic City has gone the way of Vegas in charging people for parking at casinos. If you can’t make money at running a casino, you are an idiot. It’s basic mathematics. The house always wins, where they don’t win (see poker) they get their beak wet holding the money. There’s no need to nickel and dime people for parking. Soapbox over.
Anyway at the expo we picked up our kit and did a quick lap to see if there were any interesting vendors, and I see some a-hole selling IV fluids for after the race. Warning: another soap box. When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017 it decimated many industries. Drug manufacturing in the United States is heavily concentrated in Puerto Rico (Fun fact: more American drugs are made in Puerto Rico by dollar value than any American state.) Anyway the shortages mean wasting IV bags on perfectly healthy people who are capable of running a marathon or a half marathon, and who are capable of pouring water into their freakin’ gobs like they did for the last 3+ hours is wasteful, particularly when you think that people with actual medical conditions may not receive treatment they NEED. End last Soapbox. Takeaway: don’t take IV fluids if you don’t need them.
So back to the hotel to shower and meet up with Joe and his lovely wive Yvonne, who I met at White Continent for dinner. We traded stories and had a nice dinner before heading to bed. This race had us starting at the same time, so Amy and I entered the corrals together as I chatted up a number of other amigos at the race. Nancy, a fellow Floridian, and her lovely wife. JC, Joe and Yvonne, Andy, and a few of the usual suspects.
The race started and the first 6 miles start on the boardwalk but take you off immediately in favor of flyovers and underpasses. Not a great part of the course, but I was able to say hello to Corey, and Ed. I was trying to catch Andy, but I that was foolhardy. I fell back further and further as my legs felt like wood.
When we rejoined the boardwalk I overheard some conversation and intruded only to realize it was my old buddy Rich, who I had met at the Miami Marathon some years, back. I managed to hold on to his pace until almost 17 as we ran the boardwalk, and up the city, past Lucy, and when we reached a turnaround and the bottom officially dropped out for me as we went from light rain to a downpour. I bumped along for 4-5 miles at a snails pace feeling kind of bad for myself, until I met Kate from Boston, with whom I talked for the last 5 miles and we distracted one another all the way to the finish. I continue to be impressed by the people I meet at these things. Like they say: If you’re ever losing faith in humanity, go out and watch a marathon. You’ll get so bored you’ll forget your issues with humanity.
Usually Atlantic City is quite windy, this year at least there was a reprieve from the gusts down the wind tunnel that forms much of the later miles of the race, but I continue to think there are better races in NJ (perhaps the one in Long Branch). I’ll keep investigating, but this one happened to work with the schedule so nicely.