Don’t tell the staff at the All American Marathon that anything is impossible! Why? Because they just followed up the flawless inaugural All American Marathon with an even better marathon in 2015! They raised the bar on perfect yet again!
After running the inaugural marathon in 2014 I was eager and excited to invite my running friends in 2015! It turns out the we had a group of more than 10 runners competing across all the races. I’ve heard nothing but compliments! That’s simply incredible! I challenge anyone to take a dozen of their friends to ANY race and I promise you someone is going to find something to complain about. Congratulations to the All American Marathon staff and volunteers.
So on to the race details. I thought the first year having an expo at packet pick-up was a hands down success. Great participation from sponsors! The space was perfect and well staffed with volunteers. I can’t wait to see this expo grow in the coming years! I especially liked the shirt exchange table.
The pre-race dinner was well thought out. The food was good and the setting was well thought out. Having Maj. Ivan Castro as the guest speaker was spectacular. He is leading America’s new Greatest Generation from the front. His talk was personal and heartfelt. For those of you not familiar with his story take a moment to read an article on him. On a personal note I’m going to put out a personal invitation for him to run the Grandfather Mountain marathon with me this July. Of course that might be a little self serving though as I’m sure it would be him dragging me up the mountain!
The race start was well put together again this year. Everything was in line and easy to see. Music was good and rocking loud and early! I didn’t notice if there was an MC but maybe a little more pumping up of the runners could be done. Great job with the presenting of the colors! The singers for the National Anthem were off the charts! Extremely well done. The cannon for the start was great…maybe bring a 155 next year? Thanks to the City of Fayetteville for their brief talk. Glad to hear a couple of the city council were even running the race.
The start was uneventful and off we went onto the course. It appears with the numbers growth this year the pacers got somewhat crowded together. Next year might be time to spread out more and then condense before the start. Also, it sure would be nice to get the public restrooms open near the first water stop.
The course out of Fayetteville was very nice and it’s great to see the residents coming out to cheer the runners on. The rolling hills of Morganton Road keep you honest. Great to see the British paratroopers running along the way.
The turn north on the All American Freeway was uneventful and is a great time for me to mention the water stops. The stops are perfectly spaced and well stocked with water & Generation Ucan energy formula. At several points on the marathon you can see from one water point to the next!
The volunteers are very knowledgeable and well trained. Great to see the ROTC programs from State, Duke and UNC running one stop. I’d have to give the award to the folks from Campbell University ROTC. They also had a couple of cadets running. Next year I hope to see the ECU Pirate Battalion leading them all!
The Blue Mile and Cannon Welcome to Ft Bragg were well situated. Each year I remember those I served with who made the ultimate sacrifice particularly SSGT Jack Smith. The young Navy cadets saluting were great and I tried to thank each of those who spent their time to help us remember our nation’s heroes.
The run through the post and the 82nd Airborne Division area was great. We enjoyed the music from the Humvees and the soldiers acting as road guards were engaged and encouraging! So happy to see that this year. Hats off to the soldier from one of the 82nd units standing and cheering each runner along. I regret not remembering his unit.
We gutted the out and back portion of the course through Pope and returned to Bragg. Great fun meeting some great friends at the turn here! Unfortunately in an effort to keep up with my running partner #ThanksAnj I consumed too many supplements and had severe runner stomach. Regardless it was quite humbling to have friends cheer me on! #Thanks
The final five or six miles changed from last year. I was all prepared for the hill at mile 24 last year. Honestly I can remember where the change was from last years course but this year the hill was gone! It was replaced with a nicer section and some rolling terrain. I really enjoyed the families who came out of their homes to cheer us along! Well done!
I enjoyed the removal of the mileage at the Iron Mike statue from the previous route. What a great finish as I thoroughly enjoyed running alongside some friends here! What great pictures.
I’ll let the finish photos speak for themselves. I enjoy rounding the last turn to see the finish line laid out in front. It’s flat, the crowd is cheering, music is playing and the announcer is calling out names and home towns. I’d run it twice just for that experience!
So marathon #9 completed with some GREAT friends. Getting to share the inaugural race with friends over the past year was awesome and sharing an even better second year was especially fun. In the past year, along with others, I’ve run the Marine Corp Marathon, the Air Force Marathon and the Richmond Marathon but the All American is MY favorite MARATHON. I’m excited to have been a part of it and am convinced that soon it WILL be one of America’s legacy races! See you in 2016! #RunAllAmerican