Things in Forest City were very well organized, I don't think I've ever seen so many porta-potties in one place. There were a few lines, but that was because most people didn't realize there was another dozen behind the school. Having the school to keep warm in was nice as well. I could tell I was in Scranton when the Father came out to offer the blessing, I don't remember that from my previous marathons. Even with the warning the cannon at the start startled many of the runners.
The course was everything that was promised, generally downhill with lots of spectators offering support the whole way. The Rails to Trails section was very nice; the one section was so soft it was like running on the rubberized park surfaces. It seems that every major marathon I run must pass through an industrial area, this was no different.
The portion that everyone dreads is the hill after mile 23. It does not look intimidating when you look at the profile but after running 20+ miles you are not looking forward to it. That said the section running through the Islands of Green Ridge is hands down the most enjoyable piece of a marathon I have ever run. Every house had people out front cheering, it seemed like they all were offering water or aid, half the houses had the hose tied to a tree or a child on a trash can keeping the runners cool. Many houses had music playing as well, the only thing missing was a clown and a bouncy house and it could have been the town block party.
I was suffering going into that portion and suffered more coming out but I waved and smiled my fool head off for that whole portion of the run. It was very touching to see the kids from the Scranton School for the Deaf at the turn were it started back down.
Aid at the finish was as well organized as any race I have run, although I did not trust the yogurt that was in my aid bag at the finish. The only thing missing was a lake or fountain to cool off in after.
129 1675 24 Janice Barth, 58*, Monroe, NY 5:08:52 11:47
Finished strong, but battled 80+ degrees to finish line. So hot here running through Pennsylvania. Feel tired, achy, but totally amazing. Time to CELEBRATE!!!!!!!!!!! My daughter finished strong also ... about 1/2 hour after her Mom. Her first marathon - my second. The marathon glow definitely helps cope with my sore quads. Awesome marathon.