Authors, movie directors, and photographers have all been inspired by Savannah, Georgia. The novel and movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a recent example. The opening scene from Forrest Gump, where the feather floats down from the church steeple, is another. The prospect of seeing the area is what motivated me to run the Memorial Health Tybee Marathon. Georgia became the 13th state in which I’ve completed a marathon. Quite appropriately, Georgia was the 13th and final of the American colonies.
Photo Gallery: Images of Tybee Island and Savannah, GA
The race itself was pretty well-done. A local mentioned that the island is 3 miles long. If that is accurate, one can imagine that squeezing a 26.2 mile race into an area that size would require some repetition. Indeed the marathon course is shaped like an elongated figure eight, repeated twice. Runners more or less go around and through neighborhoods, and up and down the one major street on the island. I didn’t find it as mentally difficult as some commenters on Marathonguide.com. Compared to racing a 10,000 on the track, it isn’t bad.
Crowd support was enthusiastic. The compact design of the course was definitely good for spectators.
I started the marathon on legs still feeling tired from the P.F. Chang’s RNRAZ Half and Runner’s Den 10K. In retrospect, it wasn’t a good idea to squeeze the two hard races in right before Tybee. The steady wind during the marathon was bad enough. Fighting the wind with dead legs doomed me to one of my slower final 10K’s in a marathon. After 20 marathons, I’m still learning…
Tybee Island’s primary landmark is the lighthouse, located on the north side of the island.