As for the long version…
It turns out I knew at least a dozen people running the marathon. As with my last couple of marathons, the weather the day before and the day after were perfect. The day off? Not so much. We woke to temps below 30 with probably half an inch of snow on the ground and a 20+ mph west wind that made the “feels like” temp 18 degrees. The good news is that we got all our precipitation over night and race day was dry. Perhaps the worst part was standing around outside for about half an hour waiting for the start. Once we got going, I thought the conditions were nice.
Before the race I bumped into Tad and Ryan – two other Ashland natives – who were shooting for sub-3:15 Boston Qualifiers and were looking to go out at 7:15 pace. In addition, Nate was hoping to run sub-3:10 or faster. We talked about starting out together, but once the gun went off, Nate and I eased into it more than Tad and Ryan. We stayed together for 3 miles before Nate dropped back.
I continued running 7:05 – 7:15 miles and was soon joined by Darren. He’s one of those guys that I "know" but have never met. He was running very strong and the next thing I knew we were at mile 10. We had a nice pack of 4 or 5 working together at that point but I had to stop and pee. Since this race is pretty small, I thought I’d try to work back up to Darren and the pack, rather than spend the next 15 miles alone. I proceeded to run a 6:40 mile and just hoped it wasn’t too much too soon.
We went through the half in 1:34:26. A couple of the guys were looking for a 3:10 BQ, so we were right on pace. Just after the half we caught up to Ryan. He still had an extra 5-6 minutes to play with for his BQ and I thought he was in good shape. Unfortunately, he ended up running 3:20.
Around mile 16 things seemed to get a little harder. Our pack was falling apart, but Darren and I were still together. At mile 18 I stopped for another pee and Darren was gone for good – going on to run 3:08. I thought I was in for a long last 8 miles, but I got into a groove of 7:10s and decided to hold it as long as possible. After mile 22 my splits slowed 30 seconds per mile. I thought I was slowing, I still passed Tad around 24. He was able to hold on and run just under 3:12. Not bad for a 400m stud in college.
I ended up crossing the line in 3:10:36 (1:34:26/1:36:10). I turned around just in time to see Nate finish 10 seconds behind me with a new PR. Another quarter mile and he’d have caught me.
As for others, congrats to Katie who was the first woman overall in 2:54. My awesome training partner, Kim, continues to break sub-3. She finished in 2:58 – first Masters woman - lowering the Masters course record by 6 minutes. Nate’s sister missed a BQ at TCM last weekend, jumped in Whistlestop and earned her BQ. Brian needed a 3:20:59 for a BQ and he ran 3:21:06. He’s going to email the BAA and try to get in. If not, he’ll get it next time out – along with John and Tomme, who are seeking that illusive qualifier. And speaking of running both TCM and Whistlestop, Allison just did that. Oh yeah, and she’s running Des Moines this Sunday.
Alright, that’s pretty much it for a race recap. I have a bunch of pictures I’ll try to post in the very near future, along with some non-race details, a new fueling strategy, and other various random thoughts.
Quote of the Day;
“Racing is where I have to face the truth about myself.” – Joe Henderson