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2008 Run the River Marathon

"I would've won the half"

Saturday November 15th
Ankle chip timing was present, but they had such a small field the organizer only rented a timing mat for the finish. At the start, the announcer asked all fast runners to the front. I didn't want to give up 15-20 seconds getting to the starting line and nobody was moving forward, so there I was in the front row.

Ran the first mile in 7:00 flat in the #4 position and backed off from there. Moved back to 8:00 minute miles by mile 3 and paced with a local named Mark up to mile 10. First half was a 1:46. Second half of the LONG marathon (had 26.5 miles on the Garmin gps watch) was 2:10. Thought I could hold onto a 9 minute mile pace for the second half but the legs just ran out of energy even though I was downing gels and sports drinks. Saw quite a few 10.5 minute miles after mile 19. Toward the end, I saw a pack of 4 people in the last quarter mile and I managed to get my speed briefly up to high 8s for the pass thinking I'd claim 4 overall spots in one shot but they weren't running the marathon after all. Oh well, they were motivation to pick it up at the end.

Age Group 35-39: 4 of 11
Overall: 25 of 139
1st Half: 1:46
2nd Half: 2:10
Total: 3:56

Course Notes:
  • Winner of the half marathon for my age group came in 1:49. I would've won the half.
  • From mile 3 onward the mile markers were consistently .3 miles off. I have a feeling that the convenient t-intersection at the Negro Bar staging start was the reason for the extra .3 miles. I would've been at least 2.5 minutes faster if it ended at 26.2 miles instead of 26.5.

  • 38 team relays marathon/ultra distances
  • 48 ultra marathon runners (31) miles
  • 136 marathon runners (26.2) miles
  • 208 half marathon runners (13.1) miles
  • Plus 18-mile training run option makes 500 people on course and soldout.

Notes for Next Marathon:
  • Back 1 full minute off 10k pace--30 seconds is not enough.
  • Enter a marathon with 5000+ people for pacing opportunities.
  • Getting a good night's sleep the night before the night of the race seems to help.
  • Come back next year for half marathon glory.
  • Limit marathons to once a year: can only take so much residual pain in left hip, both knees, and big left toe.

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