Saturday, April 15, 2017
Started my marathon training back in December. Ran my first of five 20-milers on the day after Christmas. The last two 20-milers, and the last four long runs (which I define as 16 or over) were tough, hilly runs with Tommy K. While we knew the hills on our long run would be longer and steeper than anything in Newport, I still maintain it was good training practice. I knew this wouldn't be a PR course, and my sole goal was sub-3.
Marathon morning: Time to go! Surprisingly, I am still not nervous. Picked up Tommy at 5:30am and made the 45-minute trek to Sachuest Point with some AC/DC classic tunes along the way. It was in the low 40s upon arrival with just over an hour until race start, so we wore pants and additional layers before boarding the shuttle bus. Met up with Jeff Duda running the full marathon and Paul Gray running the half. Duda was just registering today. To each his own, but I can't imagine registering for a marathon day off; don't need the added stress or $40 more than what I paid.
|JD, Tommy, me, Paul|
staying warm before the start
|Waiting for the start ...|
|... and we're off.|
|1/2 mile in. Passed this guy at about Mile 1.|
He finished 4 places behind me.
|Top of the hill. Mile 1 down. 25 to go.|
Mile 2 featured a major dog snafu, as a dog got loose from his owner and ran onto the street barking and nipping right on Tom's heels. He came after me next (the dog, not Tom) and I just raised my feet quick and high to avoid being bitten. FRUSTRATING!!
Mile 4 was pretty neat going into Fort Adams for a loop down to the water and back. On the way back, Tom missed a right turn checking out spectators and I had to literally push him back onto the course! Coming out of Fort Adams, a couple of young guys latched on behind us.
|Mile 13. As you can see here, I warned Tommy that|
if he tried to pass me, I'd elbow him in the stomach.
That kept him contained for a while.
| Almost at the half mark, along Memorial Blvd,|
with one of the college runners aside me and Tommy just behind.
Still feeling really good.
|Our little pack, coming through the half now.|
Stunning ocean views throughout much of the course.
Half split: 1:23:20. 6:22 pace. Possibly my fastest half split ever (in a marathon).
After the half, another runner joins us as we begin an uphill climb just temporarily away from the water. Skip and Big Mike are at the top giving encouragement. Winding our way towards Sachuest Point, I notice Tommy is falling a few paces behind the pack. I wave him on. Shara and Tom's parents are there for support.
|Mile 14: The two college guys are still just behind Tom & I,|
and another runner (on my left) joined us.
(Photo courtesy of Skip Hoffman)
Mile 25 features a 60' climb. Sixty feet: nothing, right? Not for me at this stage. Big Mike and Skip are at the top of this "killer" hill shouting enthusiasm to me. I hear them, as unlike at Sugarloaf, I'm totally lucid, but I have no smile or anything to give, and don't even look at them as I shuffle past. They shout out, "You're looking good!". Liars! Next I'm passed in rapid succession by two guys, one who looks old. Damn, I just lost my age group win. Embarrassing.
Coming up to the Mile 26 marker, I see runners just starting out their second half, and I'm thinking "those poor souls". Around some barriers and I'm done.
|Turning towards home. Am I about to fall over?|
(Pic courtesy of Shara)
|Finish line in sight!|
Final results: 2:58:59. I made my goal of sub-3! 9th overall out of 395 finishers. 1st in age group. (The guy who passed me in final mile was 49! Whew!) Full results here.
|Three finishers too beat to get up off their duff.|
|Shuffled over to the beach for a post-race pic.|
(Pics courtesy of Shara)
It's over!!! Thanks especially to Tom for keeping my interest level goingand helping me get training in.
Marathon #19 is in the books. What's next? Stay tuned ...