I guess I can say that the Mayor’s Marathon was a success. I ran very fast. My splits are as follows:
1-7:08 2-7:30 3-7:32 4-7:19 5-7:21 6-7:12 7-7:38 8-7:21 9-7:06 10-7:31 11-7:58 12-7:13 13-7:21
14-7:51 15-7:20 16-7:00 17-6:35 18-8:25 19-6:44 20-7:10 21-6:36 22-6:33 23-6:40 24-6:32 25-6:40 26-6:44
The last ¼ mile was done in 1:30. I did not do too bad.
When I got to the race start it was overcast and cool. The whole morning I had the feeling I was going to PR, but wasn’t too sure of the course. I was expecting hills like Lincoln, but was worried they would be too big and slow me down. I told all the Guard team members that I was going to qualify for Boston before the race started, but wasn’t too sure in my own mind if that was going to be possible. All I knew is that I talked a big game, now it was time to show it up.
I started the run off by running too quickly, which seems to be a gift of mine. I tried my best to slow down, but to no avail. I think I jogged a little bit and let a few pass me successfully. It’s always nice to have a few people to pass in the last 10K ;^D The 1st stretch of the race went along the highway, with impressive views of Chugach State Park. Minor hills, which didn’t phase me that much. After running on this portion for 6 miles you turn to the dirt road section until mile 13 or so. This section was close to the mountains, with much dense overgrowth. It was very pretty. I felt like I was running an ultra again :^D With the race taking place in a rural setting as opposed to an urban one, it was easier to relieve myself than in a crowded city (catch my drift?). This aided me in the fact that I didn’t have to stop and use the restroom very often, and gave me the time edge that I would so desperately need later on in the race.
After the dirt road portion I found myself on sweet smoking singletrack. I couldn’t believe it! Singletrack in a road marathon! This was awesome. 14 miles in, and I was starting to pass all the silly inexperienced runners that took off faster than I. Time to race. After running singletrack for a few miles, we hit the paved bike path that would take us all the way to the finish. It is downhill from here. (I should note that I hit the half marathon mark a full minute slower than I did at Lincoln. I didn’t think I was going to make the Boston Qualifying Time at this point in the race.)
I was running and running harder, and then felt that call of Mother Nature that you just can’t ignore. It was mile 17. Looking at my watch, I thought all my hopes of qualifying were shattered. I needed to hit the 20 mile mark in 2:25, but reached that mark in 2:28:30. With only 41:30 to make the cut-off, I thought it was impossible to get that 3:10 mark I wanted so bad. I intended to take my best shot though.
So I did. Faster and faster, I started pumping out 6:30-6:40 miles. I didn’t know if I could hold it. I was determined to try though. It hurt so bad! I was passing people left and right though. That was motivating. As I got closer and closer to the end of the race, I realized I might have a shot at a BQ. I distinctly remember having 29 minutes to run the last 4.2 miles. Could I make it? There was one more hill to conquer. It came at mile 25.5. It sucked. It was steep. I almost had to walk it. But I didn’t. I could see the finish line track. I was blazing in. Faster and faster, I was screaming at everyone to get out of the way. Most did. When I saw that 3:09:30 time, my heart leaped for joy. I had made it! I couldn’t believe it. The race was mine. 1:38/1:31 splits. WOW. 24th/851, and didn’t even place in my age group. That will change next year. I was still feeling pretty good after the race, so I went and ran 12 miles in Chugach State Park that evening. It was splendid.