Deseret News Marathon, 2:32:54, 3rd overall ($500), 1st from Utah ($500), total of $1000, finally a race with some good financial luck. I have not had very much of it this year. In Ogden, I ran a race that deserved $500-$1000 pay off, but the field was crowded, somebody had to miss the money, and being a bit less fit than the competition gave me that lot. Similar stories in shorter races - crowded field, this is a qualifying year, and the Fast Running Blog has been helping crowd the field as well. Nevertheless, I would much rather see/help create a strong field, and wait for/encourage the race directors/sponsors to make the purse match it than rake in all the money racing against a weak field.
Stayed with Chad the night before. Got to see his wife Heather and his little son Jack. Had a nice visit with Paul and James there. Had a runny stomach during the night, got up a few times. On the way to the race was concerned about that. Why? A marathon is a long way to go. Little things tend to escalate. Malfunctioning stomach means the carbo-replenishment will not go in as well. This often leads to an early bonk. Nevertheless, figured if I run conservatively, I could offset the stomach glitch, as well as the effects of the sinus infection the day before, and still run a decent race.
Weather conditions were good. Cloudy skies, no extreme temperatures.
Got to the start, usual routine, then the gun went off. Bill Cobler went into the lead. I stayed with Steve Olsen, Walter Brown, Jon Ndambuki, and Paul Rugut. We coasted at around 5:20 pace on the steep sections. Then Ndambuki and Rugut decided to take a potty break. I picked up the effort (not the pace, as the drop grade decreased), and ended up running alone. Ndambuki and Rugut wasted no time bridging the gap and caught me pretty quick. At around the same time (near mile 4) we went past Bill Cobler. I saw that the Kenyans were slowing a bit, and caught up to them. We ran together until mile 6. 6 miles in 32:43. HR was very reasonable on that section. Down 7% it hovered around 140, then it was around 155 as it flattened out.
Then they started pressing up the Little Mountain. I decided to keep my heart rate around 160 on the climb, and if I could keep up with them at that effort, go, otherwise, just let them take off. They were going significantly faster than what I could manage comfortably with the effort appropriate for the marathon. I ran the 7th mile in 6:25, and they put about a 20-30 second lead on me, this is up a 3-4% grade. On the 8th mile my runny stomach gave me some problems, and I had to make a quick bathroom stop. No big deal, lost no more than a few seconds on it. Got over the Little Mountain, 45:18 at 8 miles. Just trying to run relaxed.
Hit the little uphill subdivision loop. The Kenyans now had about a 2:00 lead. Saw somebody who I at first mistook for an early started, should have paid better attention to his form, it was Peter Vail (I think). He was maybe 40 seconds behind. He was surprised to see me, and made a comment to the effect of, what? you're third? I did not understand the meaning of the comment at first.
10 miles in 56:40, 13 miles in 1:13:16 (this gives me about 1:13:52 half), 15 in 1:24:12. Then to my surprise I heard steps behind me. Peter Vail was gaining on me. I did not like that, but I did not know what to do either. Then I noticed he was not gaining as quickly on the downhill sections as he was on the flat ones. I also remembered that he struggled quite a bit with the downhill in 2004. So I started surging on the downhills.
Clyde joined me soon after 15 miles. I kept doing my downhill surges, and it worked. First I increased the gap to a minute, and then there was no sight of Peter (or whoever that was). Felt strong 15 through 20, and thought that for sure I would run no slower than 2:30 with some seconds, and maybe even a bit under 2:30. Hit 20 miles in 1:53:42, and it is all downhill from there, and with a cloud cover to make things easier. However, my downhill surges combined with not being in the best health combined with a less than normal taper (only one week of 60 vs 80-51 the year before) started to take its toll. I slowed down to 6:20-6:30 pace and did not feel like I could go any faster. The legs felt beat up, and I felt a little weak (although not terribly). Not feeling a threat from behind, and knowing that the Kenyans had a mile lead and not slowing down was also a factor. So I coasted to the finish at that pace. The last 2 miles seemed to take forever, but not too bad.
For some reason there were several timing mats at the end separated by quite a bit of distance. I assume one set was for the 10 K, while the other set for the marathon. Not sure which one was which. So I made sure to keep running until I've crossed all of them, and timed myself on the last one. Based on that, my finish time was 2:32:54 with the last 10 K in 39:12.
Ndambuki won with 2:22:24, Rugut was second about a minute behind. Steve Olsen was 4th with a low 2:44, Bill Cobler 5th with a low 2:48, and Walter Brown struggled big time on the last 2 miles, but still managed a 2:51 finish. Carol Cabanillas won the womens with 2:53. She hoped for a trials qualifier, so she is probably disappointed. However, I am sure she does not mind a $2507 paycheck.
Legs were sore afterwards, but I think not as sore as last year, which would be good. We'll see tonight and tomorrow.