Deseret News Marathon. 2:31:47, third overall, first Utahn.
My goal was to make top three, and to win the first Utahn prize. At the start, we had Simon Sawe, John Ndambuki, and Jared Nyambuki of the Kenyans, and Steve Ashbaker and Corbin Tally of the locals. So I had to find a way to get rid of one Kenyan, and not get punished by a local for it. A challenging task.
I noticed the Kenyans were a little slow at the start, and decided to take advantage of it. I signaled to Steve, and we went off trading leads. 5:04 for the first mile. At about 1.5 Steve had to stop to fix the rock in the shoe problem. So now I was on my own. However, Jared Nyambuki took the bate and followed us. 9:47 at two miles (4:47), then 14:28 (4:41) at three, and 19:27 at 4 (4:59). The pace is actually not as fast as it sounds - this is a 7% grade.
Then it flattened out. 24:57 at 5 (5:30), next mile uphill 30:43 (5:46). Nyambuki started pulling away, which was just fine with me. Now we are climbing the Little Mountain. Next mile in 6:29. Sawe and Ndambuki passed me, and they looked like they were racing already.
Next mile was half up and half down - 5:59, then down in 5:19. Felt so good I thought it was only 5:30. So far so good. Now a little loop to Pinecrest. This gives me a chance to check what is going on. Nyambuki about 1:20 ahead, Sawe and Ndambuki about 45 seconds ahead, Steve about 2 minutes behind, Corbin about 3 minutes behind.
10 miles in 54:16, half in 1:11:30, and still running relaxed. However, somewhere around 14 legs started feeling a bit cramped, and I slowed down to 5:35 pace. We are still going down the Emmigration Canyon, so 5:35 is not a fast pace, although not too bad. 15 miles in 1:22:26. Then things started getting worse, and I could not quite understand why at first. It was not the fuel, my usual issue, it was the legs, something that usually holds up quite well. From then on, I managed to do 6:00 pace on downhill miles, and slowed down to 6:20-6:30 on the ones with uphill. Around 18 the right hamstring cramped up, but then it felt better. Then I saw Nyambuki on the side of the road, and it looks that he is so cramped up that he cannot even walk. Ok, that puts me in 3rd. Now I need to hold off Corbin and Steve. As slow as I am going, they could come up to me very fast. 20 miles in 1:52:38. Next mile in 6:33 (up), but the one after that in 5:50 down. Now just try to hang in there, and fight the negative thoughts. The subsequent miles were somewhere in the 6:10-6:20 range. Almost missed a turn. Finally, the finish. Yes, I made it!
2:23:15 for Sawe, 2:26:39 for Ndambuki. Finally Corbin comes in 2:40:18 and they carry him to the medical tent. Then Steve comes in 2:47:36, and he is even worse off - two people carry him to medical tent. I guess I did not realize how hot it got once we came out of the canyon. That explains the cramps, the slowdown, and not getting passed through all of this. So I guess given the conditions I was not running that slow after all. A repetition of the lesson I've learned a while ago - never get depressed about slow mile splits, but fight out the battle instead - you might actually be doing quite well for the conditions.
The legs were extremely sore afterwards. Could barely walk.
Ran with the kids in the evening. Had to lean on the stroller to make it.