My goal was to run 2:50-2:52 but if I felt good and had a shot at sub 2:50 I was going to pick it up the final 10K or 5K. My PR is 2:54:26 from Boston in 2011. I ran 2:54:29 at Marshall University Marathon last November but had to battle GI issues from miles 22 until the finish. If I hadn't had the GI issues I think Marshall would have been a 2:51-2:53 marathon.
|Shaun, Jarrod, and Me before the start|
Jarrod and I got in the our assigned starting corral and met Shaun there. Shaun ran the Marshall University Marathon with us last year. Shaun's planned pacing for the half marathon was the same as ours for the full so we decided we'd run together for awhile. We were at the front of the second corral, the first corral was for the elites; which included 16 year old Alana Hadley of Charlotte, NC. She was shooting for sub 2:43 to qualify for the U.S. Women's Olympic Marathon Trials. While waiting for the start we also talked with my friend Rich and a new friend Ethan from the Runners World Sub 3 group.
We were under an overpass for a tenth of a mile or so on mile three. The GPS dropped out under it but regained signal fast once we were out from under it. Even though the weather was cool I took water at the aid stations. The volunteers at the aid stations were great. The cups were paper making it easy to grab, pinch, and drink. Jarrod was trying to get his cup in the trash cans on his toss after drinking water. He started 0-3 before hitting one and he got better as the race went on. I was just tossing it as far to the side as I could or near a trash can. I did get a few in a couple trash cans though, one a perfect shot right in the middle without touching any sides of the trashcan.
Jarrod, Shaun, and I stayed on 6:30 pace through the first 10K. My 10K split was 40:16 and Jarrod's was 40:18. We bid Shaun Good Luck at seven miles when he had to turn for the half marathon course. Jarrod and I continued on the full course feeling good and comfortable. I picked up the pace just a little bit without trying to. Miles 7, 8, 9, and 10 were 6:27, 6:29, 6:25, and 6:30. I took my first gel, a caffeine chocolate raspberry GU Roctane, just before mile 7 and chased it with water. We passed by the Indiana State Fairgrounds just before mile nine.
arm-warmers during the race but I wasn't feeling warm or hot. I was feeling comfortable and kept them on for the whole race. The breeze was a little chilly but I was loving the weather. Miles 11, 12, and 13 were 6:27, 6:28, and 6:28. My half marathon split was 1:24:53. Pretty good pacing the first half which put me in great position to run 2:50. Jarrod's half split was 1:25:03.
After the half mark, I saw a group of three guys ahead of me. I didn't want to run solo so I did a surge and caught them. Once I got to them, I asked what their goal was and they said 2:50 or under. I said that sounded good to me and I told them I'd run with them. Two of the guys had ran the race before and gave me a heads up on a couple rolling hills that were still to come. We started running some of the rolling hills starting around 14 miles. They were not steep and I welcomed the change from the flat course we had been running.
Although I still felt good and was ahead of Jason, who I had ran with since 14 miles, my splits were slowing down. The course was all flat, even a slight downhill to the finish, and the wind wasn't bothering me either. Miles 24 and 25 were 6:42 and 6:48 though.
Jarrod finished in 2:50:41 and I finished in 2:50:43. My final 0.2 miles were at 5:55 min/mile pace. As soon as I crossed the line Jarrod was there waiting and I almost tackled him with as hard as I hugged him. Jarrod and I placed 52nd and 53rd out of 3,518 finishers but the full sold out at 5,000 runners.
Although it would have been nice to beat Jarrod, I was very happy with the race and my performance. I was glad him and I finished so close together. I was even happier Jamie got to see me run a marathon. Jamie had fun spectating on the course. She made some original signs that runners and other spectators loved. The sign she had at 10 miles said "I know a shortcut". She had another that said "We tripped a Kenyan, you still have a chance" at mile 23. The ironic thing is a Kenyan did fall down early in the race at mile one. Jamie also had fun size Snickers and Starburst at mile 23 and they were all snatched up by runners as they passed her and Jarrod's dad.
|Finishing with a new PR of 2:50:43|
I loved this race. The course was great, the weather was great, the volunteers were great, and the expo was good. It wasn't a huge expo like Boston but it was the second best expo I've been to out of the now six marathons I have finished. They had great deals at the expo. I was able to score the new Adidas Adizero Boston 4 for $49.99 when it is $110 everywhere else. There were plenty of water and gatorade stations on the course. I highly recommend doing this race. If you're looking for a PR course then this is the race for you.
|Me and Jarrod post race|
|Me and Jamie post race|