This race was just a lot of fun. The best people to hang out with and a perfect race day.
I'm not sure about the race time since even by the awards at 2:30 m the directors had not been able to post any results, so I'm taking my Garmin time. I'm pretty sure that I now have the two slowest 2nd place finishes in the marathon in Utah history. I had two goals going into this race; finish in the top three and run that elusive 2:30 marathon that I have been trying to get for a year. Oh well, as my brother told me after the race, you never know with the marathon. Every race can be a surprise. This one set me back a bit and energized me to continue training for that goal.
I took up a blanket and fell asleep at the start for half an hour which was a first. It was the third night of less than four hours of sleep and I could really feel it. The pre race was a great time. I met Chad, who was stoked for a shot at a sub 3, talked to big Rob, said a quick Hi to Teena and learned from Rob M his technique for bathroom breaks sitting down, not a method most of us guys get practice at. Seth got yelled at for warming up across the starting line of the chip timer reader and it was perfect when he told them how to reset it because he owned one.
The first 7 miles were on pace and felt just perfect. I was slowly beginning to pass people and ended up just tailing Ben and Riley. As I caught up to them Ben had to hop off the road for a bathroom break, what turned out to be one about about five before he felt the day was done and stepped out. I think he had a good shot at winning this today so that was a bummer. I pulled ahead of Riley and then he passed me at mile 11 and handed me the water bottle that his support group gave him. That was great timing. I crossed the half a 1:15:02, dead on pace and pretty stoked about it since I felt great. As we went around the lake Riley was coughing a lot and missing some strides but would catch back up and pull in ahead of me. It was good to have someone to talk to through these miles. Then by mile 16 he stepped out. By 18 I was losing 15 seconds a mile and felt that kind of overall fatigue that just doesn't let you get a rythm. My legs felt great but I couldn't put any use into the great downhills after 18. I actually slowed down going down the canyon. I did however, start getting glimpses of a yellow jersey that I was pulling up to and knew it had to be the second place runner. That was way surprising since I was running so slow. I could see my goal time dissapearing but at this point couldn't have cared less. I was just going to hold on to some rythm. At about 22 miles Seth walked off the course, sat down and waved at me as I jogged by. For the next four miles I was sure he would be blasting by me with a big grin. And that was it. Very strange race for many of us and definitetly long. All three of us at the front compared Garmins and all showed 26.47.
We partied at the Marriot with the Murphys and my kids now think marathoning is cool again. As long as it involves hotels, swimming pools, ice cream and friends. We bought a frisbee and the kids played on the grass for two hours waiting for the awards. Rob's wife Joanne stopped and gave me a ride to my car as I was attempting the long walk back. Then it was off to Roosters for a huge cheeseburger.
I love this sport. What other sport can you race so hard against yourself no matter what your ability and even run the same race with some of these guys that are so good at this stuff? what a run by Fritz, a new PR I think and a race ran all by himself over 10 minutes ahead of the rest of us. There were some other great races today, Rob Mantz, Chad R and some others. I know Rob M. could easily have run a 2:40 but still beat Scott by 10 seconds for the Masters win. The rest of us kind of got our shorts handed to us.
I'm ready to start training again for that 2:30.