St George Marathon 2010

I have tried to run this marathon for 3 years and was finally able to get in this year because I was guaranteed a spot. There are so many people who want to run this marathon that they have a lottery where about a third of the people miss out. I was one of those losers for 2 years in a row, which meant I was guaranteed a spot for this year. They call it the “third time’s a charm” which means the next time I will be able to run it is 2013.

With my triathlon training interfering with run specific training I knew I wouldn’t break 3:30 but I thought I could at least get a P.R. The course has a ton of downhill, almost 2000 feet more than Ogden, where I have my P.R. It is also at lower altitude but there is a lot more climbing as well. But still, I am in good shape.

After 3 years I was ready except five days before the race I got a cold. I had an awful runny nose, the kind where you need to lay a towel down on your pillow so your pillow stays dry. I slept like crud for 3 nights and pounded orange juice and Gatorade to try and stay hydrated.

RACE DAY MORNING:
I was finally able to sleep pretty well the night before the race but I still had to get up around 4:00 AM to make it to the bus pick-up area. We drove to the finish line, boarded the bus and drove the 45 minutes to the start line up in the mountains. The weather was unseasonably warm. I heard many people mention how this was the warmest St. George Marathon they have ever experienced. I didn’t even need to go warm myself by the fires.

THE START:
This was my 7th marathon and the 2nd largest crowd. My first was the San Diego marathon which has something like 15,000 participants. This one has 7,000-7,500. It was quite crowded and annoying when you have people who you question if they will even make it to the half-way point and they start near the front. I got close to the 3:40 pace group at the start line. One minute in and it felt like we were barely moving so I took off to the side of the road and picked up the pace big time. Ben and Clark were following and then Ben took off ahead Clark stayed behind and i never saw either again, even though Clark passed me somewhere in the last 2 miles.

I felt great for a long time. The downhills were around 7:30 paces which is well ahead of my ideal pace. An 8:00 pace would put me at 3:30 which I would like to get someday but at mile 20 I knew there was no way. I had passed the 3:30 pace group at about mile 7 and then after 13 miles they passed me back and I didn’t have the strength to stay with them. I started walking through water stops. I was looking for anything to give me energy but they failed to have Clif shots where they were supposed to be. I had brought 3 of my own which was great for 20 miles, but I could have used 3 more (one at each of the stops where they said they would be). Oh well, you have to adjust, but it is difficult to adjust strategy in the middle of a race and not have it mess with your head.

Eventually the 3:40 pace group passed me with about 3 miles left. I really wanted to stay with them because that would guarantee a P.R. but alas, I couldn’t. The only thing I was happy about at this point is that a piece of pulp from an orange that I ate at mile 4 had finally become dislodged from my teeth…Freedom.

It was nice coming into town because the crowds were great and they help to keep you moving. With a mile left I knew that I would have to push it to stay under 3:45. It hurt…but I ran a 9:00 minute mile and came in at 3:44:30, my third fastest marathon.

As I compare it to other marathons I’ve run, at mile 18, I was almost 5 minutes faster than my P.R. race. That goes to show you that the heat, a cold, lack of sleep and not having the nutrition on the course that you expect can sure hit you like a wall.

I enjoyed it and look forward to running it again, hopefully next year and not 3 years from now…but whenever it is, 3:30 will be mine.

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About kromeril

I'll come up with something
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