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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sub 3 Marathon - Indy report

Well Indianapolis is a beautiful city and hosts a very nice race through the suburb of Lawrence. This scenic race starts & finishes in Historic Fort Harrison and on Saturday October 18th myself and Brendan Kavanagh lined up to take part with 5600 others competing in the various events, including the half and relay. After a total of 9 hours driving over 2 days we arrived safely and went to the expo, probably the most dissapointing part of the weekend. Not very big at all, but still a few freebies. That night Brendan found his Garmin not working and all attempts to find a remedy failed. So Brendan was to rely on a regular watch and a pace band, how old school! Luckliy I still had my Garmin. So between us we both planned to run sub 3 hour marathons. In the morning we grabbed our Starbucks coffee and headed to the start, set up my Garmin virtual partner to run 3 hours and we were ready. It was a cool and partly sunny morning, perfect for a marathon.Shortly after 8:30am we were off and running, maintaining a "comfortable" 4:10/km pace through the first 8 miles or so through some nice subdivisions and other parts of Fort Harrison, we then entered Fort Harrison State Park and some nice paved tree lined bike paths. This is where my Garmin crapped out, a "memory full" alert came up and I had to delete everything including my virtual partner. This left me with only my pace and Brendan for support. A few hills through the park slowed the pace a bit, but we got back up to speed before leaving the halfers as they cut off to the finish. We headed on to the out and back through more parks and tree lined streets. Still the pace was good a couple of gut checks and some support from each other and we were good. The turn around was at 19 miles and we turned into an unsuspected head wind. From here it was going to be where we would either fail or go on to new heights. Brendan let me know at 19 miles we were about 40 seconds back of 2:58 pace, still doing well. We maintained that through 21 miles, but at 22 we had dropped to 1:00 minute off pace, but still under 3 hours. At 23 miles I asked Brendan what our time was, 2:37. We would have to maintain at least 4:30/km to come in under 3, so I picked it up a bit. I didn't realize it at the time, but Brendan had stopped to water the bushes. Eventually I noticed his presence no longer there, but I did not dare look around. At 25 miles we came up to the last hill and that slowed myself down, but I got to the top and tried to put the hammer down (at least as much as possible at that point). Couple of turns and back towards the finish area, I knew it was going to be close!.
A few weeks ago I had a dream of finishing this race in 3:00:01 and was hoping that wasn't a premonition. I turned the last corner to see the time as 2:59:30 with about 100m to go, although I ran as fast as possible at that point I cam across the line at 3:00:04
What would my chip time be? At last I looked around. No Brendan yet, he came around the corner in a couple of minutes and finished in 3:02:24.
Surprisingly we both felt good, Brendan's wife Marie joked about us feeling so good we should drive to Columbus and the marathon there on Sunday. Not a chance. Later that evening we finally got the chip times and I had finished in 2:59:59.5, unbelievably .5 seconds under 3 hours. Brendan came second in his age group and I came 5th. Although Brendan set a Pb by 1 minute, missing the sub 3 goal left a bit of a bitter taste. We both know that there was more in us.After re checking the results it seems we came 28th & 32nd, but even more impressive was that we moved up from 39th & 40th at the half. Otherwise a great day at a great race, and I would recommend this to anyone who is interested. Indianapolis Marathon link

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