What a nice morning to run a marathon. It was cool with low dew points. However, it wasn't so cold that we had to worry about wearing extra gear. I wore gloves to start and planned to discard them along the way.
New this year for Siouxland, runners planning on finishing over four hours were directed to start a hour earlier at seven am. I like this idea. The 2007 Carlsbad Marathon gave this option to runners too, but few people besides walkers took advantage of it. My dad was one of probably 1/2 the field to go off at that time. It was still dark when he started.
My race strategy was to run 5:55/mile pace for as long as I could comfortable do so. If someone was to take the race out faster, then I was willing to go faster and try to hold on for awhile.
My 5:51 first mile was fast enough so that I found my self running in first place with Justin from Iowa City. It is possible to talk during the marathon and I normally like to ask people where they are from and which marathons they have ran. It turned out that Justin was running his first marathon. He asked what my PR (Personal Record) was so I told him 2:32, but I didn't want him to later think that I was trying to psyche him out so I also said that I would not be close to that.
Justin was wearing headphones with heavy metal music playing. Usually headphone are banned from races, but I didn't mind hearing the music next to me.
The first miles of the course were flat and fast. A biker rode about thirty yards ahead of us to help keep us on the route. The course was well marked, but I like having the biker there. Justin and I were passed by another marathoner around mile 8. I knew there was someone back there, but I was surprised at how fast he went by us. Before I realized what was happening, he had a 30 second lead on us.
"Flagging" - According to Justin, around mile 14, the leader was flagging, or slowing down, and coming back to us. I had never heard that phrase before.
The highlight of my race was passing my dad around mile 16. I started to feel confident that I would be able to pull away from Justin (up to that point, there were times when he had a 5 yard lead on me) and maybe win the race.
I took the lead around 20 miles. At that time, I was passing a lot of the early start marathoners and the leader was just another person I was passing.
The last three miles my legs were aching, probably from running another marathon so soon after Twin Cities. Fortunately, no one was around to pressure me so I was able to bring it home. My finish time was 2:44:30. That is a slow winning time and only my twelfth fastest time out of twenty-two races. Regardless, I am very happy with the time and place result.
My miles splits were as follows:
Mile 1 5:51
Mile 2 5:53
Mile 3 6:01
Mile 4 5:54
Mile 5 5:59
Mile 6 6:07
Mile 7 5:58
Mile 8 6:07
Mile 9 6:08
Mile 10 6:02
Mile 11 6:16
Mile 12 6:25 (Up hill)
Mile 13 5:36 (Downhill)
Mile 14 6:04
Mile 15 6:01
Mile 16 6:04
Mile 17 7:50 (The big hill)
Mile 18 6:18
Mile 19 6:11
Mile 20 6:13
Mile 21 5:49 (I took the lead here)
Mile 22 6:34
Mile 23 6:14
Mile 24 6:48 (The front of my calves began to hurt here)
Mile 25 6:57
Mile 26 6:48
Post Race Pain:
I was very sore right after the race and in the evening. The combination of running TCM and Siouxland within 13 days is something I really enjoyed and that I know most marathon runners don't think about doing. I can happily report that I was feeling fine three days later.
Only 40-50 miles per week and not many long runs either. I thought that I had a sub 2:40 marathon in me this year, but it didn't work out. Perhaps I will need to up my mileage a bit.
My slower winning time may cause many more competitive runners to enter the race. I hope they do because the course is beautiful. Next year's race is the weekend after Twin Cities so I may need to make a decision between the two. Right now, I think that I would want to defend my title and run only Siouxland. With all the media attention, It would be awesome if I could show up and run something faster and win the race again. I am viewed, probably accurately, as the common man's runner, taking on more elite runners (Kenyans).
"Two Kenyans expected to run among the leaders, Larry Mboga and Albelt Ombassa, had registered to compete, but were no-shows. Mboga, who lives in Eau Claire, Wis., had been second and third in two previous Lewis & Clark events." - I've never seen so much press coverage for not showing up.