Thursday, April 17, 2014

Marion Marathon: The Second Running

So for my second running of this local marathon I was asked to be a pacer. If you don't know a pacer is a experienced marathon runner who leads a group of other runners at a specified pace so they can finish in a specified time. I guess after 27 marathon or longer races I was considered "experienced" and I was flattered.

Problem was I had been battling a injury all winter. A nagging slow to heal Achilles injury. I did manage to complete a 50K trail race in the weeks leading up to the marathon but it was not without issue. I was concerned about even finishing the marathon after my lackluster training cycle. Because of this I asked to pace the 5 hour and 25 minute group.This would be my slowest marathon ever.

The day of the race came and myself and all my friends that were pacing showed up to a cold rainy and sucky day. We talked and milled around the start line until the National Anthem. I then lined myself up in the back of the pack. Brian was going to accompany me. He had decided to run the race at the last minute and asked if he could co-pace with me. I was happy for his company. Jenn was also there with few new friends. 

The gun went off and we started off at the planned 12:23 per mile pace. I had my Garmin set to the proper pace and a pace chart taped to the back of my pacer sign. I was nervous because I figured the hardest part about this race was going to be running slow enough. We settled into a pattern of running easy and walking at the mile markers. It was raining at the start but eventually it stopped. I took off my rain jacket and tied it around my waist. Other runners passed us and we passed them. I continued to keep pace even when no one was with is because I knew from past experience that others would use us as a guide even if they weren't with us. About mile 17 it started pouring rain and we would finish the race in the downpour. Brian and I kept on pace but we had somehow built a 3 minute buffer. Our plan was to walk off the extra at mile 25 and then run it in to the end. So that is want we did. However we didn't count on the course being half a mile too long. Our finishing time wa 5:26:12. Not my best effort but next time I will do better and lessons were learned. Enjoy some photos

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