It rained the night before the race but by race morning everything had cleared up nicely. Conditions at race time
were low 40's and clear with only portions of the trail a little muddy. The course started and finished on about a
half mile of road and the rest was two 15 mile loops over fairly easy trails. My goal for the race was to finish
in around 4:30 and to place for my age.
With about 300 runners participating I decided to stay towards the front at the start to keep the trails open
later. I entered the trails in about 30th place and running a little faster than 8:00 minute miles. Faster than
my goal but I felt like it was worth the effort for clear running later. The first couple of 5K's were around 25
minutes as I settled into a rhythm. I managed to settle down a little and the next two 5K's were around 26
minutes. I arrived at my prearranged support station about 5 minutes ahead of schedule in about 45th position. I
got a fresh bottle and dropped my beanie cap for a ball cap since I was warming up nicely.
For the next 3 mile loop I emptied the fresh bottle and arrived back at the halfway point/aid station at 2:10 and
picked up another fresh bottle. Still 5 minutes ahead of goal pace but feeling very confident. The next 10K went
by very quickly as I got into a conversation with a guy that ran the 1979 Boston marathon. He was attempting an
Olympic qualifier at the time(2:22) but came up short and ended up finishing right next to Joan Benoit. We were so
busy talking we didn't notice that we just did two 5K's in 25 minutes a piece!
Things got a little more difficult after that as I dropped my new friend at an aid station but I really never broke
pace significantly. I was passing quite a few people at this point and that really helped keep me focused and
moving forward. I went through the marathon in 3:38 which I was very excited about. Not just because I became an
"ultra" marathoner but my Richmond marathon time 1 month ago was 3:34 on flat roads and this was on muddy trails.
The last 5 miles were definitely challenging but my last 5K was still a respectable 27 minutes and I felt strong
hitting the line in 4:22:38. I ended up 21st overall and 3rd in my age group.
Sooo soo happy for you, Jeff! You ran a fast race and enjoyed yourself along the way - can't get any better than that.
Congratulations on your medal, your finish time and becoming an Ultramarathoner!
Go as long as you can, and then take another step.
Great job, Jeff and a great report. Thank you.
New Orleans Marathon - 2/24/2013 4:16:32
Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon - 4/27/2013 4:09:56 PR!
Honolulu Marathon - 12/8/2013
Yeah! We are really proud of you and the great time - busted right through your goal!
Thanks for the report, A