This actually turned out to be a really good race for me and I'm pretty happy with the result, but I was so close to really coming in around 2:59:ish.....but as you'll see from the splits the wheels fell off around mile 24.5. Up to that point, I really ran an almost perfect race for me for where I'm at right now. But I am pleased with this effort and I think I made some good strides today. Last year I ran this race in 3:05:48. My PR is 2:59:42 at TOU last fall, so this is probably a better result than that and a PR effort. This course is brutal.
Rob from the blog decided to run the race and asked if he could run with me. He knew what I was shooting for, so I figured it would be good to run with him until either he or I started feeling bad/good and then I figured we would split. We figured we would just try and hit 6:20s for the downhill first part and then go from there.
1 6:32 I find Rob at the beginning and we get going. The first 5 miles flew by cause Rob and I were talking. It made the beginning of the race go by real quick, which was good.
2 6:16 12:48
3 6:12 19:01
4 6:31 25:33 These miles all felt real easy, but I can already feel the beating of my quads.
5&6 13:36 39:09 Rob and I split right around here as he decided to take it a bit easier on the uphill section.
7 7:44 46:54 I was planning on this split being right around 7:45 and overall I'm pretty much right on pace with where I wanted to be up to this point.
8 7:13 54:07 I crest Little Mountain and begin the next steep downhill. I really feel like the extreme downhill, followed by the good climb up Little Mtn, followed by the steep downhill of Little Mtn really just destroys me in this race.
9 6:32 1:00:39
10 6:51 1:07:30 I hit the switch back portion of the course, which I really enjoy. Was hoping to come through mile 10 right around 1:27, so I was a bit slower than I wanted, but overall I'm still doing pretty good. Legs feel pretty decent. My whole plan for the rest of the canyon was just to clip off a bunch of miles around 6:30-6:40.
11 6:31 1:14:01
12 7:07 1:21:09 I have to stop and hit the bathroom during this mile. I thought I was fast, but I think it cost me about 40-45 seconds. This may have come back to haunt me at the end of the race, as far as getting in under 3 hours.
13 6:38 1:27:48 Half in just over 1:28:00 About a minute slower than I was hoping for, but I wasn't too worried.
14 6:38 1:34:26
15 6:35 1:41:02 Got into a really good groove the last couple of miles. It seemed like I was always around other runners as well all throughout here, which helped keep me going.
16&17 13:48 1:54:50 Miles 17-21 (Wasatch and Foothill) is the part of the race that I had been focusing on. It has destroyed me the other 3 times I've run this race. I knew some of these miles were going to be slow, but I was determined to not walk....especially that last hill on Foothill right before mile 21. I passed a couple of guys right around here and got passed by a kid without a shirt. He was flying.
18 7:03 2:01:54
19 6:48 2:08:42
20 6:52 2:15:35
21 7:33 2:23:08 Last 4 miles were all solid splits for me and I did exactly what I wanted to here and I knew I was going to get some downhill on the next mile.
22 6:34 2:29:43 Feeling good again. Passed about 4-5 runners in here. Also crossed paths with Josse, Michelle and I think Melody who all gave me some good encouragement. I was very appreciative. Funny how those little things really help you during the marathon.
23 6:52 2:36:36 I reached S. Temple and knew I was going to get some more downhill. I caught up to the kid with no shirt who passed me earlier and he is not doing real good. I tell him to come with me cause my legs are starting to wobble a bit and I'm looking for any help I can get.
24 6:54 2:43:30 Another good split for me, but I'm just holding on a bit now. Break away from the kid I was with. I only have to run 2.2 miles in 16:30.....shouldn't be too hard, right?
25 7:31 2:51:02 Round the corner off S. Temple after seeing some family and get the last bit of downhill. As soon as I come off the hill around mile 24.5 I just give in and walk....which usually means my race is over and the death march begins. Right before mile 25 the no shirt guy catches me and gets me to come with him. I stay with him for a bit, and then I just can't anymore. He ended up finished in 2:59:46.
26.2 9:24 (7:39 pace) 3:00:26 I run/walk from about 24.5 to the end. Glad to be done.
Like I mentioned, I'm pretty happy with this race, but I was so close to pulling off something a bit better. Rob came in not too much longer after me which is pretty good considering that he is battling injuries all the time and hasn't done much marathon specific training. I'm encouraged with the result and this makes me want to train more/better so that I can get in to that 2:50 range. Weather was perfect for me today. There was cloud cover and a bit of rain that helped keep it relatively cool compared to prior years that I've run this race.