Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Salt Lake City Marathon Race Report

Pre-Race Meal
The pasta party was held at the Cannella's Italian Restaurant. I wanted to make sure I had lots of carbs the night before the big race. I bought the ticket a few weeks in advance to guarantee a plate. I am glad I did because the tickets sold out. Dinner time was at 5:30pm and I was hungry. I had two full servings of pasta, salad and rolls. I thought I would never get full...until I couldn't eat the last roll.

Night Before
I stayed at the Howard Johnson's Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City. It was a pretty clean room and I was able to change rooms; one with a microwave and fridge. I wanted to make sure I had my oatmeal before the big race. I went to bed at 9:30pm.

Before I left Denver I thought I was going to have problems getting to the starting line. No problem at all once I got to Salt Lake. I took the light rail system to the starting line. I even got a seat! The train was full, including all the cyclists for the bike tour. I used the restroom twice and felt that would be good. The lines grew longer and longer and I am glad I was done. About 15 minutes before the start I dropped off my clothes at the "gear check-in". I headed to the start line because I wanted to make sure I got in the front pack.

Start (Miles 1-8)
The start was amazing with the gospel choir singing and a brisk cool morning. I was positioned almost perfectly. I didn't get too close, but almost too far back. I was dodging people left and right at the start. I didn't want my first mile to be 5:45 or under. Race smart Eric, race smart.
Mile 1: 6:08, Mile 2: 6:25, Mile 3: 6:30, Mile 4: 6:32
Mile 5: 6:41, Mile 6: 6:33, Mile 7: 6:41, Mile 8: 6:33
Avg: 6:30/mile

Miles 9-16
I met several runners along the way. I was amazed at how my pace was going and was wondering if I was going to bonk towards the end. I asked a few runners what their goal pace was. Some said 3:10, some under 3. I ran with an awesome runner, Dane Rauschenberg, who is quite well known. He runs marathons quite often. He even wrote a book about his marathon experience when he accomplished 52 marathon in 52 weeks. I kept up with him for the first 9 miles. He started to push the pace and I decided to let him take off. I kept the same pace and he sped up. He was quite shocked that I was pushing my own pace when I told him my best marathon and what my goals were.
Mile 9: 6:41, Mile 10: 6:33, Mile 11: 6:37, Mile 12: 6:51
Mile 13: 7:05, Mile 14: 6:27, Mile 15: 6:37, Mile 16: 6:51
Avg: 6:43/mile
Half-Marathon Split: 1:26:57

Miles 17-24
I started to slow down just a little. Mile 24 was off a little because my GPS watch lost connection during the run. This happened several other times, but not for long. These miles were more challenging and required more mental power. I was holding up pretty good and realized about Mile 20 that I would break 3 hours. I passed mile 20 at
Mile 17: 6:50, Mile 18: 6:38, Mile 19: 6:51, Mile 20: 7:01
Mile 21: 7:02, Mile 22: 6:59, Mile 23: 6:37, Mile 24: 7:09
Avg: 6:53/mile

Mile 25-26.2
The last miles were pretty tough. Mile 24 was through a nice park, Mile 25 was up State Street. I say up because it was a nice hill to climb. There were lots of half-marathon runners I was passing too. After the long hill, the last mile was at a gradual downhill. Still lots of people to dodge. No marathon runners too close to me so I felt no need to sprint to the end.
Mile 25: 7:13, Mile 26: 7:09, Mile .2: 2:38ish
Post Race
The finish area was pretty cool. I was worn out. I almost felt like I could have run a little faster? I got a neat medal, water, energy drinks, yogurt and a banana. I didn't eat much right away, but I was feeling pretty hungry a little while later. I waited in line to get my gear check bag. That took about 30 minutes. Next I waited in line to get a message. I love getting messages after a big race. Well deserved.

I waited for a long time for the results. I got a chance to talk with other racers who waited for their times too. After waiting at least 2 hours I gave up. The race director said there were some scoring issues and they wouldn't be posted. I wasted to much time and even got sun burned.
Overall time: 2:58:14
Overall Place: 22/1086
Gender Place: 19/697
Age Div Place: 7/107
Overall Pace: 6:48/mile
I am extremely happy with my performance. I feel I have more work to do and a little more to improve. More pics to come...


Dan Seifring said...

Great race Eric, glad you were happy with your performance.

iron-boyer said...

wow...great race. congratulations on breaking 3 hours.

ShirleyPerly said...

Cool that you got to run with Dane. Indeed, he is an incredible multiple marathoner. I think he runs 3-hour marathons nearly every week.

Congrats again on a well run race!!

Dane said...

Fantastic first sub-3 and a huge drop in your PR. Keep it up!