Sunday, March 22, 2009

National Marathon, First Thoughts

At the start with the Gill's: John (my driver and packet pick upper for 3 years straight in keeping our tradition alive), Jenn, and Keller (their child).

With my friend Laurie before the start of the race. She started ahead of me to allow for maximum time on the course since she was doing the Shamrock Marathon on Sunday!
With my friend Dave Bell right before I finished the marathon (you can see Jenn in the background with her spectator identification balloon). Since Dave was about to head off to the Shamrock Marathon, I stopped my marathon for this picture. The spectators around him were pretty amused because I took his picture, we shared a hug, caught up a bit then got this picture. Guess I was not highly motivated to finish!

In keeping with my refusal to finish the face, I struck a pose with the Washington Mystics Mascot. This was observed by the announcer who called my name, then realized I was not moving from the ID mat (about 200 meters prior to the finish) to the finish line. Guess I really like to savor the journey and am always a bit bummed out when it is over.
With my new friend Narda. She is an accomplished triathlete, but this was her first marathon and she did really well finishing in about 5:10 or 20 even with a recent knee injury. We ran about the first 10 miles of the marathon together, which made them fly by. She was really sweet and is currently studying Food Law at American University.

For the 4th time in 4 years I competed in the National Marathon/Half Marathon. This year my time was 4 hour 52 minutes which is about a 7 minute PR for the marathon as compared to my first time. That year the time limit was stated to be 5 hours. I finished in 4 hours 59 minutes! In fact the time limit ended up being 5 hours 30 minutes (if only I had known I would not have exerted myself in 2006!)
The first year, I ran the full marathon, then the last 2 years I ran the half marathon because it was only 1 week prior to the Umstead 100 mile race. But this year Umstead 100 was still 2 weeks away, so I felt comfortable returning to my marathon roots:-)

I had a great marathon. The weather was delightful, it was sunny and about 45 or 50 by mid-day (although the start was a bit chilly). The course is dramatically improved over the first year. It's now a lot more interesting (going through many neighborhoods in DC) and less hilly. And we ran by several of the DC monuments twice.
I will write a more comprehensive race report later....

No comments: