Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Philadelphia Marathon

Time: 3:30:20
Overall 1233 out of 7261

I FINALLY GOT MY BQ!!!!!

I wanted cooler temperatures and I finally got it. The starting temperature was 26 with the finish somewhere around 32. I was a little concerned that the sub freezing temps may be a little too cold but once the race started it felt pretty good.

For the number of runners (16000 for both half and full) the start was very smooth. There were a few crowded sections especially at the water stations but nothing that slowed me down. Overall the course had a great layout. It had a nice combination of urban and parks. There were a few more hills than I thought there would be but I didn’t struggle with any of them.

My plan was to hang with the 3:30 pace group and then, depending on what I had left, move ahead in the last few miles. An early pit stop and crowded water stops put me behind about 2 minutes but by mile 10 I was running with the group. In the second half I found myself falling behind a little but I did a good job of pulling within 30 seconds every time I fell back.

I felt good up until the 21-22 mile mark when I started to doubt myself. If it wasn’t for the BQ goal I probably would have let up a little but I kept focusing on the balloons (held by the pacer) and thinking Boston, Boston, Boston. Once I passed the 24 mile mark I knew that I had it. I just wanted to stay within 30 seconds of the pacer then give all that I had the last 1.2 to pass him. At 25.5 I had nothing left but knew that I was only 5-6 minutes away. There were some tight curves at the end and I lost sight of the balloons, which was all that I was looking at for the last mile, but I just focused straight ahead and kept repeating Boston, Boston, Boston.

My hands were so frozen it took me three times to stop my watch. Even with that delay, I had my time at 3:30:19 so I figured it was something like 3:30:14. It really didn’t matter much though, it was below 3:30:59 and I was a Boston Qualifier.

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