Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Top Of Utah Marathon Summary 20 September 2008

The Top of Utah Marathon 2008

I love this race ! The course is fantastic. We start at Hardware Ranch and run through the Canyon downhill for 13 miles then see the first spectators at 14 miles. Over the years I have had some fun races on this course. One year it snowed the entire way to Logan and I wore a black bin liner for 12 miles.

This year was very very special. Why ? Because my big sister Julie, whom I had not seen for almost 4 years was here on vacation and she was there at mile 14 as I came out of the canyon. So was my brother-in-law, Norman, my father , Phil , and my 3 year old, Sadie.

I also had my good friend Bill Hiatt pacing me today. Bill is in the best shape of his life and getting ready to break 3:10 at the St. George marathon this next week. We started off running 7:28's and it felt good. The plan was to run a 1:40 first half and a 1:50 second half, for a 3:30 finish. last year I had run a negative split - 1:50 first half and 1:45 second half for a 3:40. The first half felt too slow and so I thought I could do better this year running faster on the downhill first half.

At the half, we were at 1:44 and I was not feeling too good. It doesn't help that this was my 3rd marathon in 3 weeks and my 4th marathon in 5 weeks.

We held 8 min miles until 16. By 19 miles the wheels were really starting to fall off the bus. I was getting dehydrated and mixing running with walking. 3:30 was gone and so was 3;40. Last week I ran a 3:43 and the week before a 3:40. This was to be a 3:45. That's ok, not bad. To put it in perspective, I was 299th out of 2219 finishers or something like that.

The best part was the finish line. I had promised my sister that she could put the finisher's medallion around my neck. The volunteer passed me the medal, and Julie leaned over the fence and this is the result:

I had waited a long time for this moment, and it was well worth it. The volunteer did a pretty good job with the camera. Thank you TOU !

And thank you Julie for being there at my 60th marathon. If it wasn't for your bad knee, I would want you running one of these with me.

I love you big sister !

Also here at the TOU party was my high school friend, Dr. Mike Crossley who had flown in from Houston to run the race with his son Keith and his fiancee. they all broke 6 hours and the whole family plans to complete the course next year.

It was great to see Mike again. last year was his first marathon. well done Mike I am proud of you.

Now I have a two week rest until the St. George marathon. The biggest marathon in Utah at 4500+ finishers. I am not sure of strategy at this point. Maybe I will run with my neighbor Mike who wants to break 3:30 and go to Boston. maybe I will run the entire race with the 3:30 pace group. I won't make my mind up until 30 mins before the race starts on Saturday October 4th !

I am happy for Mike and his wife Carmen. They were planning on running last year but each was in a bad bicycle accident and had to recover and wait until 2008. Good luck Carmen on your first marathon and good luck Mike - I hope you can qualify for Boston.
I saw many friends who seem to run the same marathons each year - John Bozung - who runs one per month year after year and is a great inspiration to me - was there along with runners from Sojourners.

I met up this weekend with my great friend Laura who stayed in the same hotel and had shared the course with me this year at Boston, Ogden and Park City. Laura had run 5 marathons before this year and now was running 5 in a year. After St. George she will have 10 full marathons under her belt. Laura ended up with a 3:55. Way to go Laura, see you at St. George next week.

After the race we put back the calories with a hearty meal at Wendy's and then drove back home. What a great day !

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