Sunday, October 07, 2007

Towpath 1/2 Marathon..another PR!!!

With Akron just a week earlier, I wasn’t sure how today was going to pan out. I knew I could have ran the Buckeye half faster, but wasn't sure if I had recovered yet. I also know I needed about a 1:37 or 1:38 for me to able to hit a sub 3:30 at OBX. The weather was going to be a bit warmer than expected. It wasn’t going to be perfect like the weather we had in Akron.

This year, they were trying something new. The marathon and half marathon was starting simultaneously in two different locations. We headed down to the start area and were shocked to see how many people were there just for the half. And it seemed that all those people were in line for the port-o-johns. The line was a mile long. I noticed tons of people running into the woods. I jumped in there and there were tons of girls swatting. Never seen that before.

Meanwhile, back at the start line, I ran in Aaron, Sean, Vince, and Mailman Mike. Mike is a mailman. That is why we call him Mailman Mike. Him and Vince were soaking wet. I come to find out later they ran from the finish area at Boston Store to there. About 3 miles or so to there. We all talked for a bit and then headed to the start line.

The race started and off we went from Brandywine Ski Resort and down the hill towards the road. I tried to get out fast to beat the crowd. It was about then I forgot to start my watch. I hit mile 1 at about a 7:10 pace. Set my watch and cruised on.

We hit the area the marathoners started at about mile 2. There were bottles and shirts laying everywhere. The course took us to the Boston Store which was about mile 3. Still doing low 7s and feeling good, however, it was starting to get warm already. At the Boston store I guess I ran past my sister. I did see or hear her. Then I passed Kim who ran Akron with me last week. We turned on to the Towpath and headed towards Red Lock.

At Red Lock they gels and Gatorade waiting. There was also a park ranger informing us that the course is really up hill. Thanks. I needed that. It was about then we all settled in our pace. A few miles down the towpath I passed Vince on his way back. He was in second place and about 2 minutes behind the leader. I pushed on to Station Bridge which had a bunch of spectators again. It was nice to see them. Not a lot of fans along this course and I was far enough towards the front there wasn’t anyone really around.

I hit the turn around and began to head back. I maintained my pace about mid 7s now and waited. At mile 11 we hit Red Lock again. Grabbed a gel and move on through. By now I was feeling really good again and pushed it in. I could see some folks up ahead and decided to try and catch them. I was happy that I managed to keep the cramps away so I was really able to push mile 11 and 12. I managed to catch about 4 or 5 people.

I hit Boston Store at the finish area. Waved to my sister who yelled great pace! Crossed the line at 1:38:09 (7:30 average pace) which was another PR just a week after Akron. 4th place in my age group out of 47, 43rd overall out of 697. By far the best race of the year.

It was great that day to have my Brother-in-law Jeff back in action from his deployment in the middle east. We are all glad he is back safe and sound. Although it was a rough day for the marathoners heat wise. I was pretty happy to cheer them on from the Beer Garden getting a massage!

Next up…OBX Marathon!!!!