I ran right where I wanted to and finished in 2:50:48, good enough for 1st place by about 4 minutes. Ran really controlled through the first half in about 1:24ish, reserving some energy for the hills on the second half. Miles 16-21 are all uphill, especially 16-19 (long, tough grind...steeper than I remember). If the course was a bit easier, I think I would have beat my Boston time and ran in the 2:46-2:48 range.
A young BYU-I kid was running with me through 21 miles (kind of nice having the company and the competition to keep me on pace). At 21 miles, he couldn't hold it any longer and jumped into the porta-john. So, as soon as I heard the door close, I put down the hammer and pushed pretty hard. From about 22 miles on, it is a fast downhill back into the city and then flat through town. I ran the final 4 miles averaging about 6:20 so the kid was going to have to move to catch me. As I said about, ended up about 4 minutes ahead (so I am sure I would have dropped him over the finish, he was breathing awfully hard at 21 miles) and about 3 minutes ahead of the first place relay team (we dropped them at about 9 miles).
I felt great afterwards (not pain or fatigue at all today!). So, I think I am beginning to figure this marathon thing out a little bit.
Feels pretty good to win a race (I won the Teton Dam half marathon last year)! In fact, my splits at 5K, 10K and the half marathon would have won each of those races as well! Chalk it up as the good, the bad and the ugly of small races.