We stayed the night in Pocatello which made the early morning much nicer. I got on the bus at just after 5am and sat next to Justin Park on the way up and had fun getting to know him better. When we arrived at the start, is was a pretty nice morning with a good temperature and light wind. Looking forward to a solid race but I knew it was going to have some fast guys running including Justin, Mike Anderson and Jason Howe. Justin and I did a short warmup. Got to see lots of friends at the start including Marlin, Lynette, Richard, Bill, McKay, Mike, Takara, and a few more. I had an Access bar before the start and was ready to go!
Started off pretty conservative and let Justin take off. At about the 1 mile mark, Mike Anderson came up on me and said he was gunning for a 2:30 so I told him to go stay with Justin and off he went. They ended up in quite a duel with both men running strong! I was cruising down the hill staying easy at about 5:45ish pace through mile 6 when Jason caught up to me and started to push harder. I just tried to stay consistent and run easy to attempt to keep something in my legs for the rollers in the second half. I took a PowerBar Gel at mile 8 and felt good. I hit the 10 mile mark in just over 57 minutes and the half at 1:16 and change. I knew the tough part was to come.
Through the second half I tried to just stay easy and consistent effort wise and hold strong. The rollers in the second half are tough especially the hills in mile 17 and 21. I didn't push too hard and watched the gap between me and Jason grow just a bit as he continued to run strong. I was trying to be patient but my body would not respond and get back to my desired pace. Hips started to tighten slightly on the bigger hill at 17 miles but I was able to run through it with no lingering effects (besiding slowing down!). I took PowerBar Gels at mile 15 and mile 20 which helped but I was still fading and could not get back up to goal pace so I settled in around 6:20-6:30 and just ran to get a sub-2:40 (wish I would have pushed for a 2:37 looking back now).
The last 4 miles are just a grind and a mentally hard stretch that seems to last forever (not very scenic either). These miles are "downhill" but I really don't feel it plus there was a slight headwind this year through the city. I was hoping to see my son out on the course to run in with me but he didn't get there early enough as my daughter was sick back at the hotel room. I pushed with what I had left and was happy to get another sub 2:40 marathon this year (Age graded at 84.7% or equivalent to 2:27:34).
First time having two marathons under 2:40 since 2010...and neither one is SGM! Now to get some solid work in for St. George and go for a marathon PR!
After the race we stuck around a bit to say congrats to our friends and say hi to friends but had to leave before the awards to check on Katelyn. Now for a lazy day to catch up on sleep and let my legs recover.
Splits: 5:26, 5:36, 5:39, 5:45, 5:41, 5:42, 5:53, 5:56, 5:55, 5:42, 5:51, 5:37, 6:08, 5:51, 6:06, 6:17, 6:34 (hill), 6:16, 5:59, 6:18, 6:22 (hill), 6:41 (lingering hill), 6:28, 6:25, 6:29, 6:34, 1:51 (0.3M).