A really good race for me today and I want to thank God for my strength and focus today! Finished in 2:40:18 for first overall and I believe I broke the Masters' course record!
A really well supported smaller race with great swag (a tech shirt and a great gear bag). The race starts and ends at the same place (a local high school) with lots of parking and a warm place to wait until right before the start. I sucked down a PowerBar Gel, did a 2 mile or so warmup (about 14 minutes) then got to the starting line. A beautiful day for a race, high 30's to low 40's and lots of sunshine. A good breeze out of the northwest made from mile 8 to 19 a bit harder but easily manageable.
My strategy for this race was different than most of my others as I wanted to run even splits so I went out a bit easier and it paid off as I had gas left at the end of the race to maintain a decent pace (not slow a lot like other marathons). Fueling was good through the race using th PowerBar Gels so that added to the strategy. I ended up running the first half in 1:19:45ish at the official HM mark and the second half in 1:20:40ish so not too bad, I think I could have done a bit better in those last 5 miles if I knew I was being pushed more.
I went out at about 6:10-6:12 pace for the first 5-6 miles and ran with a HM guy (Sergio Flores from Logan!! He lives in Baltimore after playing professional soccer. Thanks for the company and taking the wind dude you were a big help!) which helped a lot. Up to 6.5M I was in second place then I hit the downhill 0.5M section hard and kept pushing back up the hill after the turnaround and dropped second place for good (ended up just under 4 minutes ahead at the end). Sergio was great taking the wind until the HM split and he took my sleeves for me so I could pick them back up from him at the finish (he ended up in 4th place!).
After that, it was really lonely and windy and it felt like uphill the whole way until the turnaround at 19M. At the turn around I saw that I was up on second place by about 0.75M and I was still pulling away based on how he was running, so I might have mentally relaxed and lost a few seconds per mile. On the way back I realized it wasn't quite uphill but good rollers. At mile 24 my left calf started twinging so I had to back off to about 6:12 pace to the finish but that is much better than I have ever done (except SGM!). I came through the finish and for the first time in my 3 wins broke the tape! I am very happy with the result, would have liked sub 2:40 but will take this time and the win (a old guy from Idaho wins a marathon in Maryland...go figure!).
Overall very happy with the result and I believe I ran dang close to even splits (I will check the GPS soon to verify). I even had a chance to shower after the race before the awards then stuck around to chat with the other runners (including the women's winner and Sergio and a 68 year old who ran a 3:24!). Nice plaque and $$$!!
Now off to enjoy the afternoon and the nice day (looking for souvenirs for my kids).
0.2 (0.35M on GPS)-2:10