I won the Mesa Falls marathon this morning in a time of 2:48:55. I was running this as a training run to finish up an 80 mile week so I ran it a bit easier than full out marathon pace. I also dedicated this race to my good buddy, Kory, in hopes that he recovers swiftly. The announcer at the finish line told the crowd about this and what happened to Kory and the gave a nice round of applause (it brought me to tears). Thank you, Lord, for the strength to push through the pain and struggle of a marathon once again!
Overall a good run, half on dirt/fireroads, half on roads. More challenging than the profile shows (plus at the 6200 foot altitude!). We had to run over several cattle guards in the first half and I had to slow down at most of the aid stations to grab a drink as they were staffed with only 1 or 2 volunteers (but they were out there in the middle of nowhere, thanks!). Started off with some PowerBar Gel Blasts to get the fueling started. I had to carry all my own PowerBar gels and used 3 of them during the run (they are great and really helped). I went out easy and just cruised through the halfway point then I picked it up on the downhill before the 3 mile uphill at mile 17 (a tough one!). Then I just rolled through the last 6 miles with the last 3 miles being slower than I wanted but it was a training run and no one was in sight so I eased it in to the finish. Happy with the effort and the win. Splits: 6:16, 6:25, 6:12, 6:14, 6:16, 6:20, 6:28, 6:35, 6:27, 6:32, 6:10, 6:21, 5:57, 5:50, 6:09, 6:11, 6:21, 6:49, 7:21, 7:05, 6:11, 6:24, 6:18, 6:35, 6:44, 6:34, 2:12 (I had 0.34M on GPS).
We had to get on the road before 4am to get to the school to get packets and take the buses to the finish for the 6:30am start...now I am ready for a nap!
Unfortunately my training partner Lynette who rode with me to the race had to DNF at 22 miles as she developed a stress fracture in her foot! Bummer as she was the lead woman at the time!
Taking a look back at my now 20 marathons in the past 5 years, I can say that God has blessed me in so many ways with my running: accomplishing goals and having a sense of focus/purpose, making great friends in the community and on the FRB, demonstrating fitness to friends and family and providing motivation to others, etc. Through His strength, I have been able to win 20% of the marathons I have run! Not too bad for an older runner with faith!