OK......so I didn't quite PR today. This was my 2nd best marathon ever but I am a bit disappointed that I wasn't under 2:53 like I wanted. It was nice and cold at the start, about 39 degrees is what I saw on someone's thermometer. There were some light winds at times but nothing that really hurt us.
I jogged the 1.1 miles from my motel to the bus pick-up area and got there in plenty of time. We got to the start a full 1 hour and 15 minutes before starting time and the fires were quite helpful. I got to meet LOTS of bloggers today before and after the race. I met Nick Mc, Amber, Riverton Paul, Allie, Dustin, Bill from St. George, and Walter. I hope I did not forget anybody. It was fun meeting all those great runners.
So back to the race. I started kind of fast and had to back off as I was clipping a 5:50 thru the first 1/2 mile, which is too fast for me. I settled in to a 6:15-6:20 pace and was doing good thru mile 8. I made the turn North and passed several people in the next couple of miles but I was not happy with my splits. How could I be passing people and slowing down so bad. I had been trailing Bill Cobler since the start and finally passed him around 10 1/2 but it was not a great mile for me. Dustin passed me around 11 1/2 and he was looking good. I passed 3 more before the half but still was loosing ground on my goal.
I crossed the 1/2 in 1:25:45, just 45 seconds off my goal but I could tell that I was fading a bit. I did the uphill mile 15 in 7:07 but was able to get back in to the 6:35-6:40 range right after that. Right about mile 15 is when I began to notice the huge hot spot on my right foot as a nasty blister was developing. I must have had a wrinkle in my sock. The problem was I was STUCK in the 6:35-6:45 range. Even down the canyon I could not go much faster and that blister was feeling like it was going to explode. I passed the female first place runner at mile 21 and she was having some issues and ended up getting passed at the end. I was still teetering on the edge of a PR at mile 23 but I knew it would be tough on those narrow, winding trails especially with all the walkers blocking the entire path at times. I was getting tired and dodging all those people was not fun. And let's be honest....when I knew my PR was out of reach and I had nobody left to pass or pace with except half-marathon walkers, my motivation level wasn't at it's peak.
I ended up finishing in 17th place, I think. I will correct it once they actually post overall results. I did get a 2nd place age group award so that was kind of nice. The top 4 overall were Seth Wold, Nick McCombs, Fritz Van de Camp, and Walter Brown. The bloggers did great!!! My friend Barry Smith from Pocatello ran a 3:08, shattering his old PR of 3:30 so he had a great day as well.
Here are my splits
15. 7:07 (hill climb)
17. 6:47 (the mile I finally passed the dude in the clown suit and BLUE wig)
25. 7:06 (and the wheels fall off......)
P.S. Everyone with a GARMIN had the course long by about .2 of a mile. I had it at 26.39. I think when they measured it they used the tangents, and then don't let us run them in the canyon. I also think you add on extras on the trail dodging the walkers and such. Not an excuse. I did not earn a PR. Just an observation.