Well it's over. The 10th anniversary of The Flying Pig Marathon. Some of you know that my main goal for this marathon was to Boston qualify. I didn't quite make it. But I'm ok with that. I did run my fastest marathon so far. Before I tell you my time, let me tell you about it. This is the biggest marathon I've run. And I know why I prefer the smaller ones. I'll get back to that also. Yesterday morning (Sat) I caught my flight to Columbus. Why Columbus? Because it was $200 cheaper than flying into Cincinnati. I got my car, it was raining lightly there, and drove to Cincy. On my way in I stopped at Trader Joes, can't wait till we get one here, and picked up a potato salad and a Turkey sandwich. I planned to eat in my room and watch basketball. I got to the hotel, checked in, and walked to the expo two blocks away. This was a great expo, everything moved fast, and there were plenty of exhibits. Got my bib, then went on to pick up my shirt. They had a surprise gift, a duffel bag, it's nice. I went back to my hotel and settled down for the evening. I went to bed at 9, Cincy is on EDT, and woke up at Midnight. I then ate the rest of my dinner, and went back to sleep. I got up around 4, and went to this little continental breakfast just to get some coffee and a bagel. I walked to the start. The weather was a bit chilly, but that was perfect. It was easy to get to my pace area, 3:30-4:15. The race started at 6:45, 15 minutes late. I don't know why, the P A system was terrible. You had to be right at the front to hear. Anyway, we start, it takes about 2 minutes to cross the timing mat, but we still weren't able to run yet. In front of me were much slower people and walkers. I guess they couldn't read the pace markings. One man was asking where the 3 hour pace started. He was an old man and I noticed he was wearing a 1/2 marathon bib. Oh well. This race is very hilly, we went over a bridge into Kentucky and it was quite a climb. I had planned to run 9/mi pace for the first 3 to 4 miles and then start pulling it down. My Garmin said I was doing just that. By the 10 mile mark I was holding 8:30 or better, but the one thing that was bothering me was my GPS was clicking long before their mile markers. I was understanding that my watch wasn't going to get me there on time. So I started trying to pull it down to 8:15's. I did that for a couple of miles, but with the hills, I decided to drop back to 8:30's and then see how I felt around mile 20. Around 20 I was starting to realize that I might not make it. Around mile 23 it was all I could do to keep running. I made myself a promise that if I could run to 25, I could walk a little. I got to 25 and it was a slight downhill so I said no way I'm walking now. I also knew even though I wasn't going to get the 3:45 I needed, that I could still set a personal best. I finished in 3:52:32 and even though I didn't quite make it to my BQ time, my Garmin says that I ran 27.1 miles and had an 8:35 pace which is exactly what I needed. The only thing I can think that would account for that big a difference is all the zig zagging I had to do to get around the slower people. Also I was never alone in this race, which is why I said it reminded why I prefer the smaller races. From start to finish I was always surrounded by people. And there were way too many IPODs even though the race prohibited them. One guy that I kept going back and forth with, every time he'd pass me, he would then get right in front of me and slow down. I wanted to say something to him, but I didn't. This race is very well attended, and they run you through the downtown area several times. The crowds there make you feel like you're running in the Olympics. A great race, if you like crowds you'll like this race.
OK Male 54 Chip 3:52:32 Gun 3:54:20 Overall 1048/4725 Sex 839/2719 Age 68/297