Wednesday, December 2, 2009

route 66 marathon

prior to heading to tulsa for the "route 66 marathon", i decided that i didn't want to race the event. i was pleased with my time in des moines, and i felt like it was my peak performance for the fall marathoning season. knowing that my great friend scott griffith was on a mission to run a sub-4 hour marathon, i inquired if he would be interested in letting me run with him and assisting him in any manner he deemed helpful. scott agreed to us running together, and thus i had my mission coming into the event. the week prior to the marathon, we went out on a rehearsal run to try out some different run-walk-run strategies. i was wanting to encourage scott in the direction of a strategy similar to the one i employed at "the flying pig" (which involved running 90 to 95% of each mile and walking the remainder), whereas scott was accustomed to doing a 4 minute run:1 minute walk pattern during his regular runs, thus he was wanting to stick with what he had practiced. during our rehearsal we landed on a plan of letting scott pace the first 13.1 miles using his 4 to 1 pattern, and then letting me pace the last 13.1 using a 90% - 10% pattern.

scott and i got to the marathon expo with plenty of time to check out the various vendor booths and grab a good portion of free samples.

we spent saturday evening at scott's sister's house. she prepared us an awesome meal and provided us with very comfortable accommodations. saturday evening we watched my copy of "running the sahara" and it seemed to be a perfect movie to prep our minds for the 26.2 mile adventure.

when race day arrived i had embraced my role as marathon mule :) i was intending to carry all of scott's fuel throughout the event so he could stay light and focus purely on reaching his goal of covering the 26.2 mile distance in under 4 hours.

we intended to take the first mile out in 8 minutes and then do our first 1 minute walk interval. we executed that perfectly. for the next few miles i let scott do his thing, but i was concerned that he was pushing the pace a little on the hot side. i spent a lot of time a step or two behind scott during the first 6 to 7 miles.

this was my first marathon running with another runner, and i found that it really enhanced the marathoning experience. we really had a lot of fun during those first few miles. about 10 miles in i noticed that scott's pace was sliding and that it might be a good time to raise the possibility of switching to my strategy sooner than 13.1. scott agreed to us going with my strategy at mile 11.

as we continued through the next few miles i was enjoying the job of pacer. i believe it was about mile 16 that i started to notice that scott was falling a step or two behind me during our run segments. by the time we got the the 20 mile marker, it was apparent that scott was not going to be interested in dropping the walk segments, and that his pace was sliding. the last 10k was very challenging. scott was wanting to walk longer and more often than the time we had allotted and the running pace was sliding down about a minute per mile slower than was intended. the extra time we had in the bank from the first few miles was disappearing fast. i did all i knew to do to encourage scott. my thought at this point was that a shuffle was faster than scott's walking pace, so i tried to encourage scott to keep the shuffle going. just prior to the last mile, i told scott that only one more walk segment would be possible. we picked out some landmarks to mark off the last walk section. we walked it, and then attempted to keep it rolling into the finish. with 385 yards to go, scott only had 2 minutes left on the clock. i pushed ahead and kept yelling "shift gears" and "you have to find another gear". somehow, HE DID IT!!! check this, his official chip time was: 3:59.59.

skinny bear and flying duck coming into the finish!

scott in front of his sister's house.

a big lunch at "indigo joe's" after the race.

i completed my seventh thon and my seventh state! a very awesome weekend!

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