Friday, October 15, 2010

Steamtown Marathon 3h:42m:05s

Scott and I's "Steamtown Marathon" adventure started very early in the morning on Friday 10.08.2010.

Our first day of travel had us heading out of Missouri, driving through Illinois and Indiana, and stopping for the night in Youngstown, Ohio. We got a good nights sleep in Youngstown and then enjoyed an very beautiful ride through Pennsylvania on the morning of Saturday 10.09.2010.

Scott was ready to get his Pennsylvania marathon completion.

The traditional border crossing photo.

The scenery through Pennsylvania was amazing!!!

We made it to the event expo @ Scranton High School with plenty of time to not feel rushed.

I appreciated this banner :)

I attended the pre-race meeting at the expo and found it very informative. The speakers diligently attempted to encourage the runners to not go out too fast and to use the elevation drop to "bank energy".

Scott and I decided to drive the course. We got some pictures at the location of the start in Forest City, PA.

The course was very cool.

On the bus heading to Forest City, PA.

When we got to Forest City, we were greeted with awesome encouragement from the Forest City High School cheerleaders. The gym was perfect for relaxing and getting ready to run. I even opted to take a five minute nap :)

The Race

I moved up close to the front for the start. We got rolling via a blast from a canon - that was very impressive. For the first few miles I opted to go very conservative and attempted to "bank energy". I found myself using the mantra: let the course do the work. With the dropping elevation I thought I would be hitting 7:20s and finding it difficult to not go faster than that, but such was not the case. I was hitting just under 7:30s. During miles that included fueling I was hitting around 7:35s. I did not anticipate negative splitting, but I was thinking that if I was conservative enough I might be able to even split and get into the finish close to 3h:20m.

As I approached the half-marathon marker, I started to get signals from my body communicating that it would appreciate a full on sit down bathroom stop. I was pretty discouraged about these signals. I had not banked any time for such matters. I didn't want to stop, but I also did not want to have an accident (which I have experienced in training). I started to keep my eyes open for a biffy [Minnesotian for toilet], and I also started hoping that these signals would go away and I would not be required to stop.

I hit the half-marathon in: 1h:38m:22s (averaging 7:30).

During the rail-to-trail section of the course I was very much tempted to step off into the woods and respond to my body's signals. I didn't find an apt opportunity.

At 18 miles I crossed over a timing mat, and just to the left I noticed a vacant biffy. According to my Garmin I spent 2 minutes and 50 seconds in that biffy. I came out of there running pretty quick. Over the next two miles I realized I was now behind schedule for boston qualifying, and I was not feeling it with regards to picking up the pace and making it happen.

I found myself in a similar position as I was during the Fargo Marathon. Like Fargo, I opted to employ a run-walk-run mix and just try to enjoy the remaining journey to the finish line. During these last miles I encountered some pretty significant climbs, and I walked them.

Scott had a very enjoyable marathon experience and clocked his 2nd most efficient time.

Downtown Scranton.

Some Office related content, we had difficulty finding much.

Some stats
Total marathons: 10
Total ultra-marathons: 3
Total thon event completions: 13
Long runs covering 26.2 miles or more: 22
Thoning States: 11

Thoughts on the event: the "Steamtown Marathon" is an excellent event. The course is beautiful. I am not convinced that it is as ideal for running a personal best as some proclaim it to be. Even with allowing myself to be conservative and allowing the downhill sections to assist me in banking energy, those climbs at the end are time drainers.

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