Celebrating marathon number 150! Second year of this event and my second time here. Brought Jody this year to run the half. Since the full and half start at the same time, we can run the half together, then I can go out for another out and back. Small event less than 15 minutes from home, means we almost get to sleep in.
Cold but dry! Trails are in good shape despite a lot of rain recently. Foggy and no wind. Great running conditions as long as I start off with plenty of layers.
Start - We get our numbers and it is not long before we need to line up. Decent turn out of regular marathoners. Fun for me to have them see these trails that I run on so often. Jody and I start near the back and take our time easing into running.
Mile 0.6 - Have to wait here in a short line as people are picking their way around the one spot with water. There is a log to step on and branches to hold on to and I barely keep my feet dry. Back to running.
Across the flats to Grand Junction, wide trail for passing, under Center Drive, down the long gradual Sequalitchew Creek Trail and out to the beach. Awful loose gravel on the beach, it is slow going and energy zapping. Then back and up the steep switch backs. Jody slowing. But back to an easy pace on the flats and out to the aid station.
Mile 5.3 - Aid Station is well stocked and a nice landmark. Now the upland trail that just keeps going. Jody slowing and walking on the uphills. I try to reel in my pace and stay with her. When we hit flat areas it is not hard to do so. Around and around and back to the aid station.
Along the bluff, down the switchbacks, course thankfully skips the beach on the way back, and up the long hill. Jody and I meet a woman and we talk our way up the long climb. The talk really helps us all pass the miles. Now flat, then back over the pool.
Mile 12 - Past the start area and we have to loop around a bit before coming back. Tough when you can see the finish. Now I am watching the clock hoping that we can beat 3 hours. I realize that I always set a new time goal late in the race and push myself to make it, but not everyone does that. Jody can not quite understand why I want her to move faster. Now the last bit on the narrow trail, that last year was hip deep water. Dry this year if you stay on the edge and I keep looking at my watch and hoping we will beat 3. Out onto the field and yes we will do it.
Mile 13.1 - (13.3 on the GPS) 2:58 on the clock. Leave Jody with the car key and off I go for round 2. Goal is to run a negative split. I really should be able to do this in less than 2:58. Should be fun to pass some people too.
Mile 14 - Pass Monte. Deb and Rick sighting coming towards us. Good steady running on the flats and down the hill. Run all the way to the beach where I take it easy and eat something. Fast walk up the steep hill and then I can run a steady pace for a long way. Pass Jill and Sabrina and Matt G. No wall, I just keep plugging away and feeling good.
Mile 25 - Been wondering about beating 5:30, or running a sub 2:30 second half but I am not quite there. When I realize that it will not happen, and when I remember that I have the Mountain Marathon next Saturday I stop pushing it but cruise into the finish at a decent effort. Jody is there and I have to be happy with a 2:58/2:36 split.
26.66 miles on the GPS. Well done event that I will come back to.
28th of 39
Marathon or Ultra #150