Sep 15, 2008

2008 Erie Marathon

This one's hard to summarize... My final time of 3:33:24 is my slowest marathon since May 2003. I knew I wasn't in good marathon shape and anything even close to a 3-hour marathon would be asking an awful lot of my body. However, given my 3:02 at Cleveland in May and how I felt during my long runs over the last 6 weeks, I felt 3:10-3:15 to be realistic.

Race morning... Yikes! 80 degrees, humid from the rain that passed through the day before, and a little on the windy side. I thought to myself how I've never been warm prior to starting a marathon. That's just the kind of day it was, a day of firsts. I was shirtless by mile 8 (a first) with my race bib pinned to my red split-leg shorts (another first). I had to stop for at least a minute to make this happen (not at all concerned about time). About a mile later I shoved some ice down my shorts (not only a first, but also a last!). I can't figure how I was on pace to run a 3:10 through the half because the contingency strategy was in effect since mile 7 (i.e. finish in one piece). I know more than the average bear about how hard the body must work to stay cool on a hot day and I wasn't about to make it work any harder.

It was a fun race nonetheless. Highlights include (in no particular order): running a mile with the winner of the '85 and '95 Erie Marathon, helping and being helped by others over the last 6-8 miles, very nice volunteers, not stopping to walk despite cramping quads, running faster miles 22-26 than miles 18-22, crossing the finish line, and last but not least, shaking the hand and talking with a 90-year old who ran the 1/2 in 3:04, a world record (see picture below).

I was sad Teresa had to work. She knows more than anyone what running means to me and understood my desire to squeeze this one in despite her not being there with me. She also understood how much it meant for the twins to be there with me despite the forecast of rain. I believe they were both awake at the finish line this time!

The sleeves were definitely not needed... could have ditched the shirt as well

Age group world record, Henry Sypniewski, 90 years young

Finish line in site

Happy to be done.. and proud to be an American : )

Me and my homies


Curly Su said...

congrats, brian - a marathon is an accomplishment no matter what you think about the time... and hell - you're raising kids too... you'll have plenty of time for sub-3 as they get older and don't need you every second...

Papa Louie said...

Brian, Congratulations on your marathon finish. You finished strong dispite the weather conditions. Enjoy your rest and recovery time and you'll be back at building more marathon strength.

ramblings of a runnner said...

not too shabby considering the circumstances. nice job. now you have a new goal to shoot for -- beat that age group record when you are that age!!

A. M. Mericsko said...

Nice job! You are a champ for doing the full marathon. Unlike whimpy me that opted to switch to the half the day before. Thanks again for helping me out when I was frantically calling you for directions. You rock. Make sure you sport those fancy Erie Marathon socks with pride!