November 06, 2019 - Find a friend, run with them.
I went into this with modest expectations. Three weeks post Ironman and just unsure of how this race plays out.
I set a goal of helping my close friend run a Boston qualifiing time, he's a little older than I so I have an advantage right out of the gate. His qualifiing time is a 3:35:00 so we decided to shoot for 3:30:00 to give us a cushion.
We both had Wave three starts although mine was corral "A" while his was corral "D". This means that we started in "D".
We'd heard that the first mile was uphill and slow and there's nothing you can do about it, well that was true but we did some weaving and did a little better than we expected. next mile downhill, almost made up the difference.
Now it was time to get settled and tick off some miles. We did that, although were finding it hard to hold a pace with so many people on the course.
5K splits were very close to where we wanted them, say within 5 or 10 seconds. Not complaining but still weaving like its our job.
At the half we were exacty one minute down from our goal time at 1:46:00, we had heard that you needed to negative split this one in order to hit your intended times. Ok, I thought, we still got this, lets just weave even more and pick up a little bit of time.
Things continued well for a good while longer, some hills, some flats, some awesome crowd support and then the Queensboro.
This was like a cruel joke, pretty steep uphill caused HALF the field to resort to walking. We're still weaving everywhere and it just got ten times harder! Its a mile up to the crest of the bridge and another down, just when we needed to start making time instead we were killing time.
Well, that was just the begining of things going south for us. We ran pretty well for a couple more miles and past the 21 mile mark. I looked at my watch and it said 2:50:00, so 5.2 miles to go and 40 minutes to do it in, a little under 8:00 minute pace. I verbalized this to my buddy and didn't get the responce I was expecting. The extra effort all day had been slowly killing him, he was now toasted and unable to take in any more nutrition or even water. I talked to him for a bit to get a feel for just how bad off he was and to make sure that we were throwing in the towel for just cause. We walked a little bit as he tried to get me to leave him but I insisted that we started together and were finishing together. This went on for 5-10 more minutes and we were at mile 23 or close to it. Finally after hearing him beg me to leave him and go on to a good finish I gave in and took off running.
Well, with 3 miles to go and having had a nice little break I started crushing those last 3 miles 7:40, 7:30, 7:20 or there about. I was having a blast, like the rest of the day, weaving like a mother! Just loving it!
Finished with lots of others, 3:38:21, not what I was setting out for but totally happy with it under those conditions. It really was one of my most memorable marathons. As I was promised the crowds were amazing and the weather was even perfect!
Cheers to that!
Speed beforehand and Speed in a handflask got me almost halway thru, then I just used the Stinger gels they provided and a couple of mine plus some salt. about two cups of water per aid station. no problems.
Cheers to that as well!