Sunday, November 21, 2004

Philadelphia Marathon Race Report




















Philadelphia Marathon, 8:00am

Temperature: 49F-52F
Humidity: 93%-86%

10M 01:18:44 [10 @ 7:52]
HALF 01:42:54 [13.1 @ 7:51, 3.1 @ 7:46]
14M 01:50:00 [14 @ 7:51, 0.9 @ 7:53]
20M 02:36:56 [20 @ 7:51, 6 @ 7:49]
Chip Time 03:25:31 [26.2 @ 7:50, 6.2 @ 7:49]
Clock 03:26:13

Overall 930/6281
Gender 816/4099
Division 120/500
Bib number 5412

Shorts Black Nike Dri-fit
Top White Nike Dri-fit
Shoes ASICS 2090 White
Socks THOR•LON Running Level 3

I went into Philly with realistic expectations - I would be lucky if I got to finish. I had no idea what the impact of MCM would be in the final miles. However, irrespective of what time I finished in, I would be happy if the end was a little less painful than MCM.

mile 1: 8:02
mile 2: 7:42
Around this point it became obvious that I had not yet completely gotten back my leg strength after MCM. I had to avoid doing anything stupid else a DNF was almost certain.

mile 3: 7:46
mile 4: 7:46
mile 5: 7:45
mile 6: 7:43
mile 7: 7:41
For some point around here the guy with the US flag was near me. That was nice since it really got the crowds cheering - "USA USA USA!". I am amazed how the guy managed to carry a flag throughout the race... He was from the Navy and indicated that he was helping out his Marine buddies by carrying the flag.

mile 8: 7:46
An Aussie guy commented to me that the flag bearer must be Republican? I did not follow his logic but I decided that I was more interested in figuring out how I am going to finish this race.

mile 9: 7:38
mile 10: 8:03
This was the big climb on the course.

mile 11: 7:47
mile 12: 7:45
mile 13: 7:44
split 13.1 1:42:54 (MCM: 01:38:53)
mile 14: 7:57
The other climb? Here we went by the finish point. Atleast the winner had not got there yet :)

mile 15: 7:43
The last 12 miles were a out and back along the Schuylkill River and very scenic. Relieved that I did not see any anti-abortion protestors. It would have spoilt what was a prefect day for running.

mile 16: 7:53
Saw the race leader pass by. He seemed to have a decent lead over the next guy. This was also the point that I decided that having gotten so far I would finish this thing even I needed to crawl. Before the half-way point I would have been more willing to drop out. This after all was more like a bonus race.

mile 17: 7:52
mile 18: 7:46
This is the point I had started dying out at MCM. Would the same thing happen today?

mile 19: 7:47
Around here we suddenly saw a couple of runners breezing by us. At mile 19? Were they superhuman? Then we figured that they were relay runners with green or yellow bibs. Phew...

mile 20: 7:51
split 20 2:36:56 (MCM: 02:32:59)
At MCM around this time it was already 77F which was not fun. Also, in general the scenery for the last 10k at MCM seemed very drab unlike at Philly. Mile 20 ended in Manayunk and we turned around and headed back towards the finish.

mile 21: 7:41
The short climb up the overpass. Forumites had warned about this being an irritation. It did not seem to bother me much today.

mile 22: 7:53
mile 23: 7:51
mile 24: 7:59
Today I was heading for a much stronger finish than MCM. I had started passing quite a few fading and walking runners. It's amazing that even through some of them were clearly
struggling as I passed them, they had words of encouragement for me - "Good job","Keep it going" etc. This exemplifies the running community...

mile 25: 8:06
mile 26: 7:59
mile 26.2: 1:45

Cardio-wise I had quite a bit left (I had no problem driving 350 odd miles home after the race) but my legs did not have the strength to pick up the pace at any point of the race. My final time was just 2:17 faster than MCM. However, this was closer to the way I would like to remember having completed a marathon in. When I am slogging it out in the New England winter training for the Flying Pig, I will not have to think solely of the final miles of MCM. I will also be able to think of a stronger finish at Philly - 37 seconds negative split, not having to walk, passing other fading runners towards the end!

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