Sunday, November 29, 2015

Seattle Marathon 2015 pacer report

This year I was slated to pace the 3:15 marathon (last year I had paced 3:25)... Each marathon time has four pacers (pairs running each half). I was running the second half and was to start running at the 14 mile point. This kind of made sense since the 14 mile point was right at the exit of Steward park and the second half is hillier.

While chilly (start of 34F, finish 39F), it was warmer than last year.

After the group picture at the armory I headed down to Steward park to wait for the first half pacers. The plan was for a 2 minute buffer. They handed off to us with a minute to spare on the Taz pace band.

The course along Lake Washington to mile 19 is pretty flat so I intended to run even splits there and use the buffer for the Interlake hills... The day before I sat in the expo and watched the course video recording. That rekindled my memories of the points of the course corresponding to specific markers. Of course we have run through these several times in training runs.

mile 15: 7:24
I started running with the pace sign while Cyrus took his watch from Francis. There was a decent sized pack following us. The first request from the pack was to not take off with our "fresh" legs...

mile 16: 7:28 (+.01)
As we ran by Lake Washington I monitored my watch several times to ensure that we were maintaining an even pace. I occasionally noticed and cheered for our other pace groups on the out and back section...

mile 17: 7:25
mile 18: 7:25 (+.01)
I finally felt warmed up. I did not want to overdress so I didn't have gloves. For first mile my fingers did feel cold. It was cloudy and there was a little bit of a headwind (but not like the strong winds the previous year).

mile 19: 7:30
A slight climb with McGilvra Blvd... Prepping the group for the major climbs up ahead.

mile 20: 7:54 (+.03)
The steep 77ft climb of E.Galer. We encouraged the group and assured them that these hills were what we had the time buffer for. Someone wanted to know how many more hills there were to go... Well one, actually one and a half :)

mile 21: 7:54
The longer 120ft climb of Interlaken Blvd. Such a beautiful part of the course. It's easy to appreciate the beauty when you aren't running the whole course :p It was amazing that we still had a sizable pack of about 6+ at this point.

mile 22: 7:19 (-0.03)
A long downhill and a short mile marker which made up for a previous long marker... Saw Joe on course doing his medical bike patrol.

mile 23: 7:33
Five of the runners in our pace pack took off ahead. They looked incredibly strong and would finish ahead of the group. That's always gratifying for pacers to see folks in their pace group do well! Saw Neil (ex-Chuckit) cheering on course.

mile 24: 7:25
We had a single runner keep up behind us. The rest were using us as markers as we passed them.

mile 25: 7:21
Onto Eastlake Blvd and heading into the city past REI. I got Cyrus to read off the times on his watch multiple times so that we knew exactly what we needed to hit!

mile 26: 7:15
The SGLRG cheering squad was there around 25.5... This was going to be a little tight in that if the course was long we would have been over. Thankfully, the markers were spot on and we crossed just in time!! The sun finally was out too...

mile .22: 1:29

Overall pace group time: 3:14:55


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