Sunday, October 17, 2010

Akron Marathon, September 25, 2010

Akron Marathon, September 25, 2010

Just like last year, I ran the Akron marathon (my 3rd Akron marathon in a row) as practice for the Athens (Greece) Marathon, which is in 5 weeks. The weather was cool (65F) and dry. Liz ran the half (her first Akron race). We saw this as a little adventure. We arrived a bit early and had our pictures taken inside the Stadium with the Finish in the back. It was dark at 6:30am:

My time goal was 3:40. I decided to follow the 3:40 pace group. The pacer was my friend Jamie. Here is a picture while waiting for the race to start:

The race started exactly at 7am. The first 11 miles are in city streets and I followed the pace group. My mile splits (from the Garmin): 8:53, 8:17, 8:18, 8:15, 8:13, 8:07, 8:25, 8:23, 8:05, 8:22, 8:04. Here we are crossing the Start Line at around mile 10:

The next 4 miles are in the Towpath (crushed limestone surface): 8:10, 8:14, 8:15, 8:15.

We exited the Towpath at mile 15. The next 3 miles are the hardest part of the course, running in park with lots of uphills, but I felt strong and started passing people: 8:21, 8:10, 8:14.

After exiting the park at mile 18, I am usually tired and reach a low in miles 20-22. This time however I felt strong and my pace actually increased and lost touch with the pace group. Miles 19-22: 8:06, 8:10, 8:12, 8:10.

The last 4 miles were surprisingly fast (going downhill on South Market definitely helps!) 8:03, 7:56, 7:16, 7:26, and the last .2 (.35 according to the Garmin): 6:49! Talking about negative splits! It really feels great to finish strong in a marathon when people around you are struggling :)

My final time: 3:35. This was my second marathon this year. In Cleveland in Spring I did 3:19 (big time PR)). My goal for Athens, a very hard course, is 3:25. I am pleased with the strong run in Akron and I think I am mostly ready for Athens.

Liz, ran the half. She said she did not care, running for practice and fun, but she ended up with a PR! (I think running relaxed helps her). Her time: 2:04. She will be running the 10K in Athens.

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