tied Marshall for 5th overall
Last Sunday, I capped off 2016 with my final race. I completed my 6th marathon and got my first ever marathon win! For November, we really couldn't have asked for a more perfect day. I've been participating in a Bass Pro race since 2011, but have yet to run the marathon until this year.
I always liked running local events. It's nice to sleep in your own bed, be able to cook myself a nice dinner, and have home course advantage. My parents and Marshall's parents were able to come watch us run, and it being an open course, we saw them several times. This really helped because for some reason, this race doesn't have very good crowd support. Yes, the aid stations were awesome (especially the one near mile 24), but considering probably over half this race is through residential neighborhoods, it was rather lonely. Many times when Marshall and I run in Springfield it becomes somewhat of a tempo effort because it ends up being just the two of us working together. Those that know me best, know I thrive off competition. Nearly all my PR's have come in races that I don't win.
However, this race was some-what out of the norm. Thankfully we did have company through mile 19, but rather than working with us, this runner was more content to just let us pull him through the miles (so still felt like a tempo). Either way, it was nice to have a small group of three for most of the race. By the time we split up, we had already run into some half marathoners anyways. Usually with a race this long and grueling you build some comradery and everyone works together.
|Excited to see all 4 parents|
Unfortunately, it was my own fatigue that let our little pack break up at mile 19. I had fought some ups/downs through the downtown area with just enough of a head wind to make me tired. It wasn't so much that he sped up that much, but that I had dropped off a couple seconds per mile. Marshall (having run a 2:36 earlier this year and several sub 2:40 marathons. . . click HERE for his blog) could have easily left me and probably taken 4th place overall, stayed and helped me keep the pace honest the last 10k. The race had gone off without a hitch up to this point. We came through half way at 1:22:xx (low) and had every intention of a negative split. Didn't quite happen, but we had nearly even split (1:22 high for second half).
Once we made it to the top of Jefferson, I could start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We had about a 5k to go were already running into half marathoners that hadn't finished yet. Thankfully we had Dale as a lead bicyclist to clear the way for us. We managed to finish just under 2:45, so we were happy for that. Our goal was to be somewhere between 2:43-2:45 and we were right there in the mix.
|First ever marathon win :)|