Today was the Salt Lake City Marathon, which also included half-marathon and 5K events. As you can see from the above photo, I did pretty well, finishing just a few steps behind the 1st place finisher of the marathon. He came up so fast I didn’t notice him, otherwise I could have sprinted and perhaps beat him. Of course I was running the half-marathon and he was running the full.
My total time was 2:10:50, or 9:59 per mile. Yeah, I was working hard to make sure I got under 10-minute miles. Considering the last time I ran a half-marathon, as part of a half-Ironman a full year ago, my miles were about 13 minutes apiece, I think this was a distinct improvement. And yes, that means the 1st place guy I finished just behind was running 5 minute miles for 26.2 miles and finished in just over 2 hours. My wife also ran the half and we ran together the entire way. That wasn’t planned, because we thought we had different paces (we never train together), but it worked out that way.
My legs and back were just fine. My left foot was fine at first, but started hurting a bit after a few miles. I tried running on the left side of the road, so that the curve of the road would ease the pressure off the outside of my foot, and that did seem to help. The pain never got too bad, although it did worry me for a bit. I think I just never let the injury fully heal, which is why I’m still feeling it a bit. Around mile 10 or 11 the pain completely disappeared and I felt great all the way to the end.
The other interesting thing is that around mile 12 I started running a little faster and the faster I ran the easier it seemed to get. Maybe I should have been running the entire thing faster…
There was some controversy regarding the Salt Lake Marathon. Apparently last year some vendors didn’t get paid by the organizer, and some prize winners have still not been paid, or something like that. Overall the event did seem to be fairly well organized, except for some traffic control at the beginning and picking up gear bags at the end. At the first turn of the event people were running across a street in between cars. Yes, in between cars. Individual cars were surrounded by runners and couldn’t move without hitting someone. I’m guessing they were stuck there for 15-20 minutes. A couple of cones could have solved the problem. There were some cops there but they didn’t seem to be doing anything. And then the gear bags, ugh. C’mon people, it’s not that hard to come up with an efficient system. That part seemed to be completely disorganized. I was also a bit surprised that they were so stingy with the Creamies popsicles. Hey, I paid $80 for this race and you don’t want to give me two popsicles? Are things really that desperate? There should be enough popsicles that everybody could have a box, let alone two or three of them. Sorry, but I’m kind of partial to Creamies. They’re really good. Other than the short supply of popsicles and the gear bag organization I don’t have any complaints. Oh wait, one more. How about providing gels, energy bars, and fruit at aid stations in addition to water and Gatorade? I have to admit the aid stations at my half-Ironman had a much better selection, or that is, a selection.
The shirts are just fine. Nylon (why did my half-Ironman hand out cotton t-shirts?), and the size was right for me, and the design is ok (the design on my half-Ironman tee is pretty lame). The medallions were just fine. I don’t really care about those too much. So all in all I’d say I’m pretty happy with everything. Oh, and the weather was perfect. You couldn’t ask for better weather. Cool, but not cold, and good cloud cover to keep you from getting sunburned.