Monday, September 10, 2012

Sioux Falls Marathon

Sunday, September 9, 2012:

We added this marathon to our itinerary on a last-minute whim, one week ahead of the event.  The girls didn’t have a marathon or a half in South Dakota, and I was feeling fine and plenty happy to run a spare marathon as my “long run” for the upcoming marathon in Hampton, NH.  Now that it’s over, I’m very glad I ran it.  My totals now stand at 67 marathons in 47 states since the myeloma diagnosis.

My Race:

I finished under five hours for the first time since Missoula in July 2011, 13 races ago, and that occasion was the first since Kansas City in October 2010.  Time was 4:58:53, third of four in my age group.  One of those old guys finished under four hours, which is pretty fast.  But I finished eleven minutes faster than I did two weeks ago, despite the relatively short recovery time.  Two weeks ago I had to walk the last two miles because of cramps, and that probably accounts for at least half of the eleven minute difference.

Sioux Falls’ weather turned out to be quite nice, with a temperature of 45 for the start and 66 at my finish.  Runners were not blessed with much shade for the first half of the race, but  the sun compensated for the early low temperature and my Team Continuum t-shirt was enough.  Later, as the temperature rose, we ran on mostly-shaded city streets and bike trails.  It worked out fine.

Partial view of the Big Sioux River Falls

I took six Clif Shot mocha gels (50 mg caffeine each) along the way, at roughly four-mile intervals, and at least one Thermotab salt tablet at each of the other aid stations.  I ran about half of the time (hence more than half the distance), 30 seconds running and 30 walking, but walked more when going uphill and sometimes not at all going downhill.  I didn’t use my watch to pace those intervals, counting steps instead.  That becomes rather automatic, so the counting happens in the background of the mind, so to speak, leaving the foreground free to ponder the woes of the world and the vagaries of the race itself.


The hernia repair was totally quiet!  The right knee with PFS gave a few warnings early, but quieted down.  The left hip flexors started to hurt at about the midpoint of the race, but didn’t get worse.  Two weeks ago it was the right hip flexors, but they were fine this time.  Maybe they’ll all be fine in the next marathon.  The left calf gave a little warning at mile four, but settled down until mile 25, where it started to cramp, slowing me a little.

The Sioux Falls Marathon:

We loved it.  I’ve never seen so many volunteers at a marathon, more volunteers than spectators it seemed, and the volunteers did a good job of encouraging runners.  Vehicle traffic was never an issue.  Much of the race was on bicycle trails.

We ran past the airport, Main Street downtown, the actual Sioux Falls on the Big Sioux River (amazing and beautiful), old historic residences, the wooded bike trails along the Big Sioux, and finally into Sertoma Park - sertoma means service to humankind.  I recommend this marathon to anyone who can finish within the required 6 hour 15 minute time limit.

Sioux falls News Stories about yours truly:

Argus Leader: Print story by Harriman
KSFY ABC:   TV news broadcast

Splits: 11:04, 10:49, 11:27, 10:09, 15:05 (natural break), 10:53, 13:01, (natural break), 11:27, 11:14, 11:06, 11:10, 10:47, 11:43, 10:44, 11:32, 10:25, 11:09, 10:21, 11:53, 11:19, 11:39, 10:53, 11:27, 11:28, 11:29, 12:12, 2:28, total 4:58:53, pace 11:24.

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