Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mankato Marathon

We three live less than two hours from Mankato, so this one was easier than most.  We drove to Mankato, attended the expo, drove the course, stayed overnight, ran the marathon, and drove home.  This was my marathon number 75, going for 100 or more, having already finished one in each of the 50 states.  It was my 21st marathon in Minnesota.  I finished it in 5:17:39, good for first place in my age group.  I was the only runner in the age group, however, and in fact at age 72, I was the oldest runner in the marathon.

My Marathon:

Fall color and corn
The morning was cold, 34 degrees to start, with an over-brisk wind in our faces and a little spritz of rain now and then.  I wore a running jacket, then my short-sleeved Team Continuum shirt, and a long-sleeved technical shirt under that.  I wore my running pants from the Annapolis Trail Marathon (a very nice premium), a visor, an ear-cover band, and gloves.  I was never cold, and in fact removed the short-sleeved shirt after six miles, and the jacket after about 21 when the sun appeared for a few miles.  I wore a light belt to carry the short-sleeved shirt, rather than toss it.

I never felt any serious pain.  Hip flexors on both sides hurt a little, starting about halfway along, but they didn't slow me down.  The second half of the race took me only four minutes longer than the first half, which sounds like my pace was steady, but actually I had a rather long nature break in the first half, so I did slow down some in the second.  I tried to run/walk 20/20 (triplets), which is actually 60 paces running and 60 walking.  I couldn't do that uphill toward the end, and chose not to try it downhill in some places where it was too steep for ancient knees and other parts - I do have another marathon in two weeks.  I took six gels along the way, five with caffeine, and must have taken about eight salt tablets, with lots of water.

NO CRAMPS!  I always get cramps in the last two miles, but not this time.  Wahoo!  I’m taking 250 mg magnesium in taurate form every day now, and the salt no doubt helped too, as did the water and cool weather.

I ran behind the 5:00 hour pace team for a while, at least keeping them in view, but lost sight of them at about mile six when I stopped to change shirts.  For a while I ran with Don Soule, whom I had previously met at local St. Paul indoor running events.  We were both doing a run/walk, but not the same run/walk, and overall he was running faster.  I lost track of him when I lost the pace team, and he finished eleven minutes ahead of me.  For a little while I ran with a young woman wearing just shorts and a short-sleeved shirt, running her first marathon.  She said she wasn't cold - I would have been!  She planned to slow down after the first half, and sure enough I never saw her after about that point.  I don’t know her name, but in the results I see a likely suspect who finished in just under six hours.

Before the race the Mankato Free Press  ran an article in the paper, and the local TV station KEYC   ran a story on the news.  Because of those stories, lots of people recognized me at the start and throughout the race.  "Are you the guy ...?"   "Yep, I’m the one."  Or just "Go Don."  I never felt more encouraged.

My cousin Diane, an accomplished runner herself, met me with about a tenth of a mile to go, holding a "victory" sign that she had made.  She watched after me in the cold mist until I located my sweeties. Thank you Diane.

The Mankato Marathon:

1582 runners finished the half, and 486 finished the full, and there was also a 10k.  Not a big race, not a small one.  It was quite well organized.  There were enough porta-potties along the course.  I don’t recall thinking that about any race before.  The route is a combination of little-used streets, trails, and 55-mph highways.  I enjoyed all of it except the highways, where we ran on the right side and I was always looking over my shoulder.  In some places the highways were closed to vehicle traffic - that’s great.  Several of the last five or six miles were on delightful wooded trails, which were so welcome just at that toughest part of the race.  We zig-zagged through a children’s park somewhere in the last miles - that was kind of fun.

The expo was surprisingly robust.  We enjoyed it.  A major sponsor of the marathon was the Mayo Clinic, and of course I’m a big fan of "the Mayo" and said so to a few Mayo employees who were staffing booths.

  • Sign on the way up a hill:  Yes, it's a hill.  Get over it.
  • Sign at the expo:  Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you are right.  - Henry Ford.
  • Sign near some spectators:  This is a really boring parade.
  • At the awards ceremony, I apparently arrived just a few seconds too late to collect my age-group award.  I hope they mail them.
  • Lots of little kids cheered along the way, and hundreds of volunteers.
  • I enjoyed meeting Kathrine Switzer at the Expo.  First woman to officially run Boston.

Splits: 11:26, 11:03, 11:56, 11:23, 12:12, 29:28 (2 miles and nature break), 11:28, 11:17, 10:49, 11:53, 11:24, 11:23, 13:21, 11:32, 13:04, 11:11, 11:31, 11:24, 25:09 (2 miles), 12:06, 12:37, 12:52, 11:58, 15:10, total 5:17:39, pace 12:07.

1 comment:

fourinthemorning89 said...

Great! Great! Great! Happy recovering, happy next runs! Thanks for signs, especially about way up hill.