Windermere Marathon Race Report – June 2009…yup..just a bit late.
I was reading through some of my post back in 2009 and noticed I didn’t post a race report of the Windermere Marathon on my blog. I posted it on Active.com and the link I had didn’t work. So, I copied it here, just so I’d have a record of it.
Keep in mind that it was back in 2009 and it was my 1st attempt at qualifying, which I did in Portland on 10-10-2010 (love that date!)
Well, where do I begin? This was supposed to be my Boston qualifier race, my 1st attempt. I’ve run this course many many times as I work right by it; ride it almost every weekend with my wife and friends; did an ultra marathon this March from the state line all the way to 9 mile (37 miles..whew!); so you THINK I would have figured out that the mile markers were messed up. But you know….when you are working your tail off and concentrating on keeping your body together sometimes the obvious, is not.
I was attempting to run a 3:45:00 or better (Although during the race my running buddy Steve, mentioned that you actually get all of the 45th minute so the qualifying time is actually 3:45:59 *** As of 2011 this is no longer true). So just like all BQ hopefuls I had my splits written down on the top of my hand; 5, 10, 15, 20, 25. And all along the way I was hitting my marks right on. Oh a few seconds on either side but pretty much right on.
At the 20 mile marker I was RIGHT on! Almost to the second! So I’m feeling pretty confident that I’m going to make it. Then the 21 mile marker came up and I was below the split by almost a minute, meaning I had a 60 second cushion. By this time I’m feeling giddy!
Somewhere along the way I noticed that gosh, that 23rd mile was a long ways! When I glanced down at my watch it showed that I had been running for 3 hours and 24 minutes, and I was like WHAT?! That meant I only had 21 more minutes to run 3.2 miles and there was NO WAY I was going to do that! That would have been a 7:30 pace which after running 20 miles at an 8:30 pace there was no way I could do that. I couldn’t believe it! I mean I hit EACH and EVERY split RIGHT ON TIME! I was sooooo stinkin devastated! I just gave up.
It never occurred to me the mile markers might be off. And my Garmin was being used to give me my interval timing as I was using the Jeff Galloway method of running; 4 mile run, 30 second walk (which works by the way) so I wasn’t able to see how far I actually had run so I HAD to trust the mile markers.
I still didn’t know there was anything wrong, but since I was so devastated, I just ran and walked along until we came to the turn by Gonzaga and one of the folks at the last aid station said, “You only have 1.5 more miles!” I stopped, turned around and said “WHAT!?!!!”. They said “Yeah the mile markers are all messed up”. I glanced down at my watch again and it said I had 8 more minutes. 8 more minutes to run 1.5 miles. I was soooo stinking angry! Even though I was physically exhausted, but even more I was mentally devastated, I tried to turn that anger into energy and pushed with everything I had to try and run 1.5 miles in under 8 minutes..HA! Let’s see, that would be a 5:20 pace. Well, long story short, I missed my time by 3 minutes and 8 seconds. 3 MINUTES AND 8 SECONDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When I crossed the finish line (which I have an issue with that…WHERE was the WORD FINISH??!!!!!) I stopped at the 1st place that had tape across the road thinking THAT was the finish line only to be prodded along by the announcer, “No, that’s not the finish, you have to keep running, come on now, let’s go!” (I’m not normally an angry man but if he would have been standing near me….who knows what I might have said.)
So I stumbled across the finish line that had no clock, that I could see, (I finally did see it after walking around and noticing it BEHIND the large speaker….DOH!) and as I passed by the volunteers handing out metals, I almost didn’t take one. I was sooooo stinking depressed. I couldn’t believe I had put all this energy into training and doing long miles, I mean LONG MILES! (Jeff’s program calls for doing a 30 miler so that the 26 doesn’t scare you, AND you avoid hitting the proverbial ‘wall’ at 20 or 21 miles)
Well, I spent the weekend sort of in a slump and when they finally posted the results I saw where I had taken 2nd in my age group, so that help to take the sting away a little, but now after reading all these post, the pain and anger seems to be coming back! (I’m grinning while I right these so, not really I guess). *** Again, this was posted on the Active.com site and MANY people were complaining about the mile markers
I wrote an objective email to Bob (The Windermere race director) and told him how much I loved the race and I REALLY want to see this marathon succeed, and by the way, where was ANY media coverage of the race before or even after? All I ever saw on the TV was Lilac Parade this, and Lilac Parade that! Come on! This marathon could be a jewel of a race for Spokane, why doesn’t the media want to promote it more? That even goes for Troika the half Ironman they do here in Spokane. That could be a premier race but you never hear ANYTHING on the news or in the paper about it.
I picked up the Sunday paper after the marathon and what was on the sports page? Some stupid softball game that happened in Coeur d’Alene for Pete’s sake! NOTHING about this gorgeous marathon right here in our home town!!
Well I hope the best for this race and probably will do it again as I think it has the potential to be another Bloomsday like race. Well, that might be a stretch, but certainly it could grow to be much larger than it was IF they fix many of the issues.
Well, I feel better now getting that off my chest. Sorry to sound like a whiner. I was hoping to be a winner. 🙂
***So funny reading this now in light of all I’ve been through and where I am today, which basically is …no running…sigh
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