I've been following the sub 3:00 marathon thread on runningahead for a couple of weeks. Saw a comment the other day about going sub 3:00 at the HHFMM (Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon). Wow, that would take an incredible effort or would it? Talked with different people about how much they think the HHFFMM course would slow someone from their marathon PR. I've heard from 5-15 minutes. More of a dependent factor is the type of runner, as McMillan talks about.
Sub 3:00's at the HHFMM aren't undoable. From the inaugural 2006 race, 4 sub 3:00's. Only 3 in 2007. Last year saw some quick times; 3 under 2:38, including a winning time of 2:36 and a whopping 6 sub 3:00's. The bar has been raised. Personally I'd be happy with a 3:30, just a smeasly 8:00 minute pace. Though a 3:20 was what I secretly was hoping for when I toed the line in 2007. I'd like to take another attempt, perhaps this fall as a bandit.
The hills at the HHFMM aren't really monsters. Ultra runners probably could run within 5 minutes of their PR's, just because they are use to much more elevation gain and loss. The elevation loss is what beat me up. I even tried to train to run faster down hills in preparation. Only should have been actually running on the course instead of the local hills. That's the cool thing about this marathon it's only 45 minutes away.
Most people would probably get closer to 10 minutes plus as compared to their marathon PR. Even if they have the resolve to hold back on their pace, the downhills quickly negate those efforts. Perhaps a high mileage runner wouldn't be as beat up by the hills as someone who doesn't run as much mileage. Just a guess. Still think getting within 5 minutes of their PR is probably only doable by the ultra runners and the true speedster type of runner.