Post shower and second lancing.
Pace band, pre-race
Fast master, exit left
Sad when one of the race officials doesn't know what that means. Think she called it a DNQ. Nope, Did Not Finish. Different from DNS, Did Not Start. Up until 5 minutes before the awards ceremony I was listed as the masters winner in a time of 2:33. Wow, I smoked everyone. Sounds about right, I took the sweep van back to the start area, put on my sweats and grabbed the fast masters sweats and hobbled over to the finish line. I stood right next to the line and asked one of the volunteers about the winning time and how many marathoners had been across. Yelled across to the score keeper that I was a DNF and I that my bib which I still had on would register and he agreed.
Got to see the number 4 marathoner come across and then the first female. Lots of half marathoners were still streaming across the line. I waited until the fast masters projected time and only 2 more marathoners finished in front of him. He missed his target but still was the masters winner and the 7th male across the line. He looked good coming to the line but said his stomach was upset and he needed to hurl. The score keeper came running through the finishing chute wanting my bib number, which I gave to him for the second time. He even wrote it down on the timing tape. Gave the fast master his distance and we headed back to the car. He dry hurled a few times and then he decided to sit down. I wisely sat about 10 feet away. The Exorcist director would have been proud. Projectile and green and volume to match. YUCK.
Back to the hotel to shower and then back to the finish area for the awards ceremony. Second time I've been in a marathon with the fast master and the second time his results have been screwed up. We found a race official to let them know that I shouldn't be listed as finishing and it looked like they'd even scored one of the Kenyans that had ridden with me in the sweep van as finishing as well. That wasn't the case. I forgot about one runner that crossed in earlier. They got everything corrected and he got his award. A back pack with "First Place Masters Male" and some other swag.
My race started out great. The Snickers Marathon had about 600 runners and the half about 800 runners. Common start for the first quarter mile, we turned right for a 4 mile loop through a college campus and they turned left and headed out the same direction we would be at around mile 4. Hit my fist split right on, but really had to put on the brakes. Lots of folks going out way to fast. Passed a female Atlanta runner that we'd spoken to the night before, when I was trying to back off from about a 6:30 pace, so I knew she was going out way quicker than she'd talked about.
We'd driven the course the day before, which I really think is a great idea. Nice to know what's coming up. Early miles went by really easy and had to really put on the brakes a few times to stay close to pace. We started catching the half marathoners around mile 6 for the walkers. They really got thick around mile 7 right before they split off to head home before mile 8. That was one of my fastest miles, 'cause I got pissed because they were taking up the whole road. (one lane coned off for runners)Settled back down and got back in to my groove when they split off. At this point my average pace was still around 6:42 versus a planned 6:50. Fluid intake was good, water at every aid station, roughly every 2 miles. This was important because I tend to cramp up when the temps get close to 60 degrees. It was about 57 degrees and overcast. Gels and succeed caps were right on schedule according to my handy pace band. (which I admit does look pretty silly on the front of the line)
Runners really thinned out after the half marathoners split off. I had surged a couple times to shake someone who insisted on running on my heels. Runners in front of me started to separate as well, they were going about a 6:30 pace or so. This section of road was the straightest section of the course for about 2 miles. We thought we'd have southeast winds and the wind would be at our back for this section. Turned out the rain started and the wind was in our face. Nothing to bad, light drizzle just enough to cover the glasses, but not enough to get you wet. Wind wasn't really strong enough to affect pace and I was clicking off my most consistent miles, 6:49's.
Mile 10 was time to take another powergel. Used a hammergel I grabbed at the last aid station. This was where I started to notice a hot spot on my forefoot right behind my big toe. No worry, everything was going great. Tried to concentrate on the task at hand. Pace was still good, calves where good, breathing great. Rain had stopped. Came into a country club sub-division and the turns started. This was also where the only true hill of the race was located. Started to alter my foot strike to quiet the foot. The uphills aggravated it, the downhills gave me relief, but only because my heel was slapping the ground. Damn foot just wouldn't shut up.
Passed the half marathon point with about a minute and a half in the bank for my sub 3:00. Lost sight of the runner in front of me and didn't dare look back to see if anyone was catching me as my pace was slowing with the altered foot strike. Kinda like a limp shuffle, pace was still about 7:20, but it was tough to maintain. Stopped before mile 16 to lance the blister on my foot. Really thought about getting back up and continuing on. But, one of the course officials came by in a golf cart and I called it a day. He gave me a ride to a water stop before mile 16. Pretty damn humbling to be sprawled out on the grass in someones front yard with a blister, while everyone else soldiers on.
First aid truck came by and I got in. That wasn't the sweep wagon, though. Waited around and watched the 3:20 pace group caterpillar by with about 20 or so followers and then the stranglers trying to keep them in sight. Sweep van pulled up and I was the 4th runner to be picked up. Two Kenyans, who "got lost". That's about all they would say. The other runner was the female from Atlanta she was already over the DNF and we talked the whole way back to the start.
Decided on the walk back to the car after the awards ceremony, "I'm retiring from marathons." But, there is a half marathon next weekend and then a marathon in a couple of weeks............................
Splits for grins
4 6:36 back by the start and crowds
8 6:35 half marathon gaggle
16 turn off the *&^%%$! Garmin