I had a good race. I went in expecting a 3:35 to 3:40.. but my legs recovered a bit better than I thought they would during taper. I went out at a fast, but manageable pace. Did the first 10k in 46:58. I felt this was a manageable pace, and held onto it. Hit the hill at Candler park @ mile 7.5, and powered up that without an issue. At that point, I knew I was capeable of more than I expected. The question was how much more, and could I sustain. The run UP ponce, was difficult and long, but then I hit the rollers on College Avenue. The water stop at Agnes Scott was outstanding. Best of the day by far. After that, I hit the half marathon point at 1:40:34. Ran through downtown Decatur, then off to Clairmont and N. Decatur road. This was the 'easiest' point of the course. Some flat, some down, some up, but a nice stretch that prepared you for the hell that was to come.
The run up lullwater, Ponce, then 'down' oakdale, and over to springdale and up that is the longest stretch of sustained hills on the course. I looked at my GPS.. this started at mile 16.32 of the course. From here on out, the course was difficult. There were downhills, but after a certain point, downhills become just as difficult as up hills. There were points where it felt really obscenely good to run 'up' a hill.
I hit mile 20 at 2:34:19. I quickly did the math and knew that BQ'ing was out. It wasn't in the plans, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything. I knew I was having a decent day. I drank my traditional beer just before entering Piedmont park.. the beer stop people told me I was the first Marathoner to drink a beer. Woo Hoo.. that was cool. After that, it was essentially a uphill fest almost entirely through to the finish. I dodged a lot of half marathon walkers.. and pretty much ran through groups of them. If there was an inch opening, I took it. Maybe I pissed them off, but not as much as they irritated me by walking 5 wide any place they felt like it..
Let me say that the last mile was not a mile. It was decidedly longer than a mile. It was a slight uphill to the end, and in the wind. As mental of a last mile, as I have ever run. Still, I managed to sustain my effort and finish strong. I had a great race.
I loved the zig zag finish. Thought it was very unique, and a very exciting.
What would you do differently?:
Have a chat with mother nature. The weather sucked. It was freexing.
Walked to gear check, got my clothes, changed, then back to the stands to watch friends finish. Got to see them all. It was a lot of fun.. albeit cold.
**Note: I had my first ice bath later on. Let me tell you, that was funtastic. The motto of the ice bath is 'dunk the junk'.. burrrrrr.
What limited your ability to perform faster:
Course difficulty. This one is a monster.
Great race. If you want to challenge yourself, do the full. It's a benchmark of accomplishment. If you can do this Marathon, you can do 99% of the other ones out there.
Organization was excellent, Aid stations were top notch, and the course was well marked.
It was freeing cold outside, so spectators were not as abundant as last year, but I imagine that is a result of the weather more than anything else.
Highly recommended. Next years race is April 9th. A little later, probably a little warmer.
Last updated: 2007-12-13 12:00 AM
The ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon
42F / 6C
Overall Rank = 129/2132
Age Group = m35-39
Age Group Rank = 43/466
Drove down to the race site, parked for free in a lot off Marietta and Andrew Young. Was the Ga dome green lot. Was perfect, and a great decision. I was literally 300 yards from the finish. Was also able to leave when I wanted without a problem.
Drank a boost 1 hour out. Put the rest of my gear together, and got ready to essentially freeze.
Walked to gear check, did that without an issue, and then to the corral, again, without an issue. Met up with Joe Schum, Amy K. Andrew Dollar, and Chris Zimmer in Corral 2. Was about a 5 minute wait until the gun went off.