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Yakima River Canyon Marathon - RunMarathon

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Ellensburg, Washington
United States
On the Run Events
46F / 8C
Total Time = 4h 31m 47s
Overall Rank = 231/401
Age Group = 50-54
Age Group Rank = 25/40
Pre-race routine:

Up early, drink coffee, ate a BakerBreakfast Cookie, banana and drank some Bug Juice drink. Did stretches in the hotel room.
Event warmup:

Couple of stretches while RD gave out information for the start.
  • 4h 31m 47s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 22s  min/mile

Third long endurance race in three months. Was thinking that this would be somewhat easy by looking at the profile. But that is very deceptive. Expected to have sore ankles and knees from the bevel of the road surface.

Drove the course on friday on the way to the expo, rained all day. But race day was CLEAR/Blue skies, cold at the start, wind was there but no real factor.

Start was nice and slow because of small country roadway and lots of slow runners bunched together for the first 3 miles or so... Didn't carry any water bottle and started to worry about this when no aid station till 3 miles. (for some reason when reading the Race notes, didn't factor that in) Always felt that the last two races I ended up carrying too much stuff. Oops (caused a lot of mental turmoil during the race not having that safety net)

As the first 10 miles or so clicked by, was very happy with the splits, was walking through the aid stations to make sure I took about 3 cups of either water and or Powerade (I like better than gatorade). I was having some drips of sweat dropping off my hat, but later that stopped (sunshine and more wind drying me off or lack of water?) so the walking through the AS took a little time off the clock. Was feeling pretty confident and good about everything, even started to think that I might have a chance for a PR.....Actually got choked up for a second thinking like that...SNAPPED myself out of that thinking as I hit the 13 mile mark.... 2:01. I was ok with that but started to debate myself about why it wasn't faster with all the decent splits, (I did Seattle in about 2:03) and all of a sudden there was a slight uphill after 13 miles, (not much, but started to feel it in my legs). Next I knew there was a major climb at mile 14. Aid station at the bottom where I got some pretzels and fluid. Walked a bit (100 yards or so) and chugged up the climb. Never stopped and never went redline, but it was methodically slow. The downhill was harder, LOOOOnnnggg, the mind says stretch out and go fast get fast leg turnover get some time back on the clock.....But the body is saying Go F### your self. IT HURTS! Hamstrings are tight, hipflexors are twinging and there are worms in the calves. Plus, "is that a blister on the tip of my second toe?"

And then back on the flat sections and going around curves where the roadway is at an angle so no flat space to run on...During this race, runners are always moving around on the road trying to find that flat surface, sometimes running on the shoulder in the gravel. Hard on the ankles.

Finally got to the 21 miles mark for the last climb, again I never stopped, never redline, pass some and got passed, and someone said to me, up there is the false top, another mile after that (this is a 2 mile climb! another fact that never registered to me). Got some headwind and then some tailwind, just kept moving (did do my one and only 5 second walk during this stretch). Finally crested the pass and started down, feet hurt and felt like you had to step gingerly or your heel would catch the asphalt and make you very little control in the legs.

Still 3 miles to go and you start calculating if only I can do 10 minute miles on a downhill (seems simple and easy to's downhill!) I could finish with a decent time. But then you see the 24 and 25 miles splits...ACK! Last aid station at mile 25, don't stop, take water (really don't need it anymore) You see the old tunnel up on the side of the clift and you can see the Dude ranch off in the distance....I see 3 guys ahead of me, and start to think maybe, just maybe if I keep this pace I'll catch them....
Ok first guy is dying, catch up to him and motor on by, next guy is walking (has a 100 marathon Club jersey on) try to be silent as I catch and pass, don't want somebody to react and race me, he doesn't....third guy is stopping and grabbing at hamstring. Pass him at the 26 mile (9:27 split) I can see the balloons/finish area and people, DANG IT this is a long .2 of a mile, make the slight turn in to the turnoff, try to maintain the pace and feel calve twinges (not now! don't cramp up and collapse here)reduced speed a bit and went across the line.

Saw my wife take a finishing picture. She is so cool about all this, best Supporter and puts up with my nonsense. Tried to get a rose or carnation but the lady said only female runners could have them....boooo..
Got a Marine corp water bottle (must have been recruiters) got some fig newtons and walked a half mile to the truck. (slowly)
What would you do differently?:

Loose weight. Still too heavy. Take a water bottle. Need to do some solid 15 to 17 mile training runs...
Post race
Warm down:

Walking to the truck was slow, but doable. I always think of that coming through the final miles. I just want to walk and wander around while the body cools down. Never feel like flopping down.
Drove back to Selah to the Jr high Gym for a shower...Shower nozzels are all about 4 feet tall so had to bend over to wash hair....Junior High kids are short...or I'm just getting older and forgetting those days.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Weight, lack of good distance runs during training and I would have liked some swigs of water during certain stretches between aid stations.

Event comments:

This is a must marathon for marathoners. Scenic, well run, organized. Race Director is a legend of the marathon community.

Last updated: 2008-03-19 12:00 AM
04:31:47 | 26.2 miles | 10m 22s  min/mile
Age Group: 25/40
Overall: 231/401
Performance: Average
(1)9:17 (2)8:51 (3)8:57 (4)9:27 (5)9:13 (6)9:40 (7)9:14 (8)9:07 (9)9:39 (10)9:39 (11)9:26 (12)9:21 (13)9:49 (14)10:10 (15)12:01 (16)9:54 (17)11:05 (18)10:47 (19)11:51 (20)10:48 (21)11:05 (22)12:51 (23)13:53 (24)12:02 (25)11:32 (26)9:27 (.2)2:17 First aid station was at mile 3 and second AS was mile 6. Later on they were about every two miles. Had two Pee breaks at around 4 miles and 18 miles. No HRM, never felt strained with hr or breathing except for the last 1.2 miles.
Course: Point to Point on a winding canyon paved road. Mostly downhill with two large climbs later in the rest. Lots of slant to the roadway especially on the curves. VERY SCENIC!
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2008-04-06 2:43 PM

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Bellingham, Washington
Subject: Yakima River Canyon Marathon

Edited by BellinghamSpence 2008-04-06 2:45 PM

2008-04-06 5:10 PM
in reply to: #1318968

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North Bend, WA
Subject: RE: Yakima River Canyon Marathon
Nice report.  Sounds like a challenging one.....Congrats on finishing.
2008-04-08 9:48 AM
in reply to: #1318968

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Extreme Veteran
Spokane, WA
Subject: RE: Yakima River Canyon Marathon

Wish I could have been there Spence! You ran a very good race! I'd heard about that second half being brutal w/ the hill climbs & such.

Fantastic race!!

2008-04-10 8:36 AM
in reply to: #1318968

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Coeur D'alene, ID
Subject: RE: Yakima River Canyon Marathon

Great race Spence!  Congrats on #3 in 3 months!  That's amazing.

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