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Columbia Gorge Marathon - RunMarathon

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Hood River, Oregon
United States
50F / 10C
Total Time = 4h 00m 15s
Overall Rank = 81/257
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 16/30
Pre-race routine:

Up early, light breakfast. Get run kit dialed in
Event warmup:

5-8 mins light jogging to get blood flowing
  • 4h 00m
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 10s  min/mile

I did have some confidence that I would have a good run, in other words hit my target of sub 4 hours. This was a tad naive as I was unfamiliar with the course but my training went very well relative to the prep for my last marathon. The forecast called for rain, it did not disappoint. Having never run hours on end in the rain, I had some anxiety about how to dress. Settled on running tights, long sleeve tech shirt, running cap, very light weight gloves, and injinji socks. The gloves and socks and cap were a good choice based on the weather. Carried my own nutrition and planned to get water from aid stations only. The early morning drizzle eased up just before the start, little bit of sunshine and a massive rainbow to start the race, so far , so good.

9:00 am we were off, no drama, to start, the event is small so there was ample room to get going. The first mile or so took us through downtown Hood River. As we crossed the 'river' the road went switch backs straight up for a mile, I was warmed up now, took the hill easy to keep heart rate in check. Next couple miles leveled out and settled in to a pace. At this point the drizzle was back and around mile 4 a 1/4 inch of rain in about 10 minutes. I could feel myself gaining weight from being water logged, some reason I found it funny and was laughing for a mile, never felt so good, I probably ran 7:45 and didn't even feel it. But soon enough I was feeling it as the road was up and down but mostly up for the next mile or so, we went from 85 ft to 485 ft the first 10k. Next few miles down hill to town of Mosier went quick and basically dried out by this time. From here the course began a clockwise loop and gained elevation from 100 ft to over 900 ft for 10k. The weather gradually degraded to overcast and some wind. At this point I was guessing how much effort to put into my pace, seemed like we climbed for an hour. At mile 13 the course turned to gravel and became steep, the direction had turned back into the wind. At the half way point I was roughly 1:58, only had a couple minutes in the bank for and even spilt to make 4 hrs. I was concerned with my average pace as the road continued up into the wind and drizzle (runners with bare hands and thighs were suffering through here), mile 14 was probably 11:15, not good. I knew the course was going to drop sooner or later and it did at roughly mile 15. Problem was, I felt tired , cold and behind. We were back on asphalt, the next 5k was down fast, it was too steep, I tried to run the shoulder in some gravel but it was risky due to uneven surfaces, might have been able to take the road faster but thought it was too hard on the legs and I needed to be able to run the final hill back down into Hood River. Thighs were being pounded and I was feeling some tightness in my right groin. Made it back to Mosier and the course leveled out about a mile and at roughly mile 18 we started to climb again for the next 2 miles. The weather eased up again with some sun I had warmed back up but was getting tired and the legs were getting tight. I hit the 3hr mark at about mile 20, quick math told me I needed to average about 9:45 pace to arrive under 4 hrs. I could not believe how difficult it was getting to hold the pace, my legs were heavy and the thighs were burning along with tight calves. The last 5k my mind could no longer control the body, I (like many at this point) was in terrible discomfort, everything hurt and I wanted to walk bad. Shuffled down the hill to town, could not get one foot in front of the other faster than 9:45, I had concluded that sub 4hrs was out of reach, nothing was left in the tank, no kick, sprint finish, nada, zilch. Shuffled in last mile with some relief it was about over. Came up to the chute 4:00:xx on the clock - made 4 hours flat! I have never fought so hard for a time in any race, maybe had a more difficult race once where I cramped and could not walk. This course was so challenging, I can't imagine taking on something with more elevation. Raining again at finish I was gassed and didn't feel much like hanging out, I was cold and had to get off the feet.
What would you do differently?:

Executed well, not sure I would have done anything different.
Post race
Warm down:

Hydrate, get out of rain.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Ran to my potential, given my fitness level and base run mileage this summer before putting in specific marathon training.

Event comments:

Most challenging Marathon I will likely ever run, loads of hills but perfect venue.

Last updated: 2010-08-11 12:00 AM
04:00:00 | 26.2 miles | 09m 10s  min/mile
Age Group: 16/30
Overall: 81/257
Performance: Good
Course: Scenic, varied, out 8 miles, 10 mile loop, back 8 miles. 1.5 miles gravel passed halfway point. 2500 ft total elevation change.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2010-10-25 11:21 PM

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