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Manchester City Marathon - RunMarathon

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Manchester, New Hampshire
United States
Manchester Marathon Association
40F / 4C
Total Time = 3h 04m 50s
Overall Rank = 44/705
Age Group = M 30-39
Age Group Rank = 11/119
Pre-race routine:

Well......this was supposed to be the New York Marathon, but Hurricane Sandy decided to show up. The NYC Marathon was canceled on Friday night, less than 36 hours before I would have been arriving on Statten Island. Canceling the marathon was definitely the right decision, but should have been made much earlier. My thoughts are with all effected by the storm in the NYC/New Jersey area.
Event warmup:

This race was only around 45 minutes from my house, so I was able to drive up race morning, arriving around 7:45, a little over an hour before the race. I had registered the day before, and had to drive up to packet pickup, so I had an idea of where to park. I didn't do any sort of warmup, except walking around a bit and talking with a few other runners.
  • 3h 04m 50s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 07m 03s  min/mile

Once the NYC Marathon was canceled on Friday night, I e-mailed the RD for this race, as registration had already closed. Apparently I wasn't the only NYC runner, as there were over 300 more runners that ran the marathon than last year - many of those were migrants from NYC.

I had looked at the hill profile and knew that this course had very few flat areas - either up or down. I decided to still target a sub 3:00 plan for the race, knowing it probably wouldn't work out, but would still get me a BQ for 2014.

The race started out in the downtown Manchester area, and the first mile was flat or down, then all the hills began. The start was mixed with runners for the full and half, which split off just before mile 10. As a result, there were a bunch of people that headed off quicker than me, and I had no problem letting them go.

I found a group of five others, four of whom had been planning on running NYC. They were all targeting around a 3:00 time, so we stuck together. My pace remained pretty steady, ranging from 6:35-6:50 for the first 10 or so miles. There were definitely some steep climbs, and equally steep declines, so the paces evened each other out.

I was feeling fine fine, but my HR was quite high - higher than it had been for Boston in April. However, on a few recent runs in chillier weather my HR monitor had been quite erratic, so I decided to discount some of the HR spikes I was seeing, going off feel.

I crossed the halfway point just under 1:29, and at that point I was on my own, and it essentially stayed that way for the remainder of the race. The only real time that I had some company was when the course met up for miles 11-13 for the HM again.

Just after the 19 mile point the course came within a few hundred hards of the finish line. The HM turned left and went to the finish, the full turned right and had another 7+ miles to go. Through 19 miles I was holding onto 3:00 pace at 2:11 for overall time. However, I think my mind simply wasn't really in the race at that point.

Heading back out of the city for the finaly 7 miles, the course crossed over the highway and hit a big hill right at 20 miles. The next four miles were through some neighboorhods, then back on a bikepath into the downtown area. The last two miles seemed to be constantly turning zigzagging back and forth, going up and down. I think the RD should have added a one mile out and back somewhere else to make the course a bit more interesting.

In the last few miles I was definitely fading, paying for my zealous nature over the hills on the first part of the race. However, I was able to still pass a hanful of runners in the last few miles. The final little blow was a nasty little hill right at the 26 mile point - really?

I knew that I had a BQ, as I'll be 35 in 2014, and the qualifying time is 3:10. As I approached the finish, I could see 3:04:xx on the clock, and snuck in with a BQ -5.

In all, there was a bit over 1200 ft of elevation, and on a cool blustery fall day, I wasn't quite able to get under 3:00.
What would you do differently?:

I probably should have been a bit more conservative in my pacing, maybe going out at a 6:50-6:55 pace, instead of 10-15 or so seconds faster.
Post race
Warm down:

Got a little food, some water, then headed to my car to drive home. Probably a little easier than getting home after NYC would have been.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Only have eight weeks between the 70.3 World Championships and this race wasn't ideal for training. I was able to get in four 60 mile weeks, but a full 18 or so week marathon build should be able to get me under 3:00 on a relatively fast course.

Event comments:

The RD was able to accomodate 300+ additional runners at the last minute - great attitude. Even though the course seemed pretty odd at the end with lots of twists and turns, it was a solid race on a challenging course.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-11-06 12:00 AM
03:04:50 | 26.2 miles | 07m 03s  min/mile
Age Group: 11/119
Overall: 45/705
Performance: Average
Avg HR: 172
Course: Much hillier and far more turns than in NYC. The last two miles seemed to be a zig-zag through the downtown area.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2012-11-06 7:49 PM

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Bedford, MA
Subject: Manchester City Marathon

2012-11-06 9:17 PM
in reply to: #4487031

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University Park, MD
Subject: RE: Manchester City Marathon

You did well to make the best of a difficult situation when NYC was canceled. I'm impressed that you found another option at such such notice -- and kudos to the RD for accommodating. Good news that you got your legit BQ this time around (ain't it grand to age up!), but I'm sure the sub-3 is yet to come for you. Your suggestion about pacing conservatively early on is one that you might want to re-read before your next marathon -- the marathon shows no mercy when things go south, as you've experienced a couple of times now.

(Too bad that your HR monitor wasn't doing it's job for you, though perhaps with the hills it would have been less informative anyways. I was having very similar spiking issues leading up to my recent mary, so I rush-shipped a new strap right before the race. Sooo glad to have that.)

2012-11-10 6:04 AM
in reply to: #4487031

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Bedford, NH
Subject: RE: Manchester City Marathon
Awesome job Nate!  Way to battle through the circumstances and its great that this race worked out for you.  Agreed on the pacing, but I still think you should be damn proud of yourself!  
2012-11-10 9:40 AM
in reply to: #4487031

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New user
New Hampshire
Subject: RE: Manchester City Marathon
Nice job! I ran the Half and then stuck around to watch some buddies finish the full. They were in the same boat as you, scheduled to run NYC but ran Manch. instead. They run Boston every year and felt Manchester was a tougher course. You actually finished pretty close to them. FYI, there is a link from the home page where you can download free race photos.
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