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Soldier Marathon - Run

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Columbus, Georgia
United States
Soldier Marathon
39F / 4C
Total Time = 4h 29m 17s
Overall Rank = 326/643
Age Group = W50-54
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

This report will be different. Normally I don’t like to mention other people’s names and identifying info on the internet for a multitude of reasons (privacy, it’s their story, etc.) but this time is different. We knew that people could select a Fallen Hero at this race and we planned to do so. But then hubby K was talking to repairman one day and found out about the repairman’s friend who was killed in Afghanistan. K asked if he could run for his friend. The guy also stated his dad was a vet but didn’t die in service. K got his name too and asked if I would like to run for him. Oh yes! Hurley C Enfinger Sr. did not die in battle but he protected our country and I was honored to run for him.

This was also different because it was my cute hubby’s first mary. I so wanted things to go well for him.
Event warmup:

  • 4h 29m 17s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 17s  min/mile

Temps were cold for us Floridians at 39. We added lots of throwaway clothes to our running gear. Before the race, talked to some friends but as the race started, we moved up closer to K’s pace although it was too crowded to get at his pace. Then we were off, thru the Avenue of Flags, and down a side street with large crowds. K and I weren’t planning to stay together but we hung out here because our paces were similar at this point.

About mile 2, we hit the hill. Drill Sergeants were yelling at us to Move, Move, Move. Some people were taking selfies with the drill sergeants and I was wishing I had my camera. Well, I moved, moved, moved up the hill but probably halfway up, I realized that my gazelle hubby was long gone. That boy loves hills. I tossed my final throwaway and settled into an feel good pace. Thanked every army personnel that I could and fell in with an adorable ALA couple who were also thanking everyone. They were so pleasant. He had run Boston this year and had BQ again but he was helping her with her first mary.

Mile 5 we passed a soccer fields where the officials were cheering us on. Then back down the hill with the drill sergeants and I high fived all of them. Left the nice ALA couple on the downhill but then had to stop at a Porta so they passed me.

Around mile 10, the HM’s peeled off and I really wanted to go with them. Ran for a while with a soldier retired for just 1 week and he told me a lot about the base and the area. We were on a bike path for mile 7 to 13 and it was quiet. Very enthusiastic volunteers were waiting for us around 13 and their cheers were invigorating. We passed a tailgating area for a big game and dang, the food smelled amazing here.

As we hit the brick section of the town area, I guess I just lost it. I thought I was there mentally but now I’m wondering. My right ITB was hurting but I was still running fine. I slightly lost track of my nutrition but even as I calculated, I realized I was ok and had taken in enough. We crossed the bridge into ALA and hit the boardwalk; I had been looking forward to that section. But dang, I went down. Walked for the first time other than aid stations. Didn’t walk long. Heard a band and realized a parade was over my head as I went under a bridge. That is cool. Then I crossed over the bridge back to GA and although, while I love varying terrain, I hate brick and concrete. As I exited the bridge, they were playing “Live like You are Dying”. That song makes me cry anytime but really, at a low point in a mary? I teared up and might have melted but a volunteer asked if I was ok and I wouldn’t dissolve in front of her.

But that was probably exactly what I needed. I embraced Hurley’s bib and started talking to him. I talked to Hurley a lot here. We are approaching Mile 17 aid station and this was also the only out and back portion where I could possibly see K. Hmm, there is the 4:25 pacer (Dang, I wish I with her) and the 4:30 pacer about a min behind (Hey, shouldn’t they be further apart?), and I think the 4:45 pace group was passing me. All demoralizing but my hubby is no where around!!!!!!!!!! He is ahead of all of them! Poor Baby is probably gonna have to wait a long time for me but thankfully, he isn’t there. I got some M&Ms here and ran with two Maniacs for a while.

Mile 18, popped two more Endurolytes and decided my pity party was over. My Maniacs took a walk break here but I kept on running. Briefly talked to IMLOU finisher and passed him (I think he was waiting for a friend). At Mile 19, I decided to go for broke and leave it all out there. No one passed me in those last 7 miles. (Well, I stopped to help two separate people by giving them endurolytes and seeing if they needed medical. A few people passed me then but I passed them again.) I was pounding it. Found the nice ALA couple around mile 22 and he started cheering for me (as he was running backwards). I thought about hanging with them but he pushed me on. I ran like a horse going to the barn and tried to take others with me. As I passed, I encouraged them, focused on the few miles or minutes we had left, and either annoyed the crap out of the unhappies or pulled the others that wanted to go. (I was glad that several people came up to me later and thanked me for encouraging them.) Still was talking to Hurley and thanking him.

A beautiful lady with a flower in her hair had a megaphone about mile 26 and was calling out individual encouragement to everyone. Ran past the museum and then back up the Avenue of Flags. I was holding Hurley’s bib and talking to him. Heard hubby yelling for me, thanked some other soldiers who were cheering us in, and crossed the line with a PR. A handsome soldier gave me a medal (dogtags). What a beautiful race!
What would you do differently?:

Wear Hurley's name on my back too. I had him pinned to the front and I like being able to touch him as I talked to him. But wish I had his name on my back too so anyone behind could pray and salute Hurley too.
Post race
Warm down:

Kissed my precious hubby and found that he finished under 4:15. I am so proud of him!!! I think it’s amazing since it was his first marathon and he had major PF issues for the last 5 weeks. We got some food, stretched, and I got to talk to the ALA couple again (She smashed her goal of 5 hours with something like 4:32:xx).

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I loved this race and wouldn’t change things about the race at all. But, I’ve got to look at my mistakes and learn from them. Afterwards, I looked at my splits:
10:11 pace for 10K
10:22 pace for 13.1
11:14 pace for 20 mile
9:38 pace for the final 10K

I have no problems with any of those things EXCEPT what happened in the 3rd quarter. And the pace is way worse than 11:14 because I was fine thru Mile 14.5 and recovered at mile 18 - so was I going at a 14min pace for those few miles? Yes, I was hurting some and maybe I was slightly behind on an endurolyte. And I took a LONG time at aid station 17. But was I sabotaging myself? I swear, I don’t think so but facts are facts. I was doubting my training and I'm sure that came into play here.

But all that being said, I was more than thrilled by the last 7 miles. And, at my last mary, I had major, major digestive issue and this time, I trained to find the right nutrition (PopTarts, endurolytes, a few gels), ate bland the week before, and had backup pills in case I was plagued. But that issue was resolved this time so maybe I learned from some past mistakes.

Event comments:

Running thru the Avenue of Flags was awesome. Loved the drill sergeants and the military. Inspirational.

Last updated: 2014-06-12 12:00 AM
04:29:17 | 26.2 miles | 10m 17s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 326/643
Performance: Good
Course: Begins and ends at Infantry Museum running thru the Ave of Flags. Thru Ft Benning (miles 1 - 11) and then out and back on Riverwalk and thru town. Briefly cross into Ala.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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] 5

2014-11-10 3:46 PM

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Extreme Veteran
Tallahassee, Florida
Subject: Soldier Marathon

2014-11-11 6:21 AM
in reply to: #5066635

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Subject: RE: Soldier Marathon
Thanks for recounting your race and taking us on the journey with you and Hurley. Congrats on your PR.
2014-11-11 9:42 PM
in reply to: KWDreamun

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Mastic Beach, NY
Subject: RE: Soldier Marathon
Congrats Pam on not only finishing but getting your PR. Great RR and you had a pretty solid race. I know you're not happy about those few miles where you slowed down a bit but you were pretty consistent with your pace the entire race. You finsihed very strong and you were flying those last 7 miles. I think you did a great job overall with your pacing and nutrition. I also think it was pretty awesome that you got to honor the memory of Hurley by running for him. This sounds like a great race.

I forgot to mention it after reading Karl's RR but you're right he needs to be stopping less at the porta's potties and running more. He probably could've been closer to a 4 hour marathon without all those bathroon breaks :-)
2014-11-12 2:42 PM
in reply to: KWDreamun

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Subject: RE: Soldier Marathon

Originally posted by KWDreamun Thanks for recounting your race and taking us on the journey with you and Hurley. Congrats on your PR.

x2 - congrats and nice that you had someone to run with (for

2014-11-13 10:13 PM
in reply to: juniperjen

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SOUTH WINDSOR, Connecticut
Subject: RE: Soldier Marathon

Congratulations - Great job!


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