General Discussion Race Reports! » Marine Corps Marathon Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply

Marine Corps Marathon - RunMarathon

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Washington, DC, Washington, D.C.
United States
Marine Corps
55F / 13C
Total Time = 3h 48m 17s
Overall Rank = 2961/20667
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 437/2041
Pre-race routine:

The norm - cup o joe and pre-made PB on a bagel. Not the norm - I got to hang out w/ Dan (Marvarnet) as he had crashed w/ me. Got some free coaching advice and words of encouragement before he left to go on one of his crazy bike rides. Thanks Dan. Showered and had a few moments to myself. Very relaxed heading out.
Event warmup:

I stayed at the Marriott Residence Inn - Pentagon City. The perfect location. 1/4 from The Pentagon so I walked over then joined the masses getting off the Metro. That was my warm up. As planned, I met up w/ some other BT'ers: Max, Betsy, Q, 1111, Gina (screenname ? - sorry ) and Oceanannie. Unfortunately I waitted a bit long to hit the head and upon return they were gone. Never did see them again. My only disappointment of the entire weekend.
  • 3h 48m 17s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 43s  min/mile

Got to my corral (3:30 - 3:50) about 10 minutes before the start. I was (aggressively) shooting for 3:45 (8:30/mi pace). At the expo I had picked up a 3:50 pace wristband as they didn't have a leader for the 3:45 group. It didn't make a difference as I never saw a leader for my group anyway. I was happy to have the bracelet though as it had all the slpits on it.

It took about 3 minutes to get to the actual start after the gun sounded. As expected, it was crowded and difficult to find an even pace. No matter, it as all part of the first time experience for me. I shed my throwaway long sleeve T about 1/2 mile in, then my gloves about 1/2 mile later. I was real glad I had worn them though as it was chilly before the start.

The first 2 miles took roughly 18 minutes. That was my normal warmup pace in training so it didn't feel that slow to me. It opened up after that and it coincided with the first hill, if you call it that. I decided to make up some time here. And I did. I covered the next two miles in about 16 minutes and then I settled in.

Miles 5-11 were really uneventful for me which is what I had hoped for. The crowds were great and after another incline, at mile 6, we hit a beautiful secion along the Potamac River. I had a "this is why I'm here moment". I felt great and the weather was perfect. I shared my thoughts w/ a women who said she had sufferred through Chicago so obviously, she agreed.

Miles 11-15 had to be my favorite part of the course. Along Constitution Ave the monuments, and all the sites of D.C. I sucked it all in. The crowds were awesome and I, of course, engaged many spectators. My splits were ahead of the wrist band pace, I was drinking both water and powerade at every stop w/o slowing much and eating my gels every 45 minutes. I reloaded my gels at mile 14 and I was feeling great. I was having the run of my life at this point.

Miles 16-19 were very different. We left the city and headed to East Potamac Park and Haines Point. Basically, and out and back around a golf course and surrounded by water. The wind picked up a but but I was on cruise control. Given how remote it was, there were virtually no spectators. It was eerily silent. I sensed everyone was concentrating and just trying to hold form. At Mile 19 I passed on the Jelly Belly's but there was the cutest little boy, looking bored holding a bag of sliced grapefruit. I don't even like grapefruit. I grabbed one, patted him on the head, thanked him and resumed. I like grapefruit at mile 19 of a marathon :)

Mile 20-21 - "Beat the Bridge" - Well "THEY" say this is where a marathon starts and, having only 1 twenty miler under my belt, I guess "THEY" are right. My legs started to tighten but I still was able to maintain a decent pace. I beat the brdige but it had taken it's toll.

Miles 22- 26.2. I hit Crystal City and the 22 mile marker at 3:07, well ahead of the pace on my wrist band and, I knew, much closer to a sub 3:45 pace. If I could hold on. It wasn't meant to be. I was starting to hurt, bad. Just an overall tighness, no cramping, no "real" pain. I had said all along to myself, "I will not walk". I didn't care how slow I was going. Unless I cramped, severely, I would not give in. Slow I was. I stopped looking at my splits. One focus, run to the finish. It took all I had. I dug deep: long hard bike rides, running up Hook Mountain etc. But it was the personal stuff, family that have really suffered with illness that pulled me through this part. This is self- inflicted I thought, it's temporary and I control it, it doesn't control me. It's nothing copmared to what they have had to endure.

I passed my hotel - mile 23- then the Pentagon, up a ramp and back onto a highway. Every step hurt. C'mon Mark, I thought, it's just a 5K. It was, by far, the hardest 3 miles of my life. Thankfully the crowd was HUGE for the last 3/4 of a mile and that really helped get me to the finish line. Those last three miles took me more than half an hour. I saw 3:45 slip away but I didn't really care. I didn't bonk, I can't say that the wheels fell off. It was just hard, plain and simple. This was the best I could do. I left it all on the course. I'm thrilled to have done it. It was an awesome day! One step closer to Ironman.
What would you do differently?:

Run, not hobble the last the 3 miles!
Post race
Warm down:

Waited around for the BTer's but never saw them. Stumbled upon a Chipolte and woofed down a burrito, Yum. As luck would have it the beer tent was right outside. FREE BEER! Silliest question ever : "Would you like 1 or 2/?" Fortunately they only marked my left hand, so of course I went back for 2 more.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Age,genetics, and 5 pounds. I do this stuff so the young, athletic, skinny people can feel good about themsleves ;)

Event comments:

MCM is awesome. The scenery, the crowds and of course the Marines are all incredible. My only real knock is that the steepest hill is the last 1/10 of a mile to the finish. Then again, this is the Marine Corps I guess they figure a little extra pain at the end is a good thing.

Last updated: 2007-09-17 12:00 AM
03:48:17 | 26.2 miles | 08m 43s  min/mile
Age Group: 437/2041
Overall: 2961/20667
Performance: Good
Course: Relatively flat
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2007-10-30 11:29 AM

User image

New City, New York
Subject: Marine Corps Marathon

2007-10-30 12:03 PM
in reply to: #1029828

Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
It was fun hanging out with you and the gang on Saturday night and again at the race start!  At least having someone to talk to helps take the race jitters away.  Congrats on an awesome race, 3:48 is a great time especially with the windy conditions.  I felt it coming out of Crystal City, the wind hitting me there like running into a brick wall.  Geez, I didn't see the free beer tent, but then I'm not sure I could have forced one down in the morning anyway.  Sounds like this was the perfect physical and mental tune-up for Ironman!!
2007-10-30 12:28 PM
in reply to: #1029828

User image

Avon, CT
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
LOL! Great race report Mark! Those last 5 miles are a real b*tch, eh? Not to worry, you can take another crack at 3:45 next July .
Congrats on an awesome first marathon!
2007-10-30 12:47 PM
in reply to: #1029828

User image

Not a Coach
Media, PA
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon

Congrats Mark!  Great race--way to hang on when it got tough!

2007-10-30 2:17 PM
in reply to: #1029828

User image

Rochester Hills, Michigan
Gold member
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon

Nice race, really stomped out a fantastic marathon time for only having done one 20-miler. And isn't that last 200 yards an evil little dealio? 


2007-10-30 2:29 PM
in reply to: #1029828

User image

Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
I ran my first Marathon this fall after only going 20 miles as my farthest run in training and experienced the same surprise in the last miles. Not fun at all. Makes for good story telling though! People love to hear the suffering stories.

2007-10-30 3:08 PM
in reply to: #1029828

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2007-10-30 3:17 PM
in reply to: #1029828

Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon

Super are fast!

This made me chuckle "Age,genetics, and 5 pounds. I do this stuff so the young, athletic, skinny people can feel good about themsleves "

You are athletic...and are you faster than you were 10 years ago?

One step closer to an cool is that 


2007-10-31 1:32 PM
in reply to: #1029828

Wye Mills, MD
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
Awesome race, Mark! Way to get through the tough miles at the end!  Glad you enjoyed the experience... and the FREE BEER!
2007-10-31 2:31 PM
in reply to: #1029828

Atlanta, Ga
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon

Great Great job man.  And awesome RR.

For a first marathon, that was some race.  And now you know why "THEY" say the race starts at mile 20.  :P

2007-10-31 8:10 PM
in reply to: #1029828

Binghamton, NY
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon

Great report and congrats on a super first marathon!! I have only done 1 marathon so I can't say they get easier but it was my stepping stone to an Ironman as well. Now I am hooked on the IM distance!!


Way to go!!! 

2007-11-01 9:44 AM
in reply to: #1029828

Brooklyn, NY
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
Great report Mark. Great job on the course. I see the Ironman bug venom is finally taking effect. I remember you always writing down you would never do past a 1/2.

Edited by cobannero 2007-11-01 9:54 AM
2007-11-01 1:44 PM
in reply to: #1029828

Melbourne FL
Gold member
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
Nice race and RR Mark, way to go!  Rest up and recharge and we'll see you in a few weeks!
2007-11-01 3:21 PM
in reply to: #1029828

Chelmsford, Massachusetts
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
Dude that was awesome!!  Great RR!  I felt every part of it.  I know exactly what you mean about those last three miles.  They've kicked my butt two years running (no pun intended).  But you did awesome!!  It was great to meet you and hang out, I'm sure we'll see you again at MCM next year???  It's definitely a highlight of my year and I love that race.  Congrats on a great race, and beer is good.  VERY good. 
General Discussion-> Race Reports!
General Discussion Race Reports! » Marine Corps Marathon Rss Feed