The start time was 8am, 57 degrees, and I stood among the 3:30 pace crowd. It took about one minute after the horn blew for me to actually cross the start line, and we were off. Everything seemed perfect. I started the run with a slightly faster pace than 8 minute miles hoping that I could keep it up and slightly beat my 3:30 desired time. Previously my PR for this distance was set in my home town of Charlotte, NC at 3:37:33 on a much colder day. I like the cold when it comes to running vs. the hot.
I was not carrying a bottle as I usually do. I knew there would be plenty of water along the way and didn't want to hassle with a bottle. I made sure to drink at every aid station and keep my system hydrated. As a result I had to take a bathroom break (counted 22 seconds in the porta-John) at around the six mile mark.
I felt strong at the half marathon point, and was right on target for a 3:30 pace, but the pace team was still a few hundred yards behind me. Eventually they caught up to me at mile 17, and by mile 19 I decided to let them go ahead. I felt that my 3:30 time was slipping away from me. I could see the white balloons of the pacer keep getting farther and farther away. Keep the balloons in sight is what I kept telling myself. Between the half point and mile 20 my pace slipped to 8:18 which would make it impossible for me to reach my goal if I continued at that pace or slowed down.
At mile 21, while on the largest campus in the United States, a second wind hit me. I felt a burst of energy in me as I began to pass a large number of runners. At this point I began to tell myself that it was only 5 more miles to the finish line. My pace improved to a 7:58 for the last 6.2 miles. I finished in 3:30:41 which I am pleased with, and is a new personal record for the marathon distance.
Columbus, OH is an all American city which definitely had a "hometown feel" to it. I am certain to come back and visit.
580th place out of 3,636 runners. http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/sports/stories/2007/10/22/marathon_results_22_ART_10-22-07_C10_O188FS1.html
Average finish time 4:11:08 for all 3,636 runners.
Splits and Pace
5 mile: 39:04 - 7:49
13.1 mile: 1:43:58 - 8:01
20 mile: 2:41:17 - 8:18
26.2 mile: 3:30:41 - 7:58!
Overall: 3:30:41 - 8:02
Consumed 3 cliff gu's and drank approximatley 100 oz. of water/Gatoraid