I raced with two pacers that coached me through the difficult course; I was a bit nervous at the start because I ran the first mile at an 8 minute pace. And though I would slow a bit on a few of the climbs, my GPS watch had me making up time later. Case in point: I ran three late miles (mile 15, 18, and 21) at 6 min 5 sec pace, 6 min 33 sec pace, and 6 min 50 sec pace. My last mile was a 7 min 10 sec pace. My pacers followed a philosophy of smart pacing, which subscribes to the notion that running an even pace on the tough terrain of KC is not efficient. The inclines will absorb too much energy, leaving a runner in trouble late in the race. On one of the down hill stretches (which I clocked at 5 min 50 sec pace), I started thinking that I liked the inclines better (not really). By time I reached mile 23, I felt as good as one might feel so late in a race. Thus, I broke away from the group aiming to run a 3:10 – 3:12 time. That did not happen. They caught me half way into mile 25. I had slowed more than I wanted to. One of the more memorable parts of this race was the last .2 distance of a marathon. I could hear the announcer saying aloud, “if you are a male between the ages of 35 – 39, and you want to qualify for Boston, you have exactly 35 seconds to cross the finish line. At that point, one of my pace leaders told me to take off. And I did; I could hear the announcer counting down as I crossed the finish line.
Above: Coming across the finish at 3 hours 14 min 49 sec.
Above: Janette set a PR in the half-marathon
After qualifying for Boston on Saturday, I made sure I was in front of my computer on Monday, October 18th by 8 AM. Because this is such an international event, I knew qualified runners from all over the world would be looking to register. initially, the server was down due to the amount of traffic. But, after a few minutes, I was able to log on. Here is the fun part. After completing my registration, the system would not accept it; it took around 10 attempts to get registered. The BAA had an incorrect link (I think). Janette found a discussion board in which others were having the same problems. Finally, on one of the discussion boards I follow, a young lady posted a link saying it worked. And it did. I am thankful that it did. Boston filled up in a record of 8 hours. This has caused a great deal of controversy. Boston does allow 20 percent of its runners to be charity runners. Thus, they have to pay or raise a significant amount of money to run Boston. This is why you might see Valerie Bertinelli or other celebs running such a race. There is a chance that Boston will again lower the qualifying times. This is looking like it will be the case for women, as some believe their times are too easy. Case in point: a female between the ages of 18 – 34 must run a time of 3 hours and 40 minutes to qualify; I do not think this is the problem, but it is one that will be looked at. I am curious. Regardless, all serious runners aim to run the most prestigious marathon in the world. And as long as it is the premier elite race, this problem will not go away.
I will start training for Boston after the 30k (18.6 miles) I am running on December 12th. The goal is to run Boston at or under 3 hours. I am motivated by this challenge.