San Diego, California
Mileage - 26.2
Time - 2:41:56
AEG - 888ft
Pace - 6:11
Place - 3rd Male
Having the opportunity to visit San Diego, hang out with friends and run a marathon sounded like a great weekend to me. I got that and more over the past few days in Southern California. As far as the race is concerned, I went into it with no pressure as my training has consisted mainly of easy aerobic miles since February. That made my visit feel more relaxed, like an actual vacation. All I really wanted was to run in the 2:40's and see what happens.
Crowds of marathoners gathered Sunday morning outside of Balboa Park and the corrals began to fill. I ran around the park in an attempt to get myself prepped for the next couple hours of running. I honestly didn't know how this one was going to go. Next thing I knew they were counting down the seconds, 3...2...1. Go! I found a nice steady rhythm early on making my way through the streets of downtown San Diego. As the miles ticked off, I gained momentum and moved into the top ten by mile 10. A conservative approach paid off over the next ten miles as they didn't seem that much tougher than the first ten. Then came the big hill at mile 20. I hadn't seen another runner in over an hour, then I caught a glimpse of a guy I knew I could catch, powering up the hill with a new found spark. Then another and another. Spectators were getting excited and someone told me I was in 5th. Fifth place? I was a bit surprised, and didn't want to lose it so I ran faster. The marathon course converged side by side with the half and more encouragement came from several runners. The closer I came to the finish the faster I wanted to run. Soon the finish line was in sight and I coasted in uncontested, though I never looked back.
Third place! Male that was, as I later found out. It certainly came as a surprise, and the race management quickly escorted the top three male and female finishers into the VIP suite at Petco Park for an interview and briefing prior to the awards ceremony. I looked around the room and noticed numerous professional runners and olympians in our company so I just played along. Next thing I knew I was being announced on stage, handed a plaque and bouquet of flowers. I just laughed and enjoyed the moment.
Again, it was a better race weekend than I could've asked for, and I always appreciate all the hard work and volunteer efforts that go into making something like this happen. Best of all was hanging out with Jeff (pictured above) who completed his 112th marathon I believe. Also, a big thanks to Harriet and Ellen for taking me on a tour of Coronado Island.
|Toes in the sand, enjoying the sunset at Mission Beach|