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Running Stories -- 2014 and later


Andrew — 2018 Philly Marathon Race Report

Race morning, weather is perfect. Mid 30s at the start, partly cloudy, and no wind for the first time in 3 years. I start in the Black Corral with Earl and Jon. We wish each other luck as we cross the starting line. I don’t see Jon for long as he is off at a faster pace. I feel great and the running is easy as ever after a good 3-week taper. I see Lindsey and Nicole at Logan Circle. High five!

First mile is 8:31. I think about slowing down to save some energy for later in the race. Mile 2 is 8:33, and mile 3 is 8:38. I have a feeling I am probably going out too fast because I am ahead of Earl. Time to ease up a bit.

I turn off Delaware Ave and then make the turn on Front Street. Mile 4 is 8:50. Feel pretty good at this effort so I fly through miles 5 at 8:46. Earl pushes ahead about mile 5. I’m not going to try to keep up with him now. Around mile 6, I see Lindsey and Nicole again! Feeling great! Mile 6 is 8:52, and mile 7 is 8:31.

By Mile 7, I am nearly at 34th street and things are about to get hilly. Heading up 34th street to the Zoo and on into West Fairmount. Mile 8 is 9:05, mile 9 is 8:45, and mile 10 is 9:09. I finish up in West Fairmount Park with some good downhills to MLK drive, and I am able to pick it up. Mile 11 is 9:02, mile 12 is 8:27. Somewhere along MLK I see Bill Timmons and Katie Fleegel cheering. Another high five! Great to see friends on the course out there! I’m working hard, but still feeling good.

Cruising in towards the Art Museum and I see Nicole and Lindsey along the hill up to the top. High five again! Great crowd support! Mile 13 was 8:51. I turn the corner towards Manyunk and start thinking, crap, still 13 more to go. Got to pull back a tad and save some energy for the way back. Miles 14-17 are 9:02, 8:54, 9:24, and 8:55. Not bad. I walk through water stops, drinking gatorade and trying to stave off calf cramps. All going okay. Mile 18 is the slowest of the race, 10:19. I believe somewhere during this mile I stop to refill my water bottle and throw a Nuun tablet in. Concerned about getting enough electrolytes. I’ll be screwed if my calves start to cramp up.

Mile 19, in Manyunk nearing the turnaround and the crowd support is amazing! Music, cheering, the guys with the beer. Let me tell you, this is one time I have no desire for a beer! I hit the turnaround and am so glad to be heading home. Mile 20 and 21, are 9:34 and 9:31. It’s getting tougher to hold the pace. Maybe I went out too fast. I head up the ramp at Ridge Ave and back down to Kelly Drive. Mile 22 is 9:43. Let’s try to pick this up and get to the chute and more crowd support. Legs hurting, but nothing is seriously wrong. I have taken my gels every 45 minutes as planned. Not nauseous. Running marathons is difficult and painful. I push on.

Mile 23 and 24 are 9:33 and 9:13. Getting psyched as I see the city getting closer. I realize I’m close to the 4 hour mark if I can only keep this up. Mile 25 is 9:51. I get to Boathouse Row and I see Lindsey and Nicole again! And what’s Nicole doing, she’s coming up to run with me for a bit! Awesome! My body is in great pain but my spirits get a big boost! I can’t talk but I push ahead and am so glad to be running with a friend. We get to the start of the chute and she peels off. I got this. That finish line has to be here somewhere. Ah, there it is. I give it all I have left. Mile 26 is 9:18. The last .5, I accelerate to 8:15 pace. As I approach the finish line I throw my arms up in the air and attempt to look like I’m not about to die. I’m so happy this is over! I stagger forward and see the medal people and stop. Seth is there and comes forward to give me a finisher’s medal and a hug!

I stop my Garmin. 4:00:27. Not quite sub 4, but I’ll take it! I completed my 23rd marathon! Time to celebrate with all my Philly Runners friends and recover!

Thanks also to Kate, Dan, Dave, Lisa, and so many other friends who I saw somewhere along the course or in the finish chute! And afterwards at our celebration lunch!





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