What an awesome Event!
Kudos to Birgit, Jessica and the staff of volunteers who worked for peanuts... literally. This being my first full
marathon, I had a few modest goals: I wanted to get a good start and tag on to the fastest paceline, bring my training parters with me, and push myself to good finish. A few lofty goals that I had was to finish under 1:30 hours, and place in my age group.
This was my biggest worry for this event; so much so that I was even jockeying for postion on the mile skate up to the start line, much to the dismay of a couple of skaters (my bad
), but I knew the start would be essential if I was going to tag on to a fast paceline. I did catch on to the tail end of the Elite paceline but by the first turn about a mile into the race they took off and I couldn't keep up with their speed. I settled into a group of skaters in the same boat as me which ended up being the first organized open marathon paceline and the second paceline overall (about 10 skaters).
The Fall and No Man's Land:
Around the second lap during a paceline shuffle my skate and the skate from the guy in front me had a territorial dispute, and my skate lost and it took me down in fantastic fashion. By the time I struggled to my feet, recovered mentally and physically and got skating again, the paceline was too far off to rejoin with my fitness level. As I pressed to catch backup unsuccessfully, one thought came to mind "I need more 'Lap the pack' in my life."
No Man's Land is one loooonely place
and the only way I got through it was by encouraging some half marathoners that I passed. At times I couldn't see anyone in front or behind me, but I pressed on.
I skated alone for almost one lap until I was caught by the second open marathon paceline, another good paceline with Don, Quang, Rich amongst others. We worked together until pack sprint at the end.
In all I had a wonderful time, I have no regrets and I'm happy with my time 1:28.36, 8th place in the Open Marathon Divison. I have learned a few things though. Next time I will use Sunglasses; my eyes were drying out and the glare from the Sun was pretty significant. Bring a water bottle; there were two water stations, but a couple times we were just moving too fast to get some. Another time I dropped the cup and got no water. The few times I got water I had to hustle to get back in the paceline. By the end of the race my muscles were trying to cramp up and I couldn't respond to surges the way I wanted to. And fiinally, The Start Is
Thanks again to everyone who helped this be a great experience.
Now it's time to get back to work! My new goal is a sub 1:25 marathon.