Very interesting day today at the Deseret News Marathon. The plan was to pace my friend Bret to a sub 3 hour time. Started out pretty well with Bret and I clicking off close to 6 minute miles on the very steep downhills early in the race. When we got to mile five, Bret began to fall back. Ann and the kids were meeting us at the six mile point just before the 1.5 mile climb up Little Mountain. When I saw Ann and Abby on the side of the road (Andy was sleeping in the car), I stopped, collected our Gatorade and Gu and waited for Bret. Ran with Bret a ways up Little Mountain but then he began to fall back again even though I was running about 8 minute pace.
So I had to make a decision. I have to admit that Bret really did not look good at this point - a bad sign this early into a marathon. Turns out I sorely misjudged his condition as he really was able to put it back together coming down the canyon. But I thought he was toast at this point. So I had to decide what to do. My first thought was to keep holding up my end of the deal and run about 2:59 pace and hope he could catch up. I got together with Jeff L from the blog, who was also hoping for a sub 3 for the first time and I thought that maybe I could help him out. See, I really couldn't decide whether or not I should shift into race mode in a marathon that I hadn't intended to race. So Jeff and I began cranking out a bunch of 6:10 to 6:20 miles going down the canyon. I think it was around mile 14 that Jeff wished me luck and told me to take off. I was a little bummed because it was nice having someone to run with and, judging by his breathing, Jeff was doing really well.
As I came out of the canyon by the zoo, Ann and the kids met me again. Ann told me that I was in about 15th place and there were "a bunch of old guys" in front of me. I was really feeling good even though the sun was up and it was now in the 70s in the valley. Going up foothill I was able to catch Bill Cobler and he gave me the scoop on the other Masters runners ahead. I was at about 21 miles and couldn't really see anyone up ahead so I wasn't to optimistic. But I decided to just keep plugging along and see what happens. So, when I crossed the line in 2:50 ( I would have cracked 2:50 if I hadn't had to argue with a cop about the proper direction for me to go around mile 25 - two cops pointing different directions - cost me about 30 seconds) and they anounced that I was 6th and the first Master, I was pretty thrilled.
Splits: 6:02, 6:03, 6:07, 6:16, 6:56, 7:27, 7:56, 7:14, 6:11, 6:09, 6:20, 6:20, 6:14, 6:20, 5:56, 6:18, 6:13, 6:24, 6:12, 6:14, 6:43, 5:58, 6:34,6:25, 6:36, 6:35 for the last 1.2
After the finish, I walked back out on the course to look for Bret, Saw Jeff L cruising in in about 3:03(?). Bret ran high 3:08 after missing the turn where I argued with the cop. Cost him about a half mile. So, he probably would have ran 3:05. Not bad at all for a Floridian running through the Wasatch. He also has a hellacious blister on his foot now. I honestly expected he was going to run 3:20 to 3:30. He ran a really gutsy race and I know he will break 3 at New York in November.
Also, one of my former runners at Alta High School, Jon Kotter, was able to edge out Fritz for the win in around 2:24. That was pretty cool too. I knew that the two of them would have a great battle.