It should be noted right off that I finished second overall in this race and second in the Masters division as Jeff Shadley is also an old guy and beat me by something like 25 seconds. They were nice enough to give me the Masters award since Jeff got the overall.
This was a GREAT race. They really go all out to make every runner feel appreciated. The race director and all the volunteers were really special. Free bags of Idaho potatos to every runner! They don't offer prize money so all the top Utah guys skip it even though it's a really nice race and an easy 2 1/2 hour drive from Salt Lake. That's ok though as it allows guys like me to dream about winning a legit race.
Met Jeff at the starting line before the 8 am start. First time meeting in person after lots of emails and phone conversations (Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, Jeff was able to get my family a free room at the Marriot Town Place Suites which was really, really nice of him). I have to admit that the opportunity to race Jeff was one of the big reasons I decided to go up to Idaho and run this race. Being out of Utah facing different competition was fun. I would say that I was not optimistic about winning the race, but I was hopeful. As I've mentioned before, my training, with injuries and such, has been really inconsistent lately. But I've also had some really great workouts in the last couple weeks that gave cause for some optimism. Honestly, nothing would have really surprised me today.
Mile splits: 5:28, 5:45, 6:01, 6:12, 5:51, 5:47, 5:52, 6:02, 6:22, 5:55, 5:52, 6:05, 5:55,
The course was fairly challenging after all the downhill Utah courses I'm used to. It required a lot of focus to maintain a fairly consistent pace on the gradual, but pretty long, uphills.
I stayed a few yards behind Jeff for the first three miles but I didn't like my breathing so I backed it down a bit and Jeff opened up a hundred yard lead or so (before that we passed Teena Marie from the blog who was running the marathon. She cheered us on with great enthusiasm which was great for someone fifteen or sixteen miles into a marathon).His lead on me stayed pretty much the same until about mile ten. At times I would feel like I was getting into a nice rhythm and was actually closing the gap. I told myself that maybe his legs would be a bit dead after his recent marathon and that maybe he'd drop back to me.
Then, coming out of the mile 10 water/gatorade stop area I couldn't see Jeff up ahead anymore. I thought "what the hell, did he throw in some kind of insane surge or something"? For about a mile I strained to see him up ahead. Then I glanced behind and saw him about 30 yards behind! Wierd, because I hadn't passed him. Turns out Jeff was suffering from some GI issues and had to duck into a potty at the aid station. Not enough issues to keep him from opening close to a 30 second lead over me over the last couple miles though.
Still, cool to finish second to such a tough runner. The finish line was great. Lots of games for the kids plus a great public swimming pool and zoo complex. Great food and bevereges at the end. Super nice trophy that weighs about 20 pounds and will look great above my fireplace.