Friday, April 18, 2008

The SunTrust National Marathon Newsletter

I received the SunTrust National Marathon Newsletter in my email box yesterday. Intending to delete it, I opened it and glanced at it.

It headlined 2008 as a record breaking year for the three-year old race, and posted a picture of local legend Michael Wardian threepeating in a course record time of 2:24:57. It listed both half-marathon winners as setting course records, Ezkyas Sisay in 1:06:17 and Virginian Samia Akbar in 1:16:31. It pointed out that DC Mayor Adrian Fenty PR’d in 3:40:05, and it touted essay winner Steven Babylon, who wrote about his adopted daughter who loved playing with his marathon medals, so he had to get more for her. Lastly, it listed the Featured Runner with this accompanying picture.

What a surprise. (Look, I'm wearing my Reebok shorts!)

The newsletter said that I started running in 2000 and have become a coach and running advocate as well as a runner. When I am "not wearing the tread off [my] running shoes, [I] maintain a blog about life and running in the DC area." All of that is true. Then it provided the link to my blog.

Since they didn't interview me, I can't claim I was misquoted. Which otherwise, I aways do. Keep your options open, I always say.

I sure enjoyed running the SunTrust National Half Marathon, yet I never really posted a full report about it. I already told you it was my second best time for a half marathon (my PR is 1:44:18 at the Inaugural Disneyland Half). I’m not going to bore you with a full report now, but my splits are informative, so I’ll list them. Numbers don’t lie.

The course definitely has hills in its middle part. Between the fourth and seventh miles it rises 200 feet, with the steepest climb being right at the 10K mark. Starting at the eight and a quarter mile mark, the course runs downhill to the finish, except for one more climb of about 65 feet in the twelfth mile.

I believe that to run a fast race, you have to get going right from the start--fast. My first two miles were fast, 7:41 and 7:33 (down Capitol Hill).

Then I didn't see any more mile markers til the sixth one, at 47:30 (7:55). This time included a porta-potty stop of perhaps 45 seconds in the third mile. In the sixth mile, we were into the uphill section of the course, at the steepest part. I ran over a timing mat at the 10K point in 49:22 (7:57).

The rest of the way went like this. Seventh mile 8:31 (steepest hill); eighth mile 8:05; ninth mile 8:05 (going downhill); tenth mile 7:56 (10 Miles, 1:20:10 (8:01)).

The last three miles were 8:18; 8:37 (an uphill plus I was drifting); and 8:00 (Sasha passed me by and I pepped up, thinking I might light out after her). 0:48 for the last tenth. Final Time: 1:45:35 (8:04).

It was 17 seconds faster than flat Disney World in 2006, when I was running well. It was 81 seconds slower than Disneyland in 2006, when I was at my peak. In both those races I had some gas in the tank at the end. Here, my tank was empty and I finished on fumes.

My last 5K at the Disneyland Half Marathon was 23:10 (7:27); here, it was 25:25 (8:11). That's a big difference.

Numbers don't lie. But I was thinking 1:53, so I'll gladly take 1:45.


Just12Finish said...

Well, hello, famous man!

Susan said...


akshaye said...

That is great! Glad you didnt hit the delete button on that one :) Although I am surprised that they did not even contact you about it.

CewTwo said...

What a nice surprise!

You are so fast. I am always amazed!

ShirleyPerly said...

Wow, I'm sure you were surprised by that newsletter! Interesting how very differently you ran that race from the Disneyland Half yet came up only about a minute apart.

Jade Lady said...

What a wonderful surprise to be the featured runner! Thank goodness you took the time to read the email!

Well, now that you're famous, don't forget us minions!