Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Are You Ready?

Are you ready for some running? In a few days I’m going to run the second National Marathon here in DC. Not only is it the second running of the National Marathon, it is the second national marathon as well. The first national marathon collapsed just before its second running in 2003. The race was cancelled a few days beforehand in that post 9-11 scaredy-cat atmosphere due to "security" concerns (security as defined in financial terms, I’ll wager). The company folded its tent and filed for bankruptcy. Most or all runners lost their registration money. Some runners were on planes enroute to the race when the marathon went belly-up. There were howls of outrage over, amongst other things, the fact that the company didn’t even hand out the pre-printed t-shirts before it went out of business.

But runners are a hearty breed and many of the registered runners took to the street on the appointed day and ran the marathon route anyway. The results were actually logged. Hey, it counted.
Last year’s inaugural course went through the District and Prince Georges County, where it picked up some brutal hills. Read Bex’s account of running it. This year the race has returned to entirely within the District. That makes members of the 50-state club happy, who are busy running a marathon in each of the fifty states. Many are purists and insist that each course has to be entirely within the particular locale. Not that runners are obsessed. Now they have a pure District option. (The former race of choice, the MCM, starts and finishes in Virginia. Read Bex’s account of Jeanne running it the first time.)

I don’t feel ready to run it. But that’s what we always say before a marathon. At least there’s no frost or rain or snow in the weekend forecast, unlike a week ago.

LPRM Recap Redux. Two weeks ago Bex and I ran the Lower Potomac River Marathon Two-Person Relay in the Coed Division. Our team was the Tortoise and the Hare. I already told you about my mile splits but I did not tell you where we placed. I said to go read Bex’s account to find out how we did. Well, let me tell you how well my running buddy truly did. (Here's John Piggott airborne as he three-peats at the LPRM in a course record time of 2:33:05. Second place Jonathan Krupa was over seven minutes back.)

We came in first in the Coed Division out of eight teams. We were 5th overall out of 27 teams. Four of the nine men’s teams beat us.

I did leg number one, which is 14.6 miles of flat, scenic vistas with water views. Bex did leg number two, which is 11.6 miles of hills along a non-descript highway.
Our time was 3:34:35. I ran my leg in 1:56:41 and Bex ran her leg in 1:37:54.
(Bex legs it out at Milepost 23. Look at that roadway cant!)

At the time I handed off the sweaty sash (it was plastered around my neck the whole way) I was in second place in the Coed Division, but the leader was five whole minutes ahead of me. Bex ran his counterpart down. (Pretty impressive, huh?)

Bex was much faster than any other female Coed Division runner. Only one second-leg Coed Division runner, a guy, put in a faster time than Bex but we
had enough cushion that he never threatened Bex. Who knows what epic duel might have occurred if he had challenged her at the end?
(Hmmm. Where did Bex park her car?)

She was also faster on her leg, by a lot, than nine of the ten second-leg Women’s Division runners. One woman ran the second leg barely a minute faster than Bex, but she, too, never actually threatened Bex.

Bex ran the second leg faster than five of the nine Men’s Division runners and came within half a minute of the sixth. Six Men’s Division runners were faster than me in the first leg but Bex ran three of those runners’ partners down. She overcame handicaps of three minutes, four minutes and five minutes to pass them. Whew.

(Waiting for Bex at the finish line with my friend from work, G. He was 6th overall in 3:03:54, a PR by 9 minutes!)
In my last post, I revealed how much I wanted a plaque when my sister won one once. Well, now I have a plaque of my very own. Thanks Bex! And good luck in the Half on Saturday. See you at RFK.


Just12Finish said...

Good luck this weekend!

Bex said...

Good Night! You're making my head swell. Who knows what you'll say once I actually start getting faster :-)

jeanne said...

Nice photos, great racing! You two make a terrific team.