I had a good run in Calgary yesterday. It was my fastest marathon in 10 years. I was 7th overall, and 3rd in my age category.
The weather was great. 15 degrees I would guess during the race, and a slight breeze which had a nice cooling effect.
I went out at a controlled pace, and passed 10 km at 39:10. The course has a long climb at 16 km, up the Shaganappi Trail, and that kilometre took me 4:30 – I deliberately took it easy going up it. The race winds then around Varsity Estates residential area, and there are a few rolling hills here. I passed the half-way mark at 1:22:35.
My friend Brendan was close on my heels from the start of the race, and I knew it was just a matter of time until he caught up with me. Going down the long hill at Shaganappi Trail again, he finally did, and he was fresher than me. I stuck to him for as long as I could, and we passed quite a few people who had gone out too hard. I was starting think we may place up where the money is (top 5 get prize money).
At just past the 40K mark, my legs started to give up a bit, and I could not hold the 3:50 or lower pace we were going at. I had to let Brendan go, but I came in at 2:44:06 and I am quite content overall. After all, I had a negative split – ran the 2nd half in 1:21.30, which for me is a very positive experience. You see, I have more or less crashed early on the 2nd half of every marathon I’ve ever run. Maybe I just broke the spell!
My wife did great too – personal best with a couple of minutes on the half. Our 15 year old daughter got a personal best on the 10K and placed 3rd overall. Our 5 year old had a lot of fun in the Timbit race for kids, so it was really a great day for our whole family.
I am not sure which my next marathon will be, but I definitely want to try again this year. Calgary is at fairly high altitude, so I would like to run a sea-level marathon if possible. I think I can shave off a few more minutes off this time. A sub-2:40 would sure feel great! With some more serious and hard long runs, I think that should be doable.