Sunday, November 4, 2007

Manchester City Marathon and Half Marathon

The inaugural Manchester City Marathon and Half Marathon was held in Manchester, NH today. Surprisingly enough for a first time race, registration was sold out several weeks in advance. Over 800 runners were registered for the half marathon, and 600 for the marathon.

We had beautiful fall New England weather for the race. Tropical storm Noel blew through here yesterday, mostly off to sea, but still with a good amount of inland rain and wind. But Noel was gone this morning, and we had temperatures in the mid 40s and plenty of sun at the 8:50am race start.

I ran the half - my first half ever, as up to now I've preferred the 10k race distance. My target finish time window was between one hour and forty five and one hour fifty minutes. I'm still waiting for official times to be posted, but my watch says 1:47:11.

I ran all but the last mile with my work running partner, Dan, who was running the full marathon. I think I paced Dan through the first ten miles, but I know that he was pacing me in miles 10 and 11. We hit a hill somewhere around mile 11 that just made me feel like crap, but Dan kept plowing on. He got me to mile 12 and told me to get going and finish strong. Thanks, Dan!

Here's a shot that Patti took of me and Dan at mile 6:

Me and Dan at mile 6

And here's a shot of me in the final stretch, somewhere between mile 13 and the finish line:

Me and Dan at mile 6

Dan kept up our first half pace on his own through the second half of the marathon, and finished somewhere in the three hour and 30 minute range. Way to go, Dan!

I'll update the post when official finishing times show up on Cool Running.

Oh, and I feel great! My quads are just a little sore, but no big deal. And I developed a blister on a toe, but again - no big deal.

Update: Both the marathon results and half marathon results are now posted on Cool Running. I finished in 1:47:10, giving me a pace average of 8:11 per mile; I was the 144th finisher, out of 816 total, and 15th out of the 40 in my age group. Dan finished in an amazing 3:36:49, which is just 6 minutes short of a Boston Marathon qualifying time; considering how frigging hilly the course was, this was a fantastic finish time for Dan. His average pace was 8:17, so he did slow a little in the second half of his race. He finished 98th out of 517, and 14th out of 49 in his age group.

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