Savannah Marathon 2011: Race Recap

First, the stats:

Chip time: 3:29:45

Age Group: 7th out of 421

Gender: 62nd out of 2473

Field Placement: 308 out of 4722 


 Now on to the race.

There actually isn't a lot to say about the race itself. No drama, no major hurdles. I didn't have that, "Ooh yeah, I'm killing it," feeling I had when I ran Chicago, but I also never got into a place where I was in any real trouble. I just tried to run steady and it worked out okay.

The only really tough spot was miles 21-24. We made a hairpin turn back onto a highway and entered this major wind tunnel. It was like having one of those gigantic movie fans in front of you, blowing at full force. People were actually staggering and putting their arms up to shield their faces as they tried to push through it. Brutal. I was alone at the start of it and so had zero wind block. I caught up with a group about 50 yards in front of me and we all kind of huddled together, taking turns breaking the front. At mile 23.5, with this gale wind just pushing against us, I looked up and said, "Seriously? At mile 23, this is what we get?" and everyone laughed, breaking the tension a bit. 

I knew coming in the last couple of miles that I had run a good race and that I was going to be near my goal time of 3:30, maybe a 3:31. Then the evil "Dena voice" piped up in the back of my mind. It whispered to me that if I ran a 3:31, I'd be left thinking, "Hm, I wonder if I could break 3:30?" That was all it took. I told myself, "Finish this. You do what you have to do to make this under 3:30 thing happen NOW. Otherwise, you're going to have to come back and do this all over again." 

As I was coming down the last .2 I knew it was going to be close. I did a last minute sprint that probably resembled the Hunchback of Notre Dame taking it up to a trot (the legs and lower back were really stiff by then) but I crossed the line with only 14 seconds to spare. That's called cutting it close. 

Overall, great course with fantastic crowd support. My favorite sign of the day was a spectator holding a posterboard at mile 25 that read,"Worst Parade Ever." I also heard some guy ran the marathon in a 7-foot tall Beaker (from the Muppets) costume and I'm heartbroken I didn't get to see that. 

Friends have already been asking me about the next marathon. I don't think I'll run one again until next Fall. I've got the 24-hour trail race in December and I'm already signed up for about 3 half-marathons in the spring, so I'll enjoy some down time for awhile.

I'll leave you with my splits per mile. You can see where that wind tunnel was late in the race. Thank God I had some time banked. Also, note that while I was supposed to be running an 8-minute pace, I actually only hit that one a couple of miles. Still inconsistent with my speed, which I need to work on. Grateful I had the minutes banked though. I needed them to pull me through. 

Mile 1: 8:21

Mile 2: 7:53

Mile 3: 7:43

Mile 4:7:59

Mile 5: 7:49

Mile 6: 7:51

Mile 7: 8:02

Mile 8: 7:48

Mile 9: 7:43

Mile 10: 7:53

Mile 11: 8:00

Mile 12: 7:41

Mile 13: 7:36 (What the hell was I thinking?)

Mile 14: 7:49

Mile 15: 7:54

Mile 16: 7:56

Mile 17: 8:00

Mile 18: 7:52

Mile 19: 7:49

Mile 20: 7:49

Mile 21: 8:08

Mile 22: 8:00

Mile 23: 8:06

Mile 24: 8:20 (Hello, wind tunnel)

Mile 25: 7:55

Mile 26: 8:14