Akron Marathon 2010 – Recap of my run

This week I’m providing a breakdown of my run in the 2010 Akron Marathon. It was my 8th time participating in that event (7 full marathons, 1 relay team).

5:35 AM Wake, shower, get everything together – body glide application, re-tape my toe, pin-on bib number, attach D-ring timing wrap to shoelaces, pack some ibuprofen in a baggy (duct-taped to inside of running shorts – not a good choice, tape peeled back, stuck to skin, pulled off skin), put on temporary tattoos (road runner bird, handed out by the race)
6:00 AM Out the door. Staying at in-laws house, only about 2.6 miles from the start. Have started running to the start, nice easy jog to warm-up.
6:25 AM Arrive, get some coffee, warm-up, stretch. Pretty warm from my jog despite temp of 55 degrees.
6:45 AM Get in the coral, queue up in-between the 3:50 and 4:00 pace groups. Nervous energy (mine and those around me) starting to build. Periodic motivational announcements over the loud speakers.
7:00 AM The race is officially underway!!!
7:01:30 AM I officially cross the start. This is an important bit to keep in mind, need to subtract the overage from every race clock I see as they are all running on gun time, not my chip time. At a bigger race, like Chicago (by the way, I highly recommend it – extremely flat course and 1 million+ spectators. Good fun), it might be 6+ minutes until you actually cross the start. Also this is important to understand as the official pace groups adjust their pace/time to finish with the clock time matching their pace group sign time.
7:02 – 8:30 AM Nice pace, about a 9:08/mile. Still running thick in the crowd. Only problem with my finish time/pacing is that it is the ‘meat’ of the crowd, lots of people to move around. Especially relay team folks that are slower. Pet peeve – folks who queue up way ahead of their finish time. They really cause problems on the course. And if your walking, get to the back. I know that sounds jerky, but it really is an issue, especially when you have 4-5 walkers all in a long row out for a Sunday stroll. Think about the other folks.
8:30 – 8:54 AM Picking up speed, a big downhill portion from downtown Akron to the towpath entrance, laying down around a 8:22/mile pace. Then on the towpath keeping the pace around 8:30/mile, trying to ‘bank’ some time for later use.
8:55 AM Cross the half-way point, have ‘banked’ some time to allow for a little slack on the back half and still aim for a sub-4 hour finish.
9:10 – 10:00 AM Back portion of the towpath and then into Sand Run. Not a fun part of the course. In Sand Run 99% of the fan support disappears (metro park). It is also almost all uphill. This is where I use some of that ‘banked’ time, drop my speed back a bit to 9:15. Maybe 9:30. For reference, here is the elevation chart:


10:15 AM Toe starts to take over, really beginning to feel the miles on it
10:30 – 10:55 AM Portage Path to Market Street. Portage is great, flat and lots of fan support. Market starts out great in the Highland Square area but quickly gives way to very few fans and lots of angry motorists (at the back-up due to Portage/Market intersection being closed).
11:11:05 AM Cross the finish line. Note: Actual time to run was 4:08:43 – the 2+ minute difference is attributed to clock time vs. chip time.
11:12:00 AM Start analyzing race for areas to improve, aiming for 3:50 in 2011 . . .

Here’s a great place to start – examining my pace over the entire course. This is a screenshot from my Garmin Forerunner 205 Training Center software, the green line shows course elevation, blue line shows my pace at all times (peaks are typically water tables stops, approx. 15 seconds, and valleys are where I was burning fuel. At the end you can see where things fell apart, 3 hour mark was first sign of trouble and then by 3:15 you can see my ability to hold the pace really degrading.):



About Feet on the Road
Avid runner, looking to share what I've learned from trial and error.

3 Responses to Akron Marathon 2010 – Recap of my run

  1. gina says:

    good work on another marathon triumph!

    i totally agree about the slower runners/walkers lining up way too far up. i had a huge problem with walkers when i was running san diego this summer. its hard on the mind as well as the body to be dodging around them so much.

    i can’t imagine running that far with a broken toe. hope it starts to feel better soon!

    awesome goal for next year!

  2. Peter says:

    Hey Den – can you post what to eat 48 – 24 hours before a race? All the way up to race time? Thanks man.

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