Short version: 2:55:25 (PR:)), 13th OA, 3rd woman, 1st master, my bronze level Marathon Maniac qualifying run. :)
Long version: Van and I drove down Friday afternoon, and met up with Dick and Cliff at the hotel. The four of us went to packet pickup, had dinner (and chocolate cake) at Georgie's, drove the course (much to Dick's dismay), and bought some food for breakfast.
On Saturday morning, Van and I jogged to the start (almost a mile) to warm up. We got there plenty early to stretch and watch the runners arrive. Cliff is injured so he couldn't run the marathon, and he borrowed my car to follow the race and support us. When he showed up, we went to the car, so Van could use some scissors to fix her shoe. I saw some friends to visit with, and we were just sort of hanging around when Van said, "Mary, do you know that it's 6:42?" I still needed to use the sanican! The line was long and slow, but using the bushes was not an option for me that morning. They called a 3 minute warning, which sent a good part of the line running for the bushes and made the people in the sanicans hurry more. I got in and out of the sanican just before the start gun, but it left me at the back of the pack trying to maneuver around walkers. Luckily, the poor start didn't affect my finish position. I have never missed a start like that before - how embarrassing!
After a few miles, I settled in to a pace that was only slightly faster than my plan, but I kept watching the women in front of me and was struggling between sticking to my plan and keeping them in sight. I noticed at about mile 6 that these two guys I had been followiing were hitting the miles right at 6:42. I decided to follow them for a while. After a few more miles, one turned around and said, "How are you doing back there?"
My new friends, Hunter and Al, and I hit the half at 1:27:29. Oops, that's 1:31 under my intended target. I thought, "There goes my negative split." and "I hope I don't bonk!" I asked Al and Hunter if they were shooting for an even split, and Al replied that he thought that would be a gift at this point, that they had gone out too fast. So I decided that we were all in the same boat and stayed with them. I passed a woman between miles 14 and 15 and another at about mile 15. From there, my placing didn't change. I stayed with Al and Hunter until almost mile 23, then they pulled away. I was shocked to make the turn at the finish and see the clock read 2:55! If you look at the finish photos, I think they snapped mine when I saw the clock (http://www.photoreflect.com/scripts/prsm.dll?eventorder?photo=06PX000U0B0019&start=0&album=0&adjust=-1). My official time was 2:55:25. My watch said 2:55:10, due to my bad start, but that meant that I ran a 12 second positive split, which is much better than I had feared.
Van and Dick both had amazing runs! Van PRed by 8 minutes and won her AG! And Dick was right behind her and was 2nd in his AG! After enjoying some chowder and beer at the finish, we went back to the hotel and walked down to the beach for a soak in the ocean. After that, we needed to warm up in the hot tub. :) Then we had a lovely lunch at Shirley's, a place that Dick recommended, and we got to the awards ceremony right on time.
It was another fun weekend spent with my running buddies. :) It was fun to get so much time to visit with Van, since we haven't been able to train together as much lately.
Thanks to all the NoWDeads who so highly recommended the Newport Marathon as a PR course and a fun time. It was great.
Mary, new bronze level Marathon Maniac