Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Phoenix Marathon

Saturday was a big day. I ran in the Phoenix Half Marathon and was coaching a bunch of people in the half and full marathon and this was a big day for them. I sort of felt like my own half marathon was very insignificant. So many of them had worked hard for so long and this was their moment to show it. It was an early morning with the 6:30 start time. I was actually sleeping in a little until 3:15 and at 6:30 the weather was just perfect. My favorite time to run is dawn so I loved it. When I got off the freeway to get to the buses there was a huge delay. I moved about 1/4 mile in 20 minutes and I could tell I was going to be late for the bus so I pulled back on to the freeway and parked 2.5 miles from the start and just did my warm up and strides on my way to the start. That turned out to be a great decision. I found a port a potty on the way and had very little stress. I ended up at the start with about 10 minutes to go and I felt ready to go. The race was well organized and got started on time.The weather seemed perfect. I was determined to go off effort and not look at my watch at all until the mile splits. First two seemed conservative enough and were 5:41,5:44. A lead group of 4 had separated early and I was running with another guy for the first nine miles. We would trade surges and taking the lead but it was nice to have him there. Rest of the splits were 5:34,5:36,5:38,5:37,5:39, 5:39, 5:38,5:45,5:44,5:43,5:31, (4:59 pace for the last .16) for an official time of 1:14:21 and sixth place. The guy I was running with gapped me around 9 miles and I didn't respond well enough to stick to him. I was hurting so I tried of course but you always say "what if" when you look back. Anyway, I was a little disappointed with the time and miles 10,11,12 is where I lost the time that I was hoping for. The course was good, weather was perfect, and I gave it my all so I can't ask for much more. After the race I quickly met up with Allison and the kids and I cooled down a couple of miles. At this point if I don't cool down right away I'll end up in pretty bad shape the next day. The post race refueling stuff was awesome and I loaded up for the kids. It was definitely one of those "we don't care what they eat today" days. We had to keep them happy for a long time. After I had cooled down and we had gotten our Starbucks fix we went on the course to watch the marathoners coming in at around mile 25. We were able to see our friend Jake come by in the lead with another guy sitting right on him. It was exciting to see someone we knew battling for the win like that. About an hour later we found out he had won. We then waited for all of our athletes to come by which was totally nerve-wracking. Most people are struggling pretty bad at mile 25 so you really get to see just how tough the race is. We got to see Julie who qualified for Boston, Ashley, and my sister Dana all coming in which was great. It is such an accomplishment to run 26 miles so we were really proud of everybody. I thought the race was well organized and I thought they did a really good job for a first year marathon. I'm sure we'll be back next year. Now it's time for a quick turnaround and the Mountain to Fountain 15k this weekend!


  1. Great race Derek! I enjoyed hearing how the half went and love reading what it's like at the top. :) Even though you didn't get the pace you wanted, I'm still in awe that people's legs can move that fast, period. I bet it was very fulfilling to see so many of the people you coach cross that marathon finish!

  2. Awesome job! I am seriously considering Phoenix for a BQ attempt next year so am happy to hear that you thought it was well organized. So far I've only read good things about the event.