Defn: a human male displaying evidence of devolution - exhibits distinctive "caveman-like" tendencies. This man often dribbles in public places; cannot drink a beverage without spilling it on himself, the floor or someone else; may also run into objects like lampposts & bushes; has a definite "sloopish & short legged" running style that is slow and low to the ground, often resulting in the dragging of knuckles.

These throwback neanderthals, along with their questionable diet, should clearly be avoided.

Monday, May 23, 2011

2011 Ogden Marathon Race Report

If interested, link to pre race post (getting to the start line) here.
I wanted to make sure I didn't start out too fast.  The crowd helped w/ that, took about a minute to get to the start line after the "GO!" and the first 2 miles I clocked in at 7:55 avg pace.  These ended up being my 2 slowest miles of the day.   Tried not to weave in and around other runners.  So far, things okay physically, the knees were okay, some minor discomfort, gradually going numb. 
The first 7 miles dropped 500' with the South Fork of the Ogden river running in full flood along side the road and in some places even on the road.
Aid stations were no more than 3 miles apart throughout the entire course and probably more than a dozen clumps of porta potties positioned throughout the course.  No chance of ever going off course and only 2 sections of road that had opposing traffic on it - complete w/ a police escort that dictated when vehicles could pass by.  This event was very well produced, very impressive.

After 2 miles and the first water stop where I took a shot block, I took stock of where I was physically and after driving the course the night before - having seen that the middle section was as much flat as it was both up and down in places - decided I could pick up the pace before the middle section.  Miles 3 and 4 were at a 7:45 pace, then the next 4 miles at 7:38 pace - all feeling quite good.

All the pre-race fluids caught up w/ me at around mile 8, took a 1/2 minute porta potty stop, followed by a cliff shot, powerade and then back at it.  At about mile 8 1/2 we turned and started around the Pineview reservoir where we would run around it till about 18 1/2 miles in. 
Within a 1/2 mile I came gradually up alongside a guy, ran beside him for a few minutes and asked how he was doing, he was fine, he asked me the same.   He told me this next section around the reservoir was where people get separated, was the part of the course that needed some work to get through. 

He was right, I soon realized I needed to slow down and maintain effort.  I did and yet still was determined and able to maintain a 7:50 pace for the next 5 miles to the halfway point.  Halfway split time was 1:42:30.  Tempted to stop but a big, supportive crowd there and nowhere for me to pull off and hide. 

I was especially grateful to have driven the reservoir section at dusk the night before, noticing several rollers, the biggest at mile 14, only 1/2 mile long and 100' of up, still enough to grab the attention.  Took it's toll on some people going up.

Throughout the reservoir stretch were some mental mind games.  The feet were pounded, knees were doing okay, but by no means feeling good.  I ran mostly by myself, passing people gradually, few, if any passing me.  Sun was out throughout and warmed up to (guessing) upper 50's.   Was low 60's by race end (for me).

I kept telling myself focus on getting to the reservoir dam, where after that some downhills await.  From the halfway point till end of the reservoir dam I drifted at times back to an 8 pace on the uphills, but overall pace for that 5 1/2 miles was an 7:52 avg pace.  Not great, yet not bad as the accumulated distance was starting to take a definite toll on me.   The couple of aid stations before the reservoir Dam I had resorted to 2 cups of water, 1 over the head and 1 w/ a cliff shot.  Then a powerade gulp - all while speed walking through them.

I had by this time long since given up watching the scenery, the night before the camera battery had died, so this is the best photo I have.
Finally, ran across the reservoir dam, Ogden river runs down from it to Ogden, about a 500' foot drop over the next 4 miles.  About 4 steps off the Dam, now heading downhill, the knees screamed out, most pain all day - felt like the right one was trying to jump out of the socket.  Pulled back on the effort and shortened the stride.  The feet really were hurting now so this was going to be a struggle.

I was still on track to do well though, realized if I could hold on and maintain I would certainly beat 3:30 and had a good chance to beat 3:27 = beating the PR from 19 yrs ago.  With 10K to go - I went for it, wasn't going to be easy, but I had not signed up expecting an easy run.   No-one passed me the rest of the way.

The next 4 miles I think I did w/ my eyes closed for most of it, grimacing the whole way.  Came through an aid station, entirely Military staffed - managed to say something along the lines of "thanks for all you do protecting this country and for being here today".  The guy replied "Happy to be here sir, now keep running and finish strong!"  Was certainly an encouraging boost.

Got to the aid station where the 5K started, left the road for a paved, double track bike path.  This part I had not seen last night.  I didn't know we were going to run on it, a little surprised, but no real slowing of pace.  Spectators building, passing 1/2 marathoners walking, full marathoners struggling, all of us ready to be done.  Some small rollers for this section, about 2 miles in all, mostly shady - that and now 2 cups of water over the head at each aid station kept me cool. 

Just over a mile or so to go, came off the bike path back onto the road and the last water stop - I was a wreck but no stopping me now.   Last turn onto the home stretch, problem was it was 3/4 mile long, flat and seemed like it would never end.  Took us right into downtown.  Lots of people on this last section of the course, mostly half'ers, but definitely some marathoners I was able to pass.

Took note of people ahead, targeting runners, catching, passing, moving to the next one.  Finish line was at 25th street.  At 18th street I noticed the street sign, started clicking off the blocks, gradually pushing harder as each went by. 

22nd street, crowds were really making noise.  Race bibs had each runners first name on it - so I even heard my name being cheered by some folks.

23rd street, glanced at watch, 26.2 miles - hmmmm - just go, get to the line.

24rd street I was full out with everything flailing, probably looked like the most awkward running, uncoordinated fool out there but the end was in sight. 

25th Street.  Finish Line.  I was done.  More importantly - I did it.

My watch said 26.41 miles - I know they measure the shortest distance to complete the course - Sure, I had run a little further, but I will take the official times and distance gladly.  No complaints.

Official time 3:25:34.   150th place overall out of 2368 finishers (according to chip times).  1st half 1:42:30.  2nd half 1:43:04.  Only 34 seconds slower.  20th out of 196 in age group.  Beat my last Fall's marathon time by 12:19.  Beat my first (and only other) marathon that I ran 19 years ago by about 3 minutes for the PR.  First runner to finish from Colorado (okay there were only about a dozen). 

Success.  Achievement.  PR.  And a cool medal to go with it.

Aerial photos from near start of the race - taken from Race website


  1. Top Colorado Marathoner - I'd go with that ;-) Somehow missed this one earlier in the week - Great Job!!