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2008 Shamrock Marathon - Virginia Beach, VA<br><br>
After really enjoying my first marathon this past December and NOT breaking 4 hours, I had some unsettled business...<br><br>
It seems like I ran a Dualathlon with over 860 miles driving and 26.2 miles running this past Saturday & Sunday..<br>
I left early Saturday morning for VA Beach and it took about 6 hours to get there, ran the race in the morning, partied a little with the Hoovies and Dennis' family then got right back in my car & drove 6 hours home...whew!<br><br>
First let me say that this is a great marathon with a lot of free goodies - a great long sleeve tech tee shirt, great looking hat, very useful backpack, Goody bag with lots of stuff to eat, FREE Murphy's stew and FREE Yuengling Beer! (I think that's how it's spelled) I can't imagine wanting anything more that out of a marathon event.<br>
On the downside...Porta Potties were woefully lacking ( I had to "Go" right before the Start but but I couldn't find a Porta-Potty available so I held it until mile 20 and used a big tree for cover ).The parking was rough as the Half started an hour before and the Marathoners had slim pickings when they arrived for the 8:00AM Start( I did happen to luck out and found a great spot after driving around for about 20 minutes ). My finish time and my even running this marathon at this point is unofficial...My name and Bib number are nowhere to be found in the official results ( I know what I ran so thats what that really matters to me ). I have emailed the race officials and timing chip company to try and get this resolved.<br><br>
When I arrived on Saturday my throat was feeling funny and I didn't feel very well. I had a very restless night's sleep and was woken up by a cold wind-driven rain outside my motel window at 4:30AM. On the Plus side, the room was very clean & comfortable, I had free internet access and it was cheap! In a strange turn of events my nasal drip subsided and the rain stopped by about 6:30AM - although it was still winday and raw all day. Things were starting to look a little better.<br><br>
Fashion Report.....It was a tough call because of the wind and the "raw" feel of the day but I decided on just a Speed Yellow Target tech tee shirt and Charcoal Target shorts, NO gloves, Power socks, blue & white Saucony Hurricane 8's & my green buff for St. Patty's Day. Upon arriving at the Start line area I was standing out like a "sore thumb" because almost everyone seemed to be bundled up except for me just a very small handful of other nuts like myself.<br><br>
My #1 goal was to break 4 hours which eluded me in December and my secret goal would be to actually BQ.<br><br>
You couldn't ask for a flatter course to run on. Although I was cold at the start, after the first couple of miles it really wasn't a factor for me. It wasn't so much that the temperatures were cold but the whipping wind, no sun and damp ocean air just made it feel that way. I felt like I made the right decision in dressing that morning because about a mile or two into the run, everyone seemed to be overdressed. The big factor in this race was the wind.<br><br>
Since my secret but unrealistic goal was to BQ, in the back of my mind I knew that I had to run an 8:35 pace for the whole race. I was running an 8:30 pace through the half and felt pretty good. I got to thinking that it might be possible at that point, but in realtity I simply do not have enough long runs in my 2 1/2 years of training for it to be a reality ( I've only run a 20+ mile distance run four times in total EVER - including this marathon ). It wasn't going to happen today.<br><br>
The course is sort of like an elongated figure 8 where you're kind of running with the wind at your back or heading into it. Living in the heart of NASCAR country, I've learned a little about drafting. Heading up the boardwalk I tried to stay at the back of a pack of runners to take advantage of this and it did help a little but at other times I was just bearing the full force of the north winds.<br>
Around mile 13 I was still averaging an 8:30 pace but by mile 19 it had slowed to a 8:50 pace...(there goes the BQ). Just as I was looking down at my Garmin, I heard a throng of runners behind me...it was the 3:50 pace group. I had no idea that I was running in front of them at mile 19. I heard the pacer calling out to everyone..." If you guys made it this far at this point there's no reason that you can't bring it home"......then I heard him say..." of course, if you're here because you went out too fast & passed me somewhere back there, then you probably won't be running with us when we come in". I hope he wasn't referencing me....oops!<br>
I still tried to stay with them but what he said seemed to cast doubt with my confidence. At that point also there was a girl running in front of me who all of a sudden slowed down and stopped then when I turned around she was on the pavement with some guy attending to her. I knew that there was nothing else that I could do but to run up ahead and alert anyone for help. About a minuteor two later I heard the rescue EMS heading over there. I think that incident put a little fear into me about running too hard and I backed off a little both physically and psychologically. Anyway after all was done, the 3:50 pace group was nowhere in sight.<br><br>
The last 6 miles were tough as expected and I slowed considerably, sometimes walking a little. I have a pretty high MHR but after seeing what happened to that girl, there was now a bit of fear lurking at the back of my mind. MIles 20 through to the finish were tough. As I started mile 26 I knew that a sub-4:00 was going to be very close. I saw the 4:00 pace group up ahead of me and had my eyes focused on the clock at the finish line. There was a girl running in just front of me trying to close-in on the 4 hour pace group also. As I looked up at the clock I had about 10-15 seconds left to cross the mat. I dug VERY hard, passed the girl by a couple of footsteps and came in just as it read 3:59:59. Of course that was Gun Time so my chip time should have been at least 3:59:00 or better. I had PR'd and achieved my initial goal of under 4 hours!<br><br>
Footnote: When I checked the website results there is no listing for my name or Bib #. I sent emails to the race director and chip timing company to find out why I'm not listed in the results...<img alt="sad.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/sad.gif"> . I went through so much to make this race happen for me this weekend and there's no official record of my time...<img alt="sad.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/sad.gif"> . Hopefully they will find the error but I know what I ran and that's all that really matters even if this never gets settled. For what it's worth there's someone on the RunnersWorld Forum who was is saying that they were listed as DNF when they DID finished the race...grrrr!<br><br>
As soon as I emerged from the finish gate I heard someone call my name...It was CHoovie and her husband, Jim. Since I had checked out of the motel in the morning, all my stuff, including my cell phone and camera were in my car. They were nice enough to walk to my car with me to get my stuff and a jacket. My final push to the finish line took a lot out of me and I was exhaused, cold and shivering. I felt better once inside the tent where I called Dennis on the cell phone and we all met up inside the party tent. The band was great and I really enjoyed a little beer but driving 6 hours home was on my mind and I needed to get to the warmth of my car to start feeling better.<br>
Actually, I feel better today than I did the day after my first marathon last December. I must be getting used to this!<br><br>
It was great to actually meet everyone and to see that everyone was reallly so nice in person.<br>
Cheryl & Jim, you guys ran a great race and Dennis, you blew my away with your huge PR, great job guys!<br><br>
As I am writing this I just received an email from Lin-Mark the timing chip company....they found me....and the news is better than expected...WooHoo!<br><br>
Final Chip time: 3:56:36<br>
748/2308 Overall<br>
16/69 for my AG 55-59<br>
562/1413 Male<br>
An 11.5 minute PR for me.....11:36 from a BQ...almost there....<img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif"><br>
Now I again have some unfinished business...<img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br>
Thanks for all your support <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br><br><img alt="" src="http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c281/peterjcb/Running/tn_P1010315.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
Convention Center showing the flags flying in the wind.<br><br><img alt="" src="http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c281/peterjcb/Running/tn_P1010309-1.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
My trusty Transportation at the beach.<br><br><img alt="" src="http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c281/peterjcb/Running/tn_P1010311.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
The boardwalk at VA Beach<br><br><img alt="" src="http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c281/peterjcb/Running/tn_P1010313.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
King Neptune at the Finish Line.<br><br><img alt="" src="http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c281/peterjcb/Running/tn_P1010319.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
Me, Cheryl & Jim<br><br><img alt="" src="http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c281/peterjcb/Running/tn_P1010323.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
Jim, Cheryl, Me & Dennis<br><br><img alt="" src="http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c281/peterjcb/Running/tn_P1010324.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
The band inside the party tent
 

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Peter - Great report and congrats on the PR. Big improvement. I wished I could have ran the shamrock marathon this year. It is a great event and the do a great job with it. The shamrock was my first marathon.
 

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Great job Peter!<br>
Better results than you expected. Just remember that for Boston and your (mine too) age group qualifying time is 3:45 - not less than, 3:45: xx. My first Boston Qualifier required a 3:30 and my time ended up being 3:30:19 and they let me in! My third Boston was when I moved into the 55-59 age group and I hit that one at 3:38 and change.<br><br>
Keep up the training and you'll get there!
 

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Congratulations and great report, Peter! I'm so happy that you were able to get your official time and it was under your goal. I attempted the marathon in 2007 and remember it took a while for the results to be complete and final.<br><br>
Your description of how we can be affected by others on the course (the pacer and stricken runner) was really useful to include.<br><br>
You took those nice photos on Saturday, right? It was that windy, but gray and gloomy on Sunday. Saturday was the better day for sure. With the time of year and course, it's always a gusty race. I think we half marathoners fared better with a little windbreak at our earlier start this year.<br><br>
Also -- I can't believe you held it for 20 miles <img alt="shock.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/shock.gif"><br><br>
With how well you did on that amount of 20 milers in your career, I'd say you can do the homework and hope for the luck (of the Irish?) of getting the right day, and you'll be on your way to Boston.<br><br>
A quick Shamrock travel tip: book early and do a little homework off the race site to find a hotel that doesn't require a 2 or 3 night stay minimum. My friends and I (we live an hour away) had good success booking directly with hotels. So far we have liked the La Quinta on Pacific Ave. best and the rate was very reasonable with breakfast starting at 5 a.m. race day.
 

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nice job Peter!! I'm so glad they found your info-Alemma and I also ran it and she was worried that her chip didn't beep over some of the timing mats and what if they didn't have her results but they did. So I'm glad to see that it can all work out.<br><br>
How about that stretch between 10-12 down the boardwalk?? And you held your pace through that wind? sham ROCK ON!!!
 

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Peter - Wow!!! Great report and you did it!!!! Your time of 3:56:36 is absolutely AWESOME!!!!! Congrats! I agree with you -- it's a wonderful marathon. I thoroughly enjoyed all the goodies and the great backpack. Thanks for posting the pictures. You and your friends look great!
 

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I really enjoyed reading this race report. I had no idea this was only your second marathon...you handled the stress of running 26.2 miles so well. Congrats on the finish time and accomplishing one of your goal.<br>
No rest up and go after that unfinished business <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> you can do it.<br>
Thanks for the great pics.
 

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Great report Peter! Congrats on breaking 4:00.<br><br>
Enjoy your race recovery, you deserve it. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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Way to go, Peter!<br>
That was a great report and a great, gutsy run on a gusty day!<br><br>
It was fun following you throughout this adventure... from when you were trying to decide if you should try... to your triumphant finish!<br><br>
Excellent!
 

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Peter - Felt like I was running with you in that report. You wrote well and ran even better. Congrats on your time and improvement from last marathon.<br>
I like your beachmobile too!
 

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Peter, great that they got your results! I really enjoyed taking this trip with you but next time can we find a potty before we leave? <img alt="huh.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/huh.gif"><br><br>
Great pictures, glad you got to meet the Hoovies and Dennis and that we got to see all of you.<br><br>
PS, someone should tell the city of VB that it's not a <b>board</b>walk if it's made outta cement! That must hurt to run on!
 

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Peter,<br>
That's an awesome write up. You did great! Congratulations on surpassing your goal. Isn't it amazing how much we have to overcome, both physical and mental, in a marathon? But you done good! <img alt="icon_salut.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/icon_salut.gif"><br><br>
Mike
 

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Peter, I got here late - I really enjoyed reading your cliffhanger. Congratulations on the sub-4! Ya done good.
 

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How nice it was to meet you in person and you are right -- you did do a duathlon! I can't imagine driving that many miles after running a marathon. Next year, plan an extra day so we can party a little more.<br><br>
Congrats on the PR. You looked strong to us as you crossed the finish line. I'm really glad we got to spend a little time together with you and Dennis and hope to cross paths with you both again.
 

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Hey Peter, sorry I missed this earlier. Congratulations on the giant PR! The official results were a pleasant surprise. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
Nicely written report and cool photos.
 

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Excellent, Peter! Worth waiting for.
 
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