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<span style="font-family:Arial;"><b>Mercedes Marathon Report</b></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><b>Location:</b> Birmingham, Alabama</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><b>Date:</b> 2/10/2008</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><b>Weather:</b> Sunny & Clear 40 – 61 (approx)</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><b>Prologue –</b></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">The Mercedes Marathon weekend was mini-gathering of Kickrunners from the 30s thread. I’ll spare you the details of our meetings, dining events, and post race party stuff. (that can be found in another thread)</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">I will however, start off my marathon report by saying that on Saturday, the day before the marathon, I along with a few other of my kickracers, ran in the BE&K 5K. Others will post their own race reports for that race, so I won’t steal their thunder.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Early on Saturday morning, we lined up in front of Boutwell auditorium on the north side of Lynn Park in Downtown Birmingham for the BE&K 5K. The race course was one that I knew wall as it is used a couple of times per year for other events. The biggest one being the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K. The course is flat and fast (really flat for Birmingham).</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">With nice crisp cool weather, it was tempting to let it all hang out and shoot for a PR. But, I stuck to the plan and didn’t run too hard given that I was going to run a marathon the very next day.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><img alt="" src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v47/bobmann/Mercedes%20Marathon%202008/DSC01528_4People-2.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><i>30s Kickrunners ready to go!</i></span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">As we were lining up, I recognized a number of other runners from the local Birmingham community and visited briefly with them as we manueved into place. My fellow kicksters, Bob, Chris, and Tiff were a tad uncomfortable with our proximity to the front of the pack, so we kept inching backwards. In my last few races, I have become much more comfortable with starting up front with the fast guys. In fact in my last 5K (where I set a new PR) I started right on the front row, just like a true fast guy (yeah, I know what a poser, but it was a smallish race).</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Anyway, the gun snaps, and we’re off. Chris was running his first ever race and was just taking it all in. His head was on a swivel as he looked around. Bob and I ran in front of Tiff and Chris and Bob was snapping away with his camera as we made our way towards the first turn. Slowly we started to drift away from Chris and Tiff.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Bob and I ran together to the first mile marker. If my memory is correct, we got there in something like 8:52 or so. From there, I told Bob that I wanted to get in a couple of good warm up miles for the next day, so I took off a bit. I passed a bunch of people as I clocked the next mile in in 7:14. Then sped up a bit more to finish the 3rd mile in 6:59 (ish) and an easy sprint into the finish for a 23:56.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><img alt="" src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v47/bobmann/Mercedes%20Marathon%202008/DSC01539_Tim3.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><i>Me, just after I sped up from Bob.</i></span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">I grabbed a water bottle, took a swig and then cut through the park and back down the course looking for Chris and Tiff. There they were about .65 miles from the finish. I turned back on the course and fell into stride with them. Chris was doing fine, but not talking much. I could see that they would finish easily in under 35 mins. Good work for Chris and his first 5K.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">We stuck around after the race and had some of the free food. We weren’t going anywhere since I drove all the out of towners to the race, and I was sticking around to watch my daughter in the Mercedes Kid’s Marathon that started @ 10:00.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">In a side note, one of my training partners overalled the female division. She hung out with us in the stands until they announced the award winners. (Later that day, I would see in the results that my 5K PR would have won my age group. Damn! I’ve never been close to winning my age group before, and I’m sure I could’ve run a new PR that day. Oh well.)</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Sunday Morning – Mercedes Marathon Race Day!!!</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">The alarm went off early and loud. Jarod was sleeping downstairs in my basement room and assured me that he had an alarm and all that. I told him that I’d be in the kitchen between 5:10 – 5:15 for breakfast.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">At 5:15, I walk halfway down the basements stairs and speak into the pitch black room “hey, we need to leave in 15 mins” <span style="font-family:Wingdings;"><span style="font-family:Wingdings;">J</span></span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">A few mins later, a fully dressed Jarod appears. We wolf down some oatmeal, and grab granola bars for the ride in. We’re off to meet up with the other kick racers at the hotel so they can follow us down to the race site.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Our pre-race activities were the standard stuff. Hit the restroom a few times, drink a little water or powerade, strip off jackets and sweats, check bag, fire up the Garmin, get in the starting shoot, estimate start position based on pace, and try not to be cold.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">The weather was perfect…very low 40s, sunny, and minimal wind. Bob and I are starting together with a plan to run together for a while and then split if one feels the need to go faster or slower.</span><br><br><img alt="" src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v47/bobmann/Mercedes%20Marathon%202008/DSC00334_BobTimBeforeStart.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><i>Bob and I before the start. (photo courtesy of boBcam)</i><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">At 7:03, the gun goes off and we’re off. Almost immediately, I tell Bob that I need to pee again. So, after the 1st qtr mile or so, I start looking for a good spot. I pass a great spot and pick a not so great spot and get some relief, and then I catch back up to Bob.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">We had lined up near one of my training partners, a policeman named Derek. I introduce Bob and we start talking about race times and whatever. Derek is doing his first HM and is looking to break 2 hrs. He’s run a few full marathons and attempted a 50K trail race.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Derek falls in with us while Bob and I are easing into our ez pace for the first half. A couple of miles later (around mile 3) a runner in front of us goes down hard. He catches his toe in a crack in the asphalt and breaks his fall with his arms. He rolls over in pain and says that he thinks he dislocated his shoulder. Ouch! There’s people there to help him, and we’re about 250 yards from a water stop. Another runner sent some water stop workers back to get him taken care of.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">We press on. Somewhere around mile 4.5 or so, we make the turn onto Greensprings for the first hill climb of the day. We had been a little ahead of our pace, so I knew we’d slow down here a bit. Bob seemed to be hanging in there good. Derek was feeling good. We passed Danny (whom Derek and I both know since he’s the past president of the Birmingham Track Club). Danny was looking good and is still recovering from a knee injury.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">We start to hear the drums from the drumline that is performing at the top of the hill. On the way up, I stop to pee again! Up and over the top of the mtn, it’s down hill a bit into the next waterstop, the first timing mat @ 10K and the first relay exchange. It just so happened that all of that was on Valley Avenue in front of Sammy’s (a local gentlemen’s club). I told Derek that if he wanted to break 2hrs, he didn’t have time to stop. He looked disappointed. I noticed that he had some ones pinned to his belt along side his GUs. <span style="font-family:Wingdings;"><span style="font-family:Wingdings;">J</span></span> Just kidding.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">1st Segment – 10K</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Time: 54:21</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Pace: 8:46</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Place in AG: 49</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Off we go across the top of the MTN on Valley ave (yes, I know that that doesn’t make sense). In a car, this road seems flat, on foot, it rolls quite a bit. We try to inspire Derek to finish strong as we approach the Full Marathon / Half Marathon split. At around 8 miles Derek goes straight and we turn right up a short steep hill. Then it’s downhill a bit. I remember this part because I kept telling Bob that if he felt good he might just get a shot at his PR.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Into Homewood and the course does a little zig zag between some buildings before going into a residential area. I point out to Bob the houses, that have been upgraded or rebuilt versus the original 2 bedroom / 1 bath ranches that were there originally.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">2nd Segment – 15K cumulative (5K from last timing mat)</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Time: 1:20:57</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Pace: 8:43</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Place in AG: 47</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Whew…we picked off two AG guys in 5K, we’re smoking now! <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"></span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><img alt="" src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v47/bobmann/Mercedes%20Marathon%202008/DSC00353_BobTim.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><i>Somewhere in Homewood.</i></span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Back out on Greensprings HWY again, approaching the 13 mile marker. I knew that this was where we would see my wife and kids. Sure enough, there they are. I also knew that this is where Bob and I had planned to part ways. Since I was doing the race as a training run, I knew that I wanted to run the 2nd half considerably quicker than the first.</span><br><br><img alt="" src="http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x120/Timr71/IMG_1053.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><i>Around mile 13.</i><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Strange observation: After the 13 mile marker, there was no marker or sign telling us of the HM 13.1 mile location. I’ve used my Garmin data and a highly scientific extrapolation process to put our split time 1:52:15</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">HM Data – 13.1 miles</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Time: 1:52:15</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Pace: 8:33.7</span><br><br><img alt="" src="http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x120/Timr71/IMG_1057.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><i>Approaching the non-existant HM marker.</i><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">I wish Bob good luck and step up the pace a bit. After about 500 yards I stop to pee again (4th time) on a tree. As Bob runs back by, I hear the click sound of his camera phone. Yes, I was boBcammed while taking a leak.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">I pass Bob again, and this would be the last that we would see of each other until after the race. I’m passing people at a pretty good rate now. We’re on the Lakeshore trail (paved) that parallels Lakeshore parkway. Just before Brookwood Mall, we pass the next timing mat/relay exchange point.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">3rd Segment – 25K cumulative (10K from previous timing mat)</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Time: 2:11:45</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Pace: 8:30</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Place in AG: 37</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Ten spots better than at the previous mat. Just out of the relay exchange point, I run up next to a 15ish year old kid. He’s just started his relay segement. I say to him: “You running the relay?” He says, “Yes.” I say, “Your teammates told me to tell you to pick up the pace!” Of course, I was joking, but the kid took off! Like he was shot out of a cannon. I felt bad for doing that. Fortunately, after a few hundred yards, he slowed back down. I caught and passed him back. I mumbled sorry and good luck as I went by.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Since I had done training runs on every foot of this race course, I knew exactly what was yet to come. There was a moderate climb coming up from the Moutain Brook Village up the Crestline Village, followed by a loop we call the Dexter loop (named for one of the streets on the loop that’s Dexter Ave.), followed by the Memory lane hill climb to the Montclair avenue hill climb.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">I was holding a steady pace somewhere between 7:30 – 7:40 and wasn’t working too hard for it. The weather was beautiful, but the sun was a touch hot in the non-shaded portions of the course. Surprisingly, there were a lot of people out on the course cheering.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Once into Crestline Village, I went across the next timing mat and relay exchange point.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">4th Segment – 30K cumulative (5K from previous mat)</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Time: 2:35:41</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Pace: 8:23</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Place in AG: 25</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Right out of the relay exchange, I started tail gating this female relay runner in a yellow jersey with short blonde pigtails. We had a nice tempo going for a bit. Then she slowed and I motored on.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Back through Crestline and out onto the hills. People were waling up Memory Lane. I’m sure they’d rather forget that part. The whole street was closed, but they were walking on the long side, so I hit the inside line a lone and kept going. I knew that the battle was to not walk. I also knew that I’d been up and down these streets at least a dozen times on various training run. I think that helped.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Made the hard left turn off of Memory Lane and onto Montclair. I could see more walkers going up the long climb. I put it in low gear and kept chugging away.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">I passed at least a half dozen going up the hill. I spoke words of encouragement to them, telling them to stay strong, pace themselves; we were almost to the top. They returned the words with other kind encouragements. One guy had on one of those cool looking Brooks/Hansons jerseys. I complemented him on it. He grunted back.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Finally, I made it to the top. Wow, what a view of downtown from the top of Red Mountain. Didn’t have time to enjoy it; I was ready to fly downhill. Right at the top, I saw a guy that I ran a couple of training runs with. He’s about 10 years younger than me. He was sitting on the stone wall right at the top. He wished me well, and I asked him how he did in his half marathon. His answer: 1:19<img alt="mad.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/mad.gif">x (that’s fast!)</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">My Garmin shows that I did all that climbing at approx 8:20 pace. Then it shows that as the course practially fell off the side of the mountain, I ran downhill @ 6:49 pace. I slowed a bit once I hit highland avenue.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Approaching the 24 mile marker and I could see the clock. Did I mention that this race is one of the ones that has a digital race clock on top of every mile marker? I like that a lot. My guess is that those were purchased first for the 2003 Marathon National Champioship that was hosted in Birmingham (and sponsored by Mercedes). Side note, that event was won by the late Ryan Shay. And, those clocks were probably used again for the 2004 US Olympic Trials in Birmingham in 2004.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Anyway, the race clock on mile 24 said 3:17:00 as I passed. Quick math told me it was 12 mins until my PR. I would need to cover 2.2 flat miles in 12 mins to PR in this race. Hey, remember this is a training run. This is just to build endurance and practice race management. Get that PR carp outa your head!</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Ok, with that gone and out of the way, knew that I could just cruise into the finish and have a great day with a time less than 3:35<img alt="mad.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/mad.gif">x. This would be my 2nd fastest marathon by far!</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Just before the mile 25 marker, I saw the Hasher Beer stop. One of my training group members, Stephanie, was there and she recognized me and cheered for me by name. As I approached, I said “Gimme a beer!” They handed me a half full powerade cup of beer and I took it on the run. Got about half in my mouth and the other half in all over me. Mile 25 was done in 7:43.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Turn right, home stretch. Passing people now. Pick the pace up a bit. 7:28 pace up the street to the park. I’m waving and taking it all in. Tons of fun since I wasn’t trying to kill myself to the finish line.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Just past the 26 mile marker and I’m the shoot with the barriers all the way to the line. I high five a couple of kids and make the last turn. 7:35 pace for the last .2 miles. I’m looking and hearing the other kickrunners and my family yelling my name. On with the big Mercedes medal…that thing is sweet! Off with the chip. I gotta say that the lady who was helping me was so great. She was getting me water and powerade and helping me with my mylar. Great post race attention from the volunteers.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Final Segement – Full Marathon 26.22 miles cumulative (bunch of Ks from the last mat)</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Time: 3:34:29 (final chip time)</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Pace: 8:12 (cumulative)</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Place in AG: 14th</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Place in Males: 92</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Place Overall: 113</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">2nd Half Split: 1:42:14</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">2nd Half Pace: 7:47.9</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">It was fun to meet up with everyone in the park. Bob came in next, followed by Jarod who gutted it out all day even after having IT Band issues from mile 15 on. That’s some serious effort over those hills in the 2nd half!</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Post race was a blast. I’ll spare you the party details save for one, I was within 4 bib numbers of making it up on stage for a 1/10 shot at the Mercedes M Class (2 year lease) to the winner of the drawing.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">In conclusion I will say this. It was fun to host out of town and first time racers. As has been said many times, kickrunners are good people and we had a blast all weekend together. Also, I’m proud of the event that my Running Store/Track Club/and hometown put on. It’s not a huge destination event, and it’s not a PR course, but it was a hell of a lot of fun.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><img alt="" src="http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x120/Timr71/IMG_1059.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><i>A podium pic with my fan club!</i></span><br><br><img alt="" src="http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x120/Timr71/IMG_1069.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><i>30s Kickrunners Sunday Racers</i>
 

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Awesome report! Excellent how you had photos along the way. And good on you for hitting the beer stop! That's what I'm talkin' 'bout!! Very nice race!
 

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Nice negative splits! Nothing is better than passing people late in the race - but it takes discipline and confidence in your training (and proper training too).
 

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<b>Tim</b> Great report and a great race. Its very impressive to read how you sped up on the second half. As <b>Coach</b> said, the BQ is right around the corner. Maybe next year Ill get down there and run the half.
 

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Awesome race and report. And thanks again for lending me your couch. So is that bar in the basement never stocked or were you just hiding the good stuff from me? <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 

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Wow Tim so that's a race report eh? Ok I will get to work on mine.... lol. JK. A very nice read indeed sir.
 

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Yay Tim!!!!! Well done - great reports and pics!! <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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Once again, you did a great job! You certainly could have been a lot faster if you didn't run with my slow ass for 13.1 miles.<br><br>
And remember, after you stopped to pee the third time, I warned you that I'd take a picture if you did it a fourth time. I was trying to motivate you to <b>not stop again</b>. Apparently it didn't work... <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br><br>
Anyway, thanks again for being a great host all weekend!
 

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you get your urinary issues straightened out before Athens and you'll be sporting a PR around 3:12 or so!<br><br>
I gotta tell you I'm very impressed with this run...that course chewed me up and spat me out in 2004, though I did enjoy the whole weekend (except for some of those hills!). My buddy that ran the half did 1:26 - he's probably a low 1:20's half marathoner on a faster course, and he said them hills were tough.<br><br>
I'm also impressed with your discipline, both in the 5k and the first half of the full. It's not easy to hold back when the weather is good and you're feeling sassy. It will all pay off since you'll be able to get back into training mode quickly and have a shitload of confidence.<br><br>
Great job!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, here's the story on the bar:<br><br>
A, I've never moved the stuff down there, so it's on a shelf in the pantry in the kitchen<br>
2, The kids play down there and there's no way to lock it up so they don't get into it<br>
D, we're supposed to get one of those half fridges to go behind the bar, but that hasn't been purchased yet
 

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Great race and report! Your children are absolutely adorable <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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Loved your RR, esp. how you took us through the 2nd half of the course, great descriptions and I like how you can tell how much fun you were having through out your race. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
Thanks again for being an amazing host to us!! <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 
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