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<span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">Mercedes Marathon, Birmingham, AL</span></span><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">2/10/08, 7:03 am</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Bare Facts</span></span><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">Finished: 3:28:23</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Overall: 87 of 794</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">AG (50-54): 4 of 49</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Weather: 37-55 degrees, sunny, light winds</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Course: Looped around Birmingham with 2 challenging hills and lots of short ups and downs. Overall enjoyable course. Half-marathon, Marathon and 5 person relay</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Novel</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Left Friday morning from Seattle/Tacoma Airport (2 hrs late due to a mechanical problem) through Dallas/FT Worth Airport, where, of course due to the delay I missed my connection to Pensacola. So I sat down for a nice meal and a beer. Arriving in Pensacola I picked up the rental and proceeded to my son and daughter-in-laws apartment. My home away from home for the next week.</span></span><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">Saturday morning drove to Birmingham a short 4 hours north. My son and I checked into the Hampton's Inn conveniently only 2 blocks from the start and finish lines. He came along for support as RunrWife couldn’t get the time off from work to make the trip.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">We hit the expo and within minutes I had my race number, participant cotton t-shirt and chip. It was well set up. The expo itself was small, but, then again so is the race. We did however, sample several new beers from Micalob Light. One was a grapefruit/orange and the other was Pomegranate/raspberry. Both were surprisingly tasty. We then drove the course to have a look see at the hills. I have to admit I was very unsure on how will I would be able to handle the two rather long hills.</span></span><br><br><a href="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/attachment.php?s=dfb6702afae07895246fbc9389e2663a&attachmentid=285" target="_blank"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Attachment 285</span></span></a><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Getting back to the hotel, we had a nice relaxing evening and drank a couple of Rogue beers.</span></span><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">Race day. Up at 5 am for a breakfast of a banana, bagel and orange juice. Although the hotel offered a hot breakfast starting at 4:30 am for the runners. (Rule 1 never eat or wear something new race morning). Out the door about 6 for a short warm-up and to check out the weather. Decided to wear a long sleeve t-shirt (throwaway), Marathon Maniac yellow race singlet, NB 768 tires, white hat, Garman 305, sunscreen.</span></span><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">Goals: 1) smile and have a good time</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">2)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">conservative race (HR in the mid 150’s till the second hill</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">3)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">ok time - 3:45:00</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">4)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">very happy time – 2009 BQ – 3:35:59</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">5)</span> <span style="font-size:medium;">best hope – sub 3:30:00</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">The race started without the usual singing of the National Anthem, I was thinking it was odd as the gun sounded and we were off. The course starts downtown and circles back near the start line just over a mile into the run so the spectators can see their favorites run by looking strong and fresh. We continue through the downtown area and by the University of Alabama campus. The starts to slightly gain elevation around the 4 mile mark and by mile 5 we hit the first long hill. About half way up I pass a walking teenager doing the half-marathon and ask him if he is going to let an old man beat him up the hill. Well, that starts him running again, but, I still beat him to the top where we run through the 10K mark and the first relay exchange. First gel and 2 Succeed Caps with 2 cups of water. Threw the long sleeve shirt after the 10K point.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Mile 1-6 (8:22, 7:55, 8:06, 8:03, 8:33, 8:16), 10K: 50:21 Ave HR 152, Max 163</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">For the next seven miles its basically running through some older neighborhoods with short rolling hills. I’m running comfortably and I notice my pace quickening with very little increasing of my HR. I thank all the police officers directing traffic and all the volunteers I pass. I actually catch myself saying out loud to no one in particular “I am really enjoying this run”. I am running next to a female relay runner, it seems we are pacing off one another and she heard me say it and nodded an agreement. I leave her at the next relay exchange at the 15K point and her teammate is just as fast. I have to make a quick pit stop at mile 10 and end up chasing her for the next 10K. Never did quite catch up. Second gel and 2 Succeed Caps at mile 12 with two cups of water.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Mile 7-13 ( 8:03, 7:43, 7:30, 7:51, 7:51, 7:34, 7:35) 10K-15K 24:49, Ave HR 155, Max HR 161</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">The next 3.5 miles were on a nicely paved bike/running trail. All of it was pretty flat with only the occasional bump. We then ran through the Brookline Mall parking lot and continued past the Birmingham Country Club passing by some nice upscale homes and into the third relay exchange point at 30K. Third gel and 2 Succeed caps at mile 18 with 2 cups of water. About mile 19 I picked up another pace buddy running the relay and he pushed me through several miles just chatting back and forth. Several hills brought my HR up a few more beats. Still running well, little tired, but all cylinders firing.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Mile 14-20 (7:56, 7:31, 7:44, 7:47, 8:09. 7:44, 7:50) 15K-25K 48:06, Ave HR 161, Max HR170</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">The last 10K bring you up the second long hill (mile 22-23) and then through some steep down hills before leveling out and continuing back through downtown to the finish.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I lost my pace buddy just before the hill as he dropped back. I kept a steady pace up an easy pace down. Getting to mile 24, it was just maintain pace till the finish. I did put together a nice ¼ mile sprint too. Fourth Gel at mile 22.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Mile 21-26.2 (7:58, 8:01, 9:08, 7:46, 7:47, 7:46, 1:40) 25K-42.2K 1:00:37, Ave HR 162, Max HR 171.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">The finish line volunteers were quick and efficient. Bottle of water in one hand, medal around the neck, space blanket around the shoulders, off with the chip, finishers tech shirt (black) in the other hand, bananas and oranges (where to hold them) aaaaahhhhhh. Then they also hand a BBQ turkey or pork sandwiches, chips, coleslaw, beer, water, propel. A nice after race feast. Oh and they gave away a lease to a new Mercedes to a runner too.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">All in all, great weather, nice course, lots of friendly volunteers, small but nice expo for a smaller sized race, traffic control was wonderful (i.e. didn’t have to break stride to cross an intersection), plenty of water stops, and multiple stops with gels. Post race food was good.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">An added bonus is I hit all my pre-race goals, no soreness at all (I laughed at stairs instead of crying) and ran 4 easy miles on Monday morning. Legs just a little fatigued, felt like the day after a long run. Ready to run the Pensacola Marathon this Sunday (2/17).</span></span><br><a href="http://assets.kickrunners.com.s3.amazonaws.com/9/9e/9e4b7b5a_vbattach285.gif"><img alt="LL" src="http://cdn.kickrunners.com/9/9e/525x525px-LL-9e4b7b5a_vbattach285.gif" style="width:100px;height:53px;"></a>
 

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Great race Mike,<br><br>
Faster than "Best Hope" fiinish. It doesn't get much better than this.<br><br>
Congratulations to a most deserving runner who really puts in the work.
 

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Great Job Mike! That's an awesome time on that course. I wasn't too far behind you at the finish. I hope you had a nice time in Birmingham. A lot of the course workers were my fellow track club / training group members.
 

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Laughed at the stairs??! <img alt="confused.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/confused.gif"> Holy smokes, man! <img alt="notworthy.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/notworthy.gif"><br><br>
Excellent race and a a terrific time.
 

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Nice touch, Mike. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"> I'm happy you take our (Masters) role seriously: to show those young 'uns how it's done.<br><br>
What a fine race! Why would you be sore, with the kind of mileage you do week after week? <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif"> What a <i>force</i> you are.<br><br>
Have a restful week and GL in Pensacola.
 

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hi there, monster!!! niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice <img alt="notworthy.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/notworthy.gif"><br>
sounds like you knew what you were up to.<br>
nothing like really enjoying those miles and kicking some serious booty out there. You started your feast on mile 1.<br>
Congrats on getting everything you wanted! Have fun again Sunday!
 

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Awesome race, Mike! Not a goal left unturned. Very cool. And you'll rock Pensacola too, I just know it. Maniacs Rule! <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 

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Excellent job, very nice time! Congrats!! We stayed at the Hampton Inn also. I wonder if you were at the same one. Was surprised to see they had breakfast out so early, that was pretty darn cool of them.
 

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Nice race, Mike, congrats on beating your "best hope" goal as well. Good luck in Pensacola.<br><br>
John
 

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Sorry it's taken me so long to get to this RR. Very cool. Good idea about the Hampton Inn breakfast although their biscuits and gravy can be pretty tasty the morning after a marathon. This was part of quite a list of marathons you've been running-very impressive!<br><br>
#459
 

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Way to smash that "best hope" goal! You seem to have this marathoning stuff down quite well <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 
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