Sunday, October 04, 2009

Portland Marathon 2009

Joe, Bret, Gail, Marc and the little guy at the pre-race meet-up

If it's the first weekend in October, it must be the Portland Marathon. Coming off a good run at this summer's Mt Hood PCT 50, Marc decided he'd have a go at this race. He's run only one other road marathon (Crater Lake) and that was as the first half of a weekend double. So he wanted to see what he could do. Circumstances were such that he peaked about 3 weeks ago. No excuses, but I don't think his time of 4:13:19 accurately reflects what he can do in a marathon. His BQ time is 3:45 and with some better timed training I think that is very doable for him if he decides to try again. (Although it's doubtful he's likely trails only for him from here on out.) Nevertheless, he was happy with his race. In particular the time matches his birth month and day, which is kind of cool. If only he were 35 seconds slower he would have matched the year too!

I had a lot of fun meeting up with other maniacs, including Joe, who I had met (and only briefly) for the first time 3 years ago at the 2006 Portland Marathon. It was a perfect morning for a marathon, cool but not too cold. It had rained overnight but was dry at the start and the clouds stayed put all morning.

With the newer wave start, they don't let spectators get too close to the corrals. So the LG and I walked a couple of blocks up the street. We saw Marc go by in the sub 4 hour wave and hung around until the 4 hour wave went by too. Then we headed down to Front/Naito Street to catch everyone at the 1.5ish mile mark. As we headed that way I realized we may have stayed too long near the start. But fortunately we saw Marc about 30 seconds after we got to the street. We cheered for a while and then headed back for the kids run.

Here's a video of the start of the kid's run. If you look closely you can see the little guy run by near the front. He's wearing a white shirt, black shorts and black knit cap.

Here's the LG kicking it in. He was a little disappointed because his time this year (17:12 for 2 miles) was a little slower than last year (16:48). But I'm proud of him and still think that's a darn good time for a 10 year old! The older runners in the video are 5 mile race finishers who start earlier but finish with the kids.

After the kids run, we headed out to mile 21. We got there just as the 3:00 hour pace group came through. Marc came by between the 3:50 and 4:00 hour pace groups, but he wasn't feeling very well. After a quick drop off of some of his gear, he went on his way. I hoped he could keep up with the 4:00 hour group, but I could tell he was losing some steam.

I didn't get any good pics of Marc. Here he is at mile 21.

Then it was back to the finish for us, where we found a spot by the 26 mile turn to the finish. We were there in time to see the 3:25 finishers coming around the corner. What emotion and excitement! I know that feeling well as you turn that corner. Eventually we saw Marc come through too. And although he had slowed down he looked okay and happy to be there! We had decided earlier that this corner would be our meeting spot, rather than battle the finish area crowds. So the LG (who was being a real trouper by this point!) and I hung out some more until the 4:40ish runners came by.

Another poor pic of Marc (in the distance) on the home stretch

It's fun to spectate and support your family and friends. But I think you can guess were I'd rather be. I'm about to head out on my own little run for the day. And although I'm only up to a measly 2.5 miles at a 12 minute pace, I'm confident I'll be back as a runner in the Portland Marathon next year.


Rick Gaston said...

I saw the little guy run out in the front. Nice, he's not shy about gunning it out front. Seems like normal weather for the Portland Marathon, I ran my marathon there under similar conditions. I'm the same way, I could put up a great marathon time but I'd rather hit the trails and won't work my schedule to fit one in. I hope you are back for next year's edition.

Darrell said...

Wow, Marc ran a road race, huh? It looks like you and the little guy had a good time. I'll be anticipating next year's race report.

Backofpack said...

It takes many small steps to reach a marathon - just glad you are back on your way! Congrats to both Marc and the LG! Sounds like a good race day around your house.

Joe said...

Great report on a great day! Yeah, I know how Marc felt as the energy slipped away a bit. But he did well and I agree with you as to what he could do should he put his mind to it.

And next October is yours, Sarah!!

Great to see all of you...thanks again for having me!!