Sub 3 hour marathons are fantasy for folks like me. We have to settle for sub-4 hour marathons.
At last week’s Rhinebeck Marathon I was able to sneak in my second sub-4 race. It was a rainy morning and I had never run a marathon in the rain. Candidly, I didn’t really have it in me to go that morning. Tired, cold – why bother.
The only reason I did is that this marathon is special to me for two reasons. First, it was only it’s third year in existence and I had run the first two years. I’m looking for one or two marathons I can run for years (decades??). Since Rhinebeck is only an hour away or so, it is a logical choice. Second, the first year I ran that marathon (it’s first year in existence), there were only 21 finishers . . . and I was 9th. Yup, I had a “top ten” marathon finish. I will take it.
As I got through the first half (I ran for a while with a gentleman who was 420 lbs a couple of years ago but had gastric bypass and was now around 190 – tall guy), I felt decent.
About 18 miles in, as is the usual case, I started to tire. However, at around 20 I felt better and at 22 I noticed – I was right on that witching hour – the 4 hour bubble. Maybe, just maybe, I could sneak through.
I rounded the bend at mile 26.1 and could see I was at 3:59:20. Tired, soaking wet, I did the only thing I could do those last thirty seconds. I ran! Chip time had me in at 3:59:46 with a “gun time” of 3:59:50 (chip vs. gun time for those who don’t know simply means I was a few seconds behind the official starting lie by the time I crossed it vs. the time the starting whistle was blown).