My first sub-3 Marathon.
(Mile 1.) Stayed in control, let a lot of people go, 6:14, just a little fast. (Mile 2.) Still easing into pace, running solo, 6:20 (Mile 3.) Not feeling great at this point, but worked to catch up to a group of guys just before hitting the 3rd mile, 6:13 (Mile 4.) Now I had a group to work with, so I just set it on cruise, 6:17. (Mile 5.) We hit the five mile mark just about perfect @31:21, fifth mile was 6:15. Picked up a gel here from Dad (Mile 6.) The pace fluctuated a bit, but I still felt like I was finding my rythym, 6:20. (Mile 7.) 6:19. (Mile 8.) Now I felt like I was running easy, fast, but easy, 6:12. (Mile 9.) This was the mile with the only uphill on the course, it was tiny, but enough to slow us down a bit, 6:22. (Mile 10.) But we got right back into the rythym, each of us taking turns in the front, 6:14, going through 10 at 1:02:50. (Mile 11.) This mile was straight into the wind, it wasn't to bad, but at this point I was very glad to be in a pack, 6:15. (Mile 12.) Still heading into the wind but feeling good, 6:18. (Mile 13.) Felt good here, 6:18, going through the half in 1:22:27. Right before the half I got another gel from Pat. I think at this point our pack was numbers 6, 7, and 8. (Mile 14.) Now we're onto the second loop and I was feeling strong, 6:18. (Mile 15.) Still cruising, 6:19. (Mile 16.) I think now the group lost a few people, one guy finished at the half, and another guy fell off, 6:16. (Mile 17.) Somehow this mile got away from us, it felt fast, but not that fast, 6:06! (Mile 18.) Back in control, 6:13. (Mile 19.) Now this guy comes out of nowhere and passes us, 6:12, so we're 7, 8, and 9 now. (Mile 20.) But then we see a different guy starting to come back and we pass him as we come through 20, 2:05:19, so we're back to 6, 7, and 8, at 6:12. At this point we also start lapping people, so there are people all over the course, and it was also at this point that our group starts to splinter, every man for himself after 20. It was also at this point that it was becoming really hard to ignore the pain in my legs, and the urge to just lay down right on the street. (Mile 21.) The youngest guy in our little pack now just takes off, not to be seen again until the finish, (he would finish 36 seconds ahead,) but me and the one other guy managed to hang on for a 6:12 mile. (Mile 22.) Then I can feel the wheels coming off and the other guy shakes me, 6:24, slowest mile of the race so far. This is also the slight uphill, and it hurts this time, now I'm in 8th place. (Mile 23.) But now I'm back on flat ground and I know if I let that guy go I'll be in trouble, it would really tough running those last few miles into the wind all alone. So I push just enough and I catch him, and hang just off his shoulder, 6:17, better. At this point we pass another casualty, someone I know who went out way too fast, and is now doing the survival shuffle. Now we're 6 and 7. (Mile 24.) This mile was the first of the 3 into the wind, which had picked up a bit from the first loop. It still wasn't a really bad wind, but at this point in the race, any wind is bad. Obviously both of us were hurting, 6:28, this would be the slowest mile of the day. (Mile 25.) Still struggling, but we're on the home stretch now, 6:27. (Mile 26.) You can't quite see the finish line at this point, but I know where it is, and I know that this guy is not going to beat me. As I start to push with what I have left he drifts back. I can still hear him and it's enough to make me keep the pressure on, 6:11. Now I can see the finish and I know I'm free of the guy behind me, but I still push with everything I have left, covering the last 385 yards in 73 seconds. I finish just 4 seconds ahead of 7th place.
Official finish time was 2:44:36!