Sunday, September 18, 2005

Baden Marathon Race Report: Part 1

I woke up at 6 a.m. this morning to a fresh 7C/44F. Forget cool, it was cold! I had a healthy breakfast, took care of my morning toiletries and we hit the road right around 7 a.m. We managed to get one of the few remaining parking places about 400 meters (~1/4 mile) from the sports hall sponsoring the HM/M. The toilet lines were already forming as we entered the hall about 7:45. I got my wife situated in the main bleaches where I could find her again and stood in line.

About 8:45 I said goodbye to my wife and went outside and found the start. I lined up behind the 4 hour finish group, but did not see the pace leaders anywhere. Where were they? They were missing! I kept looking around but I never saw them. Strange.

Anyway promptly a 9 a.m. the race started, it took about 3-4 minutes before moved anywhere, and then it was a slow WALK to the start line. Right before the start line we finally started to move a little. It was pretty crowded the first couple kilometers, I still managed to establish my 5:30/K (8:51/M) pace. We ran by the new Karlsruhe Media Center and headed down the main street of town, finally taking a right onto a highway (B10) that will eventually lead us out of the city to the neighboring town of Durlach. I was fairly consistent with my pace, but it was still cold 10C/50F (according to a thermometer at a Bank). I was wearing my longer running shorts, running shirt and a long sleeve running shirt. I was still kind of cold as I ran down this street as we were running directly into a rather stiff wind.

Anyway we followed the B10 highway past the 3K, 4K and 5K point, over the Autobahn (main highway) and into Durlach. There the route took an immediate right, passed the 6K point, and started winding through the smaller streets on the edge of this town. There were not as many people out as last year, probably too cold! I passed the 7K, 8K, 9K and 10K point. Right before the 10K point was the first service area, they were offering only water. During training I was already drinking sports drink by this time – not good! Passed the 10K point at roughly 53:10, an average of 5:21/K (8:37/M) – too fast!

Shortly after the 10K we went through a small tunnel under the Autobahn and entered the Oberwald Forest. Here is was really cold, totally in the shade (the sun was shining in the open areas). I passed the 11K marker, then the 12K. At the 12 1/2K point the intermediate service points started, offering water every 5K. We ran through the Town of Ruppur passing the 13K and 14K markers. The route than headed out past a garden club. At the 15K point there was finally a service area with sports drink! It was kind of windy along this stretch as one side was open fields. I passed the 16K and we headed through another forest, at least this blocked the cold wind. I passed the 17K point and headed back into the town, this was the last stretch for the HM. People started to pass like crazy, this was not good as I speeded up too! I had to fight this urge! So past the 18K, the 19K, we turned left, still in town.

I crossed the 20K marker in around 1:47:30, a pace of 5:18/K (8:32/M) – way too fast. I was starting to feel this too, I tried slowing down some. Anyway at the 20K point was another service area, I grabbed another sports drink a piece of banana. The HM runners were really starting to whiz by at this time, they were almost finished! For some odd reason I had a strong urge to finish too, totally negative thinking on my part. Not good.

Anway at the 21K marker the HM people took a right and headed to the finish, the ranks really thinned out fast! I passed the 21K marker at about 1:53:00, a pace of 5:23/K (8:40/M). For comparison purposes I ran the first half of my marathon in May in 2:12:17, a full 15 minutes slower. In any case as you will read in part 2 of this report this expedient pace will have dire consequences for the second half of my marathon.

End of part 1. Part 2 will follow tomorrow.

Tomorrow?! What?! You post half the story, leave us hanging, and then expect us to WAIT until tomorrow! Cruel man, Jack. You are entirely too cruel. I suppose you expect to go sleep now or something crazy like that. I say you pull out a six pack of Mountain Dew and keep on writing!

OK, we'll wait, but we'll be grumbling until you finish.
oh man i have to wait for part 2?? i look forward to end of the story!
Ahhh, nice use of foreshadowing. I'll be pacing all night till I can see the conclusion. But please, don't let that disrupt YOUR rest ;)
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