Sunday, June 06, 2010

SBS Christchurch Marathon

I woke up this morning and took a quick shower to wake up and put on my running clothes - a short sleeve tech shirt and a pair of shorts and went down stairs in the hotel to find some coffee. After drinking two cups I stepped outside where there were drops of rain falling from the sky and it was chilly. It was too wet and cold for my current dress.

So I went back upstairs and pulled out the two long sleeved tech shirts I brought and gave one to Jakeb.

We got dressed and walked the couple of blocks to the marathon start. We hung out inside of the "town hall"and waited until closer to the start to line up.

At exactly 09:00 New Zealand time we took off. I have to say here that New Zealanders are a friendly talkative bunch of people and we had a great time listening to the conversations and participating in some.

We ran next to a guy from Singapore who is a stock broker. Last week he ran the Sundowner double marathon and now he was here to run Christchurch. He said he ran 23 marathons last year alone. He was wearing a Marathon Maniacs shirt. Go figure.

Jakeb wanted to finish faster than four hours so we looked up the pace per kilometer for a four hour marathon and tried to keep our lap time below that pace. I punched my watch at every kilometer that I saw. I missed some. During the first half our fastest kilometer was 5:12. A four hour marathon is 5:41 pace. We hit the half in approximately 1:55. I knew I was running faster than I should and would have to tell Jakeb to take off soon.

At the 28k mark my legs had had enough. I asked Jakeb how many more gels he needed to finish. He said "one". I asked if he had it and he said "yes". So I told him "you are going to have to take off if you want to get a less than four hour marathon". He said "You sure you don't mind"? I told him "no go for it." And he took off.

It was actually good for me to be able to slow down and work on getting the best time I could. It helped that it was raining and my shorts were wet and they were keeping my legs cool. I slowed down and even though the effort was not easy I felt much better. Toward the end I had to walk some and when I walked I tried to walk at a brisk pace.

I finished by my watch at 4:04:59.

Jakeb finished in about the 3:49 to 3:50 range. He smoked it. His first marathon was faster than my marathon PR. Youth is a great thing - and Jakeb is a really good runner. He has the mentality for it. He can go into himself and push when it is necessary. When he stepped on the finish line he said his calf cramped up. He tried to sit in a chair and take off his chip but as soon as he sat down he had to stand right back up. If you have run a marathon you know the feeling.

The SBS Marathon is one of my favorite so far. No fuss. Just a well run (pun intended) marathon in an amazing place where the people are laid back to begin with.

Update: According to the SBS Christchurch Marathon web sight Jakeb finished 3:50:18 chip time and I finished 4:04:57 chip time.