What a great day for runners; cool crisp morning followed by sunny day. My plan for the marathon was to run with the 4 hour pace group. I got to the start at 5:45am to get motivated, a parking spot near the stadium and first in line at a pot-o-potty. I mingled around talking to other runners, then I saw this guy speed walking to get something from the relay table. I reached over and socked him in the arm...He asked, "Hey!!!Do I Know You!?" "Jeff It's me Bill Bailey!" "Remember we worked together 15 years ago!!!" We chatted for a minute then he had to get going. I go a phone number to so I could call him later.
Mike Keller & I talked about running together with the 4 hour group....but there was a catch...We were not going to talk to each other during the race, so we wouldn't waste energy and focus on running.
(click on mike's name and read his blog).
We were off and running in no time. I started to stick with the pacer then I moved up to run with Mike, who was ahead by a little. Then I would move back to the pacer, thinking I was running to fast...I was confused!!! So I got into my own grove and ran my race with the same thoughts I had at the BT50K. I need to use it or loose it. Use the energy I had to keep myself going or loose it by running to slow. I got through the Y-Bridge, Firestone Park & Akron U on my own. Once I hit the towpath I was at a good pace and caught up with the Canal River Rats. They are a group of West Akron Guys who run the towpath & Sand Run. Who better to run with at this point of the race. I was 3-4 minutes a head of the 4 hour group. A nice cushion to have because of the "HILL" that was coming up. The Rats were great. They got me through Sand Run. I started to slow down a tad in the West Akron area near Firestone High School. I sucked down some Gu's. It got a little warm,but I was well hydrated. I stopped at every water stop. I took 20 seconds to drink and walk, then off and running again. Right before the HILL I looked to my side and there was a girl with a 4:15 pace on her back and next to her was a pacer. I freaked out. I was thinking I lost some time and was at a 4:15 pace. But the pacer was the 4 hour guy. Our pacer was awesome; I stayed with him up the HILL into Stan Hywet. Once we got to Portage I sucked down two GU's. I asked the pacer if we would continue this pace he said yes.
My thoughts were I got 4 hoursbeat!, but can I get sub 4? Let's see what Market Street brings me. My plan for Market Street is to let the street carry me to Main Street. Market Street has a nice long hill. "Gravity do your job."
I'm still with the pacer on Portage and as we come around to get to Market I make my move. Not all at once but I slowly move ahead, my music blasting, but I can hear the crowd, I can see Main Street then I look over and see Vince in his car (Stuck in traffic) He's cheering me on, I flash him the VR Peace Sign & a number 4 sign. Seeing Vince gave me more motivation to move ahead at a faster pace. I got to the bottom of Market and remember the little incline that was waiting for me right before Main Street. I slowed down to get up the hill, then running down Main Street my leg started to cramp. I slowed a little then seeing the crowd and having the stadium in sight I had to run through the pain. Run Bill Run....I'm focused on my time, I'm passing a bunch of pink relay tags, I almost knocked some lady over. I kept repeating SUB 4....SUB 4....SUB 4
Chip Time 3:57:47