Houston Marathon

I have to say that was one of the best marathon (or even race) crowds I’ve experienced. Very supportive all, the way. People on highway overpasses, in neighborhoods, outside businesses… they were all there for everyone and not just their own relatives or friends.

As we lined up in the dark just before 7am there was a low cloud cover enveloping the downtown skyscrapers – a bit misty but you could tell it was still warm. In the usual pre-race confusion (also no glasses on) I couldn’t find the 3:20:00 pace team leader, so I latched onto the 3:30:00 guy instead. It was a very energizing start and soon we were running in and out of mist patches. A few breezes every so often kept us happy.

The pace guy was excellent at working us back to about an 8:05 mark after the usual slow start in such a crowded course. I pretty much kept him close until about mile 16 or 17 then I turned to chat with someone for just a minute and when I looked up I couldn’t pick out his red vest any more. oops.

The humidity was up around 85 percent and I could tell it was starting to take its toll… I was sweating buckets continuously but made sure I did gatorade and/or water at every aid station. I used the Gu packs every 45 mins and supplemented with hard candy mints occasionally. Still, even with all of that, I could feel my quads starting to ache at mile 20 and 21 so I took a quick stretch at 21 to work the kinks out.

I knew I had definitely slowed considerably by 22 and 23 – those quads again. Everyone around me seemed to be saying the same thing, that they had not expected the humidity to hit them so hard.

Isn’t it strange that no matter how bad you feel, when you see that Mile 26 marker you somehow find something extra in the tank ? Although I knew by then I was probably not going to manage a second Boston qualifying time, I managed to pick up the pace and raced to the finish line with another runner iun what felt like a sprint but was probably a fast jog :-) It looks like my gun time was about 3:39:00, but chip time will probably turn out to be somewhere around 3:38:00. I’m happy with what I acheived today – That’s 7 States down and 43 to go.

Are you looking for a race that will challenge you ? One that has a good course ? A marathon with really great spectators ? Try Houston, it will give you all of those.

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~ by John Rankin on Jan 14, 2007.

6 Responses to “Houston Marathon”

  1. Congratulations on finishing in such a good time – it sounds like you really enjoyed the experience too!

    The e-mail alerts of your pace is cool too – other race organisers should take note of how Houston did it.

  2. Good Job John! Congrats!

    Sounds like a great race. I will have to add it to “my list”… don’t tell my wife that I have a list of Marathons to run some day… oh boy, she’ll have something to say about that. ;)

  3. John! Good job and congratulations!
    7 down, huh? I only have 2 and 48 more to go. Do you still plan on running 2 in 2 days?

  4. Still not sure, Rahim… It would be a nice way to cover 2 states (DE and NJ) at the same time at end of April, but it would be a tiring effort. I am probably too competitive for my own good, but it would mean both races would be over 4 hours and I always like to run 26.2 as close to 3:30 as possible…

    Another thing is that I want to run in the Olympia race in mid-May as a Boston qualifier (great weather and course). Why not jet over here and run it too.

  5. I tried looking that marathon up in MarathonGuide.com but not sure if I got the right one. Can you link me? I’ve never been to the state of Washington and this might be a good reason to.

  6. Rahim, I am not sure if it’s listed on Marathonguide yet. Strange. Anyway, it’s happening in mid May – here’s the URL http://www.capitalcitymarathon.org/

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