This was originally just an e-mail I sent to a couple
of friends. I was going to write a report but never got around to it so I
slightly modified this instead
That is Anita Finkle just behind me. Her husband Jay took the picture.
Hello my favorite running people,
The weather turned out perfect. I drove through a shower around Sanford
and was worried but when in got to Ellerbe it was blue skies.
Now on with the story.
I was a bit apprehensive about running this after the extremely difficult
time I had at Umstead 2 weeks ago. And my right leg hasn't been right
since Myrtle Beach Marathon and was hurting me quite a bit yesterday. I decided to go ahead
and run for fun and hope the leg would hold up. Age-group medals would
have to wait til another day.
I started out with my good ultrabuddy Anita Finkle. Jay wasn't running
because of some Achilles tendonitis so he was saving it for the 100 in two
weeks. It was great to run with her. I haven't seen them as much as usual
the past year and we haven't run together in a long time. My leg was
feeling fine so that was a relief. The pace was maybe a little quicker
than I planned that early, right at 9mp but it felt good. The first half
is very hilly. I think this may be as tough as the Boogie, just easier
because of the cooler weather than June.
We were just having a great time talking and after about 7 miles a lady
Anita knew joined us. The miles seem to pass quickly and we went through
the half, which is the highest point on the course in 2:01:15, about 9:15
pace. The hill leading up to that point is about as tough and long as
Bethel Church Hill. The next couple of miles had some nice downhill but
there were still plenty of hills left. The 2nd half is somewhat easier
than the 1st though.
At 15 miles,Jay was working the a.s. and Anita stopped for a minute and
while I was walking away drinking some water, Ruth, the other lady kept
going. I was going slow thinking Anita might catch back up but after a few
minutes I decided to pick the pace back up. I saw Tony Rouse was just
behind me at the a.s.and I was hoping he would catch me too so we could
run together. Well, he finally did 4 miles later at 19. We picked up the
pace a little more. The next few miles were a long gradual climb, just
enough to let you know you are going up hill. I commented to Tony that I
could really use some downhill soon.
Anita caught us at 22 miles. We were running about 9mp again but she
passed us in pursuit of beating other women. We had been Finkled. I told
Tony after running an 8:50 mile that we were doing good but I had to slow
down becuase I felt a stitch coming and my stomach was feeling a bit
queezy. I dropped back a little to recupe a bit. When we got to mile 23,
Tony stopped and turned back and waited for me. He said if we push it we
might crack 4 hours. I didn't think it was even a remote possibility but I
looked at my watch and saw it would be possible but only if we really
pushed it. I didn't think I could so I told Tony I didn't feel like trying
but for him to go ahead. Strange thing though, that last easy mile had me
feeling better and we started picking it up and soon were in a good
groove. This was cool. This late in a marathon and I feel great and
running faster than I have all day. Around 24 miles we passed Anita and 3
other people. ( My first reverse Finkle!) We ran mile 25 in
I can honestly say that although it was not my fastest marathon, it was
probably my best from start to finish.
What a great day. Spend it with some great people and running a great
race in a beautiful place. Got to spend some quality time with the Trail
Angel before and after the race. Always a highlight of my life.