Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Death Valley Marathon -- 2nd in Age

Today I completed the Death Valley Marathon, with a finishing time of 3:42:25, or about 90 seconds worse than my best time at St. George. I was second in my age class and 30th overall.

Conditions were ideal. Death Valley has rolling hills but is mostly flat, so flat that you think you are going downhill in each direction. I did this marathon in 2004, when it was the sixth running. It wasn't well attended then, perhaps 200 people. Today, the crowds were larger and they were running a half and a 10K. The half started off 10 minutes behind the marathon, and the lead half runners caught up with me at their turnaround spot, about 6.1 miles.

My 2004 marathon was my very first and I had a decent time of around 3:58. So, I haven't managed to shave all that much off my times. Slow, too big and not enough genetics.

As usual, between 17 and 26.2 miles I promise myself that I'll never do it again, as I struggle struggle struggle. This time (as I did in my slightly better St. George time) at least I passed people in the final miles rather than be passed. I was passed by one fellow at 24 who chatted with me awhile and said he was about to run his first ultra, and that he was preparing for that by running Death Valley on Saturday and Las Vegas the next day.

The weather was cool. I stayed ahead of the lead woman runner until mile 11, and ahead of the second woman runner until mile 13.