Des News Marathon. 2:40:48. This is my first and last Des News Marathon. I enjoyed the 10-k in 2003, but the marathon is a brutal course during a hot time year. I would not do it if not for the Slam. On top of that, the race started 20 minutes late because of busing issues. I was not impressed. The course itself is pretty for the canyon part (1st 16 miles or so), but when it gets into SLC, it starts looping around, doing turnarounds, and other shenanagans like that. SLC is a big city, I don't see the point of having to retrace my steps. So IMHO, not a well-run race, not recommended, but mandatory for the Slam. Sorry if I offend people who love this race, but this is a blog after all.
Anywayyyy....This race did not go great for me, but did not go that bad either. It was my worst race of the Grand Slam, and the only race where I hit the wall, but it was not a terrible wall, and allowed me to maintain a decent pace at the end and finish with an okay time. I'll take 2:40 for this course and training I had been doing. Since running the Wasatch Back Relay, and then painting my house, I had developed a fair bit of lower back pain and knee pain, which stopped me from doing the downhill workouts needed to run a course like Des News. My quads were pretty gooified by halfway and I was hurting pretty bad by the last 6 miles. From the beginning of the Slam, I intended for Des News and St. George to be my "peak" races, and the others to be glorified workouts. So I was hoping for a PR coming into Des News. I got out "slow" and well behind the front packs and gradually picked my way through the crowd during the first 5-6 miles. I finally caught the top woman going up over the pass into emigration. The pass slowed me up a bit, but I picked it up again going down emigration, and although I was not feeling great, I still was on pace for a PR. But it was not to be, and I hit the wall around Mile 20, and managed to roll in to a painful finish.
After lunch, my wife and I got on a plane to San Diego for a 5-day GIS conference. Not recommended to do this immediately after a marathon. No running in San Diego though, just recovery.
Mile Splits/Ave HR
6:06/138 - going pretty slow here to save on pounding
6:41/179 - uphill out of first canyon
5:47/161 - back to downhill
5:41/173 - 1:17:46 for half, can PR if keep up this pace
7:08/179 - up toward zoo? slow mile
5:42/178 - last gasp
6:33/179 - the wall
6:23/173 - I'll take this pace for hitting the wall; just want to finish now
6:28/177 - still hangin' in there
6:49/185 - tough mile
1:15/189 - last 0.2