Portland Marathon

Portland Marathon (Oct 3, 2004)

Well, I’ve finally gotten around to sending out my latest and greatest race report from the Portland Marathon on October 3rd.  As some of you may know, Rodney and I had scheduled a grand New England tour for our 20th anniversary and the Maine marathon in Portland featured prominently in it.  So we made it all the way to Portland, (Oregon) before I realize that we’ve missed the flight by one full day.  Guess I need to use a travel agent from now on and I’m no longer allowed to make travel arrangements on my own.  The cost of rescheduling the flights at the last minute…astronomical.  So, sad to say, we ditched the trip.

Fortunately, all the training did not go to waste as the Portland (Oregon) marathon runs the same day.  So I pay my astronomical last minute registration fee and there I am at the start line with over 7000 people, instead of the 2500 I had planned for in Maine.  And hills…there are hills.  Luckily I train on plenty of them.  The weather was perfect – cool and windless until the sun broke out at the end.  The first part of the course has lots of down hill stretches and it’s really hard to hold back, but I did my best to hit even splits.  There’s one moderate hill at 17 miles and there I was able to pass a bunch of folks, all the way thanking myself for running hills in training . My goal was to get in under 3 hours 50 minutes (the qualifying time for my age/gender to run the Boston Marathon).

Long story (run) short, I had a comfortable run, except for the general agony of running a marathon during miles 18-26.  I crossed the finish line in 3:48:12 bringing in my last mile at one minute per mile faster than my goal pace (for you non runners, that means I tried to “sprint” in).  Since I ended up in Oregon, rather than Maine, my parents, as well as Rodney, were able to be there cheering for me and hugging me at the end.  And the food!  You should have seen all the food they give you during and afterwards…ice cream bars, fruit, potato chips, fluids, candy, etc.  Too bad I wasn’t that hungry until a few hours later.  There were even guys standing at mile 24ish offering beer!  I didn’t see any takers, however.

So, plan on “watching” for me in the Boston marathon this April!  I intend to keep working hard to improve my time one marathon at a time until my improvement curve catches up with my “declining performance with age” curve.  Then I think I’ll switch to long distance running (50-100 mile races).  That should keep me busy and keep you all amused.  And Rodney just keeps shaking his head.

Oh, and the vacation trip turned into a lovely 5 days in Victoria, B.C. – one of our favorite trip destinations, anyway.  Except that they were running the Victoria Marathon the day after we left and I wish I could have stayed longer … to watch it.