The day was perfect for a marathon. I drove up to Rexburg with a friend also going the distance (at a bright 4:30am) and met up with Clyde and Kory at Madison high school. I sat with Clyde on the bus ride up to the dam site and chatted about running, life, etc.
The weather was perfect, low 40's and no wind. At the gun, Clyde and I started together and took the first mile easy then started to push the pace. We caught the lead relay guy about 4M as we are now averaging about a 5:45-5:50 pace. Clyde is running really well and I am right there with him through about 9M. Starting at 9M, the ghosts of Odgen Marathon from 3 weeks ago start to haunt me...my hamstring starts to tighten a bit and I beginning to feel some "twinges" in my left knee. So, I start to back it off a bit knowing that if I keep this up, I will really pay for it at the hill. At 10M, Clyde has about a 15 second lead and is running strong. I just settle into a 6:10ish pace that feels pretty comfortable and wait for the hill to start around 15M. At 16M, the real torture begins and miles 17 - 19 really just suck and the pace drops way off as I just stuggle up the hill and attempt to keep Clyde in sight (approximately 2 minutes back at this point, but I can still see him!). Mile 20 is a little better as it begins to level off and then finally mile 22-23 comes around and allows for a breather due to the downhill, which I am only able to run at a 6:07. As we then hit the city and the flat part of town, the last 2M are just survival. Try to save a bit of a kick as I approach the finish but can't quite hit the sub-2:44.
Final time of 2:44:05, knocking almost 7 minutes off my time from last year and good enough for second place behing Clyde. Kory comes in strong for 3rd place!
Overall a really good run and a good test of my fitness to finish two faster marathons in 3 weeks time. I am really happy with my time considering how hard this course truly is.
It was great meeting and talking with the other bloggers. Look forward to seeing Clyde again in St. George (if not before...BTW, send me a copy of the picture of the two of us if you could). Looking forward to a rest week this week, just some easy miles later in the week. I will pace my wife next Saturday in her second 5K in 3 weeks (just started running in January!) at the big Idaho Falls race (Scenic River Classic).