Saturday, November 6, 2010

Grand Canyon Marathon Race Report

I've been deceived! The map and elevation chart made this marathon look tough, but they did not do this course justice! This thing was by far the hardest marathon I have ever completed. I'm just happy I was able to complete it.

I started out running with a buddy of mine who had similar training times as me. We were sticking to our plan of a 7:45 average pace. That was supposed to be completely manageable considering the training I've put in. But by about mile 10, I could tell the elevation (7000 ft.) was really affecting me, and had to slow it up a bit, and my buddy took off. He was cruising. I managed the next 10 miles running around 8-8:30 minutes per mile, and then slipping to 9-ish. At mile 20 there was supposed to be a pretty big hill lasting a little over 2 miles. That was a lie! That hill seemed to never ended until mile 25. I was forced to walk for several minutes during each of those miles, and was putting in 11-12 minute miles. It was awful. I've never had to do that before. Luckily the last mile was mostly down hill, and I finished with a 10:40 mile. My official time was exactly 3:59, and I finished 10th overall.

This was my first time ever to the Grand Canyon, and it was amazing. Even though this race was incredibly tough, the views were even more incredible--almost making the killer course worth it. I definitely have plans to go back to the Grand Canyon, but I don't think I'll be running this marathon again. Maybe just the half. :-)

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