Monday, May 2, 2011


Woot-woot! I ran a sub-4 hour marathon, FINALLY!

Yes, the Eugene Marathon was great.

Running in my hometown has so many benefits. Yes, I'm from Springfield (sort of Eugene's ugly stepsister) but the race course wends from the campus area of Eugene, along the bike path and into Springfield for a couple miles. Then it heads out past Autzen Stadium (Go Ducks!) and onward to the finish at UO's storied Hayward Field.

So getting under the 4-hour mark was monumental, but there was much more made this race — marathon No. 8 — awesome. It all relates back to having home field advantage.

• My parents were my race support, driving my sister and I to the start and then appearing several times on the course to cheer us on. (Audrey ran the half.)
• Miles 10-15 were on turf I've run a zillion times, starting around age 11. This was especially helpful when looking for a spot in the woods for a quick bathroom break. (Ucky porta-potties!)
• My brother and his wife, Erica, live a few blocks off the course, so they walked down with their doggies to cheer me on.
• In a super-lucky moment, a high school running buddy who lives on the race course made a "Go Squires" sign and was out with her whole family to cheer racers on. Huge boost having her there! Thanks to (another) Erika!

Perhaps the coolest part of being here with family and friends was having my sister race with me. Audrey ran the half marathon and clocked a 12.5-minute PR (1:29 and some change) with her pacer buddy. After her awesome race, the kiddo changed her clothes and shoes, then popped out onto the course to run me in to the finish. She shuffled along for my last two miles, telling me nice things and making me run faster.

We crossed the finish line together. Super cool!

Final time: 3:56:52. Even the gun time was under 4 hours, something around 3:58:30. My overall pace was 9:03, but for the first 20 miles I averaged sub-8:50 miles. I was 1073 out of 2291 racers, including 75th in my division, which had 178 women in it.

Oh, and don't miss the neat arm warmers I picked up at the race expo. Flowers, but almost a Dia de Los Muertos motif, made by Run Pretty Far. The waist pack (for Gu or a cell phone) rocks too. Dad loves the camo and it was great during the race, not bouncy at all. It's a SPIbelt, check it out.

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