2017-10-22 - Marine Corps Marathon

26.2 miles @ ~13.6 min/mi

Marathon Maniac Experiment, Part Two: after yesterday's Baltimore 26.2 miler it's time to test the old legs in northern Virginia and Washington DC! Dawn Patrol buddy Caitlin, with her father Brian and brothers John Paul and Sean, arrive in downtown Rosslyn precisely as planned, at 7:17am, to meet Dr Kristin at the Metro there. Husband Bill and Mother Maureen are crewing, cheering, and chauffeuring.

We amble together to the zone for expected finish time 5.5+ hours, with pauses for photography along the way. Cait's brothers begin farther ahead, anticipating a faster pace; her dad hangs with us. Flag-carrying parachutists descend and US Marine Corps Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft roar low overhead. Crowds are dense and cheery.
before the start of the MCM 2017, Caitlin and Kristin and ^z
"Santa Steve" and ^z at sunrise before the start of the MCM 2017"It's Santa Steve!" Also awaiting the MCM's commencement is a local comrade with similar facial fuzz. We pose for selfies as the sun rises. "Don't Cross the Beards!" Nearby another friend, Sakurako (Sako) Narita, greets us. The howitzers go off, and 20+ minutes later we cross the starting line.

For most of the first half we average ~13 min/mi and arrive at the midpoint in 2:50. Sako runs ahead to join Maryland Marathon Maniac Ambassador amigo Barry Smith. About mile 10 we resync and trek together for a spell. Near mile 17 a spectator offers Oreo cookies. Yum!

On the National Mall we spy Cait's spouse and mom, who applaud and take more photos of us. At mile 20 we make the critical 14th Street Bridge cutoff with half an hour to spare. During a walk break there Nick, from the local training group, appears and taunts in his British accent: "It's the Montgomery County Road RUNNERS Club — not Road WALKERS!" He then awards me a pretzel. Thank you, Sir!
"We should slow down!" For the first 20 miles I'm Dr Jekyll, counseling prudence. Then I become Mr Hyde in the final 10k: "We can go faster!" and "Let's run to the next corner!" Method to the madness: with a bit of pushing, Kristin can make it under 6 hours, a major improvement to her marathon Personal Best.

And she does — brava! — we finish together in 5:56, happy and proud. Brian and Cait come in shortly thereafter, 6:03, with Barry near them. Brothers John Paul and Sean are 5:44 and 5:18 respectively.

Split data by watch and mile markers: 27:53 (first two), 12:50, 11:34, 26:46 (two), 13:07, 25:01 (two), 11:35, 13:40, 13:13, 12:42, 14:42, 13:34, 12:14, 14:30, 13:31, 14:58, 14:39, 13:13, 13:46, 13:49, 14:57, 15:44, 15:20, 2:40 (final 0.2 miles).
Kristin and ^z after finishing the MCM 2017 together

(trackfile) - ^z - 2017-11-22