Monday, April 17, 2006

And they're off! Live blogging the Boston Marathon (sort of)

FINAL UPDATE (others below): My brother survived Heartbreak Hill and its aftermath and finished with a new PR of 3:05:37! Woo-hoo! Congratulations Fast Fizzy!

Original post:

The Boston Marathon started about an hour ago (at time of writing). Yes, that's right, it's Monday. And they started at noon. What can I tell you -- the Boston Marathon is weird.

If you want updates on the leaders (go, Meb, go!), you can follow the race's progress at the Marathon website. If you know someone in the race, you can track their progress with the "Athlete Tracking" link on the main page.

And of course I'm tracking Fast Fizzy. Last I checked, he was running a 6:51 pace with a projected finish of 2:59:28, which would be totally awesome, as Fizzy has never broken 3 hours. But that's only after the first 10K and there's a lot of hills to come, plus Fizzy has a tendency to take off fast in the first 10K and then settle into a more manageable pace. Then again, I said that when he was running the NY Marathon and he kept up the pace and set a new PR. So maybe the adrenaline will do it for him again.

The three men's leaders, meanwhile, are running at a crazy 4:43 pace, in single file. Perhaps we'll have another photo finish, just like in NY. The women, it seems, are still in a pack, running at at about a 5:30 pace.

More updates on Fizzy later.

Half Marathon UPDATE: Yup, as I suspected, Fizzy has slowed down, but only a wee bit. He's now running a 6:55 pace with a projected finish of 3:01:13. Still, that would be a PR and put him that much closer to being able to break 3 hours. Keep it up Fizzy!

25K (15.5 mile) UPDATE: Fizzy has dropped a wee bit more speed -- he's now at a 6:57 pace -- but it's been literally downhill most of the race to this point and he has the slow climb to Heartbreak Hill yet to face, as well as the equally tortorous steep downhill from the crest of Heartbreak Hill (about mile 20.5) to the end.

Why would the last downhill miles be so hard? For those not in the know, after about mile 18-22, depending on your fitness and natural endurance, you start to build up lactic acid in your leg muscles and they tend not to do what you want them to do. They turn into either heavy bricks or a mushy mess. Downhills are hard on the legs. Steep downhills after 20+ miles at race pace are murder. Many a seasoned, elite runner -- including the awesome Greta Weitz -- has hit "the wall" on the downhill side of Heartbreak Hill.

So, hang in there Fizzy!

Winners UPDATE: Apparently people other than my brother are running this race. Who knew? Anyway, here are the men's top 3 and the women's top 3 (they started earlier):

Men's official results
1. Robert Cheruiyot (KEN) 2:07:14 (Course Record by one second!)
2. Ben Maiyo (KEN) 2:08:21
3. Mebrahtom Keflezighi (USA) 2:09:56

Women's official results
1. Rita Jeptoo (KEN) 2:23:38
2. Jelena Prokopcuka (LAT) 2:23:48
3. Reiko Tosa (JPN) 2:24:11

Fast Fizzy 35K UPDATE: Hot damn! Fizzy has made it over Heartbreak Hill and he's still at a 7:02 pace with a projected finish of 3:04:16 -- about 4 minutes faster than his previous PR in the NY Marathon. If he can hold it together down the hill to the finish, he's golden! Next update will be his finish time!

4 comments:

Bardiac said...

Congrats to Fast Fizzy!

(The line about other people running also cracked me up. :)

Ancarett said...

Congratulations to Fizzy from the far north, as well. And here I was, congratulating myself for running to youngest's school today to pick her up when that's only half a mile. . . . I have a loooong way to go!

Fast Fizzy said...

Thanks Dr. Virago, bardiac and ancarett. You can't run 26.2 without doing the first half mile.

My legs were very brick-like the last 3 miles. My arms were numb and I was getting light-headed. I thought I had slowed to 9 minutes a mile because it felt like I was going in slow motion. The only reason I didn't stop was a good chance for a PR at the Boston Marathon. I could not have run a second faster or a quarter mile farther. I won't ever forget that race.

Dr. Virago said...

Hey Fizzy, sorry I haven't called to get the low-down in person (I will though -- I'm just swamped Mon-Thurs) but thanks for the update here. Just looking at your times made it seem like you were slowing a little bit but didn't let on how hard those last 3 miles were. But good for you that you stuck it out and got a PR! Woo-hoo!

Next year it will be my turn (though I don't expect anything near a PR -- I think I'll take it relatively easy).