Thanks for visiting my blog. This is where I document and share all of my running adventures with my friends and fellow runners. The good, the bad, and the unquestionably painful. All for your entertainment! Enjoy!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Philadephia Marathon and Recovery Run

Today is my wedding anniversary. Most men aren't as dialed into these situations as I am, but I pride myself on being sensitive to the wants and needs of my spouse. I could have sent her flowers, I guess. Or I could have bought her a nice gift and taken her to dinner in a fancy restaurant. But these are routine choices made by narrow minded men. I like to think outside the box. So I decided to treat Jo to a very special day. I decided to let her watch me run the Philly Marathon.

When I first presented her with this gift, I could tell right away that she was having a hard time believing my generosity. I guess after spending the entire year doing whatever I wanted, she was shocked by my willingness to be so thoughtful and giving.

What can I say. I'm a romantic! Guilty as charged!

I was somewhat concerned about the outcome of this event, because I had just ran a 100 mile trail race in Arizona a week ago. But I had to remind myself, this isn't for me. It's for Jo. I can't worry myself over something as meaningless as my finish time.

So...Jo's gift started at 7:00 AM, so we were up at 3:30 so we could prepare and get to the venue early enough to find a parking spot.

I was so enamoured with my Javelina Jundred race shirt that I decided to wear it for this marathon. Besides, I was pretty certain that I would be the only runner wearing a race shirt from a 100 miler from the previous weekend. This was just a hunch, but I'm pretty sure I was right.

This is me getting settled for the start. I'm sporting a well earned shirt!

Prior to the start, the mayor was busy giving interviews to the local news stations. I'm wondering...why isn't he talking about ME? This oversight will not be forgotten at the polls!

While heading out to get a good spot to take pictures, Jo ran into Stephan and Paul as they were waiting to get started. They were in an earlier wave because they're faster than I am. I think I might hate them for that. Some of my more devoted blog followers will remember that Paul was one of my pacers from Leadville.

The race started, albeit, somewhat late, and we were off! The course meandered through the downtown area for the first 6 or 7 miles, This was a treat for me, because I rarely come into the city these days despite the fact that I love it. I was hoping to pass by the "Occupy Philly" protesters so I could point and laugh, but I never saw them. I'm pretty sure they were still sleeping due to all the strenuous sitting around and bitching they do all day.

Downtown Picture.


As with most big city marathons, this race drew a group of elite runners that were in town for a very specific purpose. That purpose is to lay waste to the entire field of poor local runners. Here they are....

As you can see, this is a group of Kenyans, mixed with a few white guys that haven't learned the value of pacing themselves yet.

They soon will....

I love this picture. You can clearly see the remaining white guy as he looks over his shoulder for some support. All the other white guys are trying to keep up, but they're hopelessly being dropped. In my mind, he's thinking "C'mon guys! We got this! We can beat these Kenyans!!!" And they're looking back at him with this "WHATEVER" look on their faces. Classic! It's important to note that this picture was taken before the end of the first mile.

And somewhere behind this speedy little pack, the casual marathoners start to filter through.

The skinny kid in the white singlet is Chris Brennan. He's pretty damn fast and was shooting for 3 hour finish. Somebody should give that boy a sandwich. I was afraid he would fall between the slats of a sewer drain.

The next picture is Paul. Another fast runner with some real talent.

Then Stephan. This man is the mastermind behind several great trail races in our area and he's a very fast, talented runner. And he's a fellow HCM Foundation team member!

Then me. This at mile 1 and I was feeling great, but dealing with way too much traffic. 27,000 runners!!! But DAMN.....I look pretty cool in that shirt!

And I would be remiss in failing to mention John Schultz! This man is in his very late 70's and I have seen him run several very difficult trail races. He's slow, but persistent. And he's wearing a garbage bag and gardening gloves! John abandoned any and all concern for fashion during the Carter administration.

The course took us down through the city toward the waterfront, then looped us back up toward the start line. Jo found me again at mile 6 and was able to catch a quick photo.

The weather was warming up, and I was beginning to feel good. From here, we ran up West River Drive to the Fairmont Plateau, then back to the river and the art museum, where we split off from the half marathon crowd. This thinned out the field nicely.

I was running at an even pace and trying to avoid pushing too hard. As with most marathons, I didn't fuel at all, but took Gatorade every 3 or 4 miles.

After we lost the 13.1 crowd, we continued up Kelly Drive and into Manayunk, where we turned around and headed back toward the finish.

Late in the race, I realized I was on pace for new PR. However, this didn't really matter to me, and given the choice, I would prefer to have a PR in Baltimore than Philly, which is how it stands now. Considering that I only plan to run 2 more road marathons in this lifetime, it kind of matters to me which course carries my PR for all eternity. So I slowed.

When I reached mile 25, I saw my good friend Helene Horn at the aid station handing out Gummie Bears. So I decided to stop and chat with her. She gave me a big hug and we talked briefly about Javelina. She snapped a couple of pictures of me, hugged me again, and I trotted off for my final mile.

I coasted to the finish and loved it. It was a nice easy run and I felt great. As I approached the finish line, I saw my friend Bart Yasso with a microphone in his hand. When he saw me, he pointed and announced me to the crowd, while explaining that I had just run a 100 mile trail race the previous weekend. I thought that was REALLY cool for him to do! I love that guy!

The crowd of spectators was so deep, Jo couldn't get close enough to the finish line to get a good shot of me. This was the best she could do. This is a total "Where's Waldo" picture, but trust me, I'm there!

My finish time was 3:46:50. This is an 8:40 pace for 26.2 miles and is 2 minutes slower than my PR from Baltimore. It was almost PERFECT!

I did get fatigued and this race was a challenge due to the 100 mile race last weekend, but it was pretty reasonable in terms of effort. It was very enjoyable and I loved seeing so many of my friends running this race.

I have one more race for 2011 and I'm looking forward to getting that one wrapped up! Thanks for taking the time to read my report! I hope to see you all again soon!

Happy Trails!


  1. This has to be one of the funniest marathon race reports I have ever read!! Why only two more road marathons??

  2. I sure hope your wife appreciated your romance.

    You must have missed the Occupy'ers. I'm pretty sure they were split between the group playing bongos at mile 10 and the group high on LSD at mile 11.

  3. Great recap!

    Love reading recaps of a race I did ... (I did the half)

    Yay for you getting the shout-out from Bart. He's an amazing guy ... and has inspired me so much as I've slowly come back to running after being severely injured in an accident.

    And you're right ... you do look damn good in that shirt!

  4. That was an awesomely funny report! I guess next year is following your wife around wherever she wants to go?

  5. Love it!! I'm still crackin' up at the comment about Mr. Schultz fashion sense (or lack there of) since the Carter administration! LOL but ya gotta admire a guy that is OUT THERE RUNNING AT 70 PLUS!! KUDOS TO YOU, MR. SCHULTZ!! and you too, my brother/ my friend!! Love ya!! :) dodi