7 Bridges Marathon
The 7 Bridges Marathon turned out to be a fantastic event! I was not sure how I’d feel two weeks after the Greenway Marathon where I destroyed myself. Read the Greenway Marathon Race Recap here! Also, the 7 Bridges Marathon was 3 weeks before my big goal race, the Nashville Ultra.
The 7 Bridges Marathon was not a hard push for me, since I was a pacer. This would be my first official pacing event. I’ve paced my friends before. I’ve paced at the 2016 Knoxville Marathon and 2016 Derby Festival Marathon (for 20 miles). You can read those two race recaps here and here, respectively.
The morning started out great. I met with some of the other pacers before the start. We talked some running. Then it was time to start the race. No one really wanted to go to the front of the pack towards the start. I was the first pacer, pacing the 3:30 marathon group. I took charge and some normal competitors followed me. I’ve learned that many people talk themselves down before the start of events. People looked at my pacing sign and say, “Oh, I’ll be way behind you, there’s no way I can run with you.” I suppose it could be them being humble or honest. Still, wouldn’t it be better for them to say something like, “I’m going to be chasing you and hope to catch you!” I’d be way more enthused if someone said that to me.
The gun went off and I ran at a nice and steady pace. I had a group of around 7 people running with me for a good majority of the first half.
A 3:30 marathon pace requires an 8:00 per mile pace. Check out the Marathon Paces page!
I ran the first half marathon just shy of 8:00 per mile pace at 8:03 per mile which included two bathroom stops! I knew that the back half of the marathon would be a little more intense as there was a hard climb over one of the 7 Bridges around mile 16. At Mile 18, I was down to an average pace of 8:00 minutes per mile. I finished 66 seconds ahead of the 3:30 goal pace at 3:28:54, which is still not bad considering my distance showed short, so it would have been within 30 to 45 seconds had the distance measured accurate. That means that the second half of the race, where most people fall apart, I actually put together a negative split!
A Negative Split is where you run the second part of your race faster than the first part.
I finished 15th overall and 3rd in my age group… as a pacer! Being able to bounce back from the Greenway Marathon fiasco and have a solid run gave me confidence heading into the Nashville Ultra in the beginning of November.
I’d definitely recommend participating in the 7 Bridges Marathon or the 4 Bridges Half Marathon either as a pacer or pushing for a new P.R! Who knows, I may be at the 7 Bridges Marathon next year pushing for a big PR and potential win… if I don’t come back as a pacer!
Big Thanks to MRuns Pacing for giving me the opportunity to pace!