Derby Marathon Race Recap 2017
The 2017 edition of the Derby Marathon was my 5th time running the race.
After our move across the country in 2016 and completing the 2016 Derby Festival Marathon, I knew that I really wanted to give the Derby Marathon a go. I registered for the race in May 2016, about 2 weeks after the Derby, not knowing what would happen with the whole doing the Boston Marathon on the cheap thing that we lucked out with. Read about how to not break the bank on the Boston Marathon – HERE!
I had 12 days to recover from the Boston Marathon for the Derby Marathon.
Going into the Derby Marathon, I felt like I was in stellar shape. I had high goals of shaving off at least 9 minutes from my 2:49:44 at the Boston Marathon – read the Boston Marathon Race Recap! We left Tennessee on Thursday to head up to Lexington to meet with my buddy James and his wife, Lauren. Then on Friday we went up to Louisville for the Derby Marathon packet pickup. The expo was a disappointment compared to previous years. I’m not sure if it had to do with the pre-race expo being in a different location than it’s been in the past several years or what. The energy was not quite what it used to be. The shirts were dark, boring and bland. The runner’s assistance Q&A folks were not pleasant, as they initially placed me in the B wave even though I could run a sub-3 marathon. I asked the runner’s assistance Q&A folks if they could move me to the A group and the lady kind of snapped at me… thankfully I was able to get a bib for the A-corral and then we left the expo.
The night before the Derby Marathon we stayed at James’ parents’ house, like we’ve done many times in previous years.The race was supposed to start at 7:30 AM and we set alarms to get up at 5 AM for breakfast.
When 5 AM rolled around, we ate breakfast and then James’ parents turned on the news and we found out the race had been delayed until 8 AM due to weather. We were a little bummed, but nonetheless, we hung tight at his parents’ house for an extra half hour, then headed to the race.
We easily found a parking space about 3/4 a mile from the start and finish area which was good enough for us! The sky was dark, but there wasn’t much going on that seemed dangerous at the time. At about 7:30 AM the Derby Marathon race director team pushed back the race to 8:30 AM since there was lightning on the other side of the river in Indiana. Stupid Indiana and its lightning. We all hung out in a parking garage until we heard the pushed it back until 9 AM. At 8:50 AM we headed to the start corrals.
Finally around 9:10 AM the Derby Marathon began!
I knew I wanted to run the race aggressively, as I’d been working for this for a long while. The only potential deterrent at the time may have been the delayed start, but nevertheless, I pressed on. I ran the first 10k in about 37:42 and I felt great. Around mile 8 I caught up to the first woman in the marathon and we ran together for about 6 miles. She’s a cool lady who was doing her second marathon… and she was winning (and later that day won the woman’s race and $1500!)
At the half marathon mark, I clocked approximately 1:21:50. I knew that around 15.5 or so things would change as we exited Iroquois Park, as it would flatten out again. Mentally I felt strong and knew I could negative split the second half, but my legs felt otherwise. The cloud coverage started to disappear and the sun peaked out, which created an intense humidity rising from the rain soaked streets.
Physically, I struggled on that last part 9 miles of the marathon, but mentally I knew that it was probably due to the unforeseen delay, as I would have finished before the sun started pounding if the race started on time at 7:30 AM. Around mile 17, I knew that a 9 minute PR was slipping away as my pace dwindled to around a 6:40 or so pace, compared to the 6:15-6:20 I had been roughly averaging.
I somehow mustered up the energy to pass a few people in the last 5 miles. By pass a few people, I mean I passed 4, I believe. That’s still great considering how terrible my legs felt. No one passed me, which made me feel even better! I hate that feeling of death as someone powers on past you. I’m glad I was able to be on the good side of passing people even though I felt bad!
With about a mile left, I knew that a PR was going to be a close call. I powered through that last mile and on the final straight, I saw that a PR was going to be possible… albeit a small PR. As they say, a PR is a PR!
I crossed the finish line for the Derby Marathon in 2:49:09 – cutting 25 seconds off my marathon time from the Boston Marathon Race.
Although the Derby Marathon did not go as planned, I’m still excited to finish 7th overall and 1st in my age group! I still think I am able to break the 2:40 mark, so I’ll be giving it a go and training hard for the Hamilton NightGlow Marathon in September in Ohio and the Seven Bridges Marathon in October in Chattanooga.