Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cleveland Marathon Race Report

I finished 2'nd . . . in the barefoot division.  There were three of us that I know of.  Jessy and I discussed our craziness at mile 17.  Before I let him run ahead - he was running strong - he said that he had passed another barefooter before me.  That guy never caught me though.

My second marathon.  So, I've figured it out.  If I run a marathon, it will rain.  And rain it did.  It wasn't as torrential as the Blue Ridge Marathon, but for a barefooter, rain can be a problem.  Or can it?  We had 5 miles of mist and wet pavement followed by 5 of warmth and dry pavement.  Then 3 of wet and 3 of dry.  Then the rain, cold and wind set in.  The temp dropped 10 degrees and wind picked up when not protected by trees or buildings.  This made for a challenging run.

I set a new marathon pr.  I was hoping for 4:30 and finished with 4:37:17.  I started out fast as usual, keeping pace with the 4 hr pacer.  After six, I watched them pull away.  At mile 12 (or 14?) the 4:15 pacer caught me.  I stuck with them for a while,  but they too pulled away.   At mile 21, the 4:30 group reared it's ugly head and my hopes were dashed.  I was really feeling good with the 4 hr group and thought I could make a move.  Pain arrived and hope left at about mile 15, having seen the 4:15 group go, but I thought I could hold off the 4:30's.  Not to be.

The race was flat.  I really don't remember any hills, aside from the shoreway bridge.  I did walk at a few aid stations and near the end,  but only for seconds - 20 or 30 at most.  There were no hills to slow me down.  Only age, lack of conditioning and pain.

Congratulations to Dan who finished 1st in his age group.  Much faster than I can dream of.  And to Steve, a colleague of mine who finished the half in a 8 mile/min Pace.

Here are some photos:
My race uniform - note the sleeves.  I received many complimentary comments on the sleeves - some thought they were tattoos at first - and the shorts.  Although, Jennifer says they are making fun?

The guitar actually spins

Left foot  - only a slight big toe blister.  I felt this late in the race, but it's a non issue.

Right foot - big blood blister on the long toe.  I was dealing with this almost from the start.  I popped it, post race and watched the blood flow.  The mid section is interesting, but not a blister.

Top 'o the feet.  Right big toe is a 2 week old nighttime sidewalk smashing.  It wasn't an issue during the race.  It hurts when I put boots on.  Damn shoes!
Over all, I am excited at how my feet held up over the distance in the conditions.  The skin didn't break on the long toe blister, which was key.  And all the other skin was fine.  I've run in the rain a few times recently, but was unsure about 26 miles.  The short dry spots helped.  The road conditions were typical,  but they seemed to get worse as the race went on - mental, I'm sure.


  1. Man this week flew by... sorry to not congratulate you sooner. I think your time is awesome considering the conditions and the fact that you didn't... what's the word? "Train," I think it is. Remember there are runners out there who go through an 8-month program to be able to do what you did.

    I'm starting to come around to the idea that flats are harder.

    Anyway, congrats again on an excellent race and statement of fashion.