It's like I've come full circle. This was the first Marathon I ever ran. In fact, it's the first race I ever ran at any distance - exactly 21 years ago in 1998. Four years ago, this was the race where I paced my sister on her first Half. Today, it was the first Marathon for a friend - Curtis Arcand. I had to run about this distance today anyway as part of my training, and his goal was to beat 4 hours in the Marathon - basically my training pace - so the stars lined up for this one.
I ran it in 1998 in 4:00:30. I was incredibly inexperienced, trained very poorly, and ended up with a terrible case of runner's trots that swore me off running ever again. Today felt a lot better.
The temperatures were identical to those 21 years ago: 15C/60F at the 6am start, and 21C/70F at the finish. Clear and sunny the whole way, with a gentle breeze and tolerable humidity.
There's not much to report. Curtis ran a good race. We averaged a pace of 8:59/mile to give him a finish time 3 1/2 minutes under 4 hours. It's a fairly flat course - total elevation gain was just 890 feet. It's a double loop course, and we ran the second half about 30 seconds faster than the first half. Pretty even splits. He felt strong right up to about mile 22, but toughed out the rough ones at the end and only faded slightly in mile 26. He did great. Actually won his age division.
My results, on the other hand, inexplicably show a DNF on the timing website. This is the second race in a row where this has happened. The Ultra I could understand - all the equipment was caked in mud. But today? The only thing I can think of is I thought I heard a "beep" when I passed by the finishing mat on my second loop. I mean, I was on the official course, but maybe it picked me up. I e-mailed them to complain. I know it's not important, but it's still a matter of pride that I have not DNF'd in a race - yet.