Post Race Report: City of Oaks Marathon

Post Race Report:

Race Date: Sunday, November 5, 2017
Race Name: City of Oaks Marathon
Race Distance: 26.2 Miles
Elevation Gain: Approx. 1300 feet
Finishing Time: 3:44:23
Mile Split: 8:33/Mile

Place: 72/419 Overall, 10/43 Age 25-29

Photos and Special Recognition:

Thank you to the volunteers and law enforcement officers who made the race experience safe and enjoyable, especially the people responsible for offering free beer at the finish line. Special thank you to my girlfriend Whitney and the friends that came out to support. Congratulations to the other finishers.

With Half-Marathon finisher Dave pre-race.

Right before the finish line…check out those calves.

Adam and Sean showcasing their signs after the race.

Race Recap:

Another November, another City of Oaks Marathon. This year marks the fourth year I have run this hometown race.

I came in with a goal time of 3:45:00 and destroyed that goal with a massive 37 seconds to spare…a new personal record (or PR for those of you race savvy readers) by 12 minutes.

This was easily the smoothest performance of my races so far… even the weather cooperated. Early November in Raleigh can be a crapshoot of weather outcomes from heat to near-freezing temperatures. This year, we were treated with upper 50s to low 60s throughout the run and clouds to keep any sun from beating down.

The starting line was as crowded as I’ve ever seen for the City of Oaks. The starting chutes were packed and made it impossible to work my way up toward my target pace starting groups. I ended up back in the pack when crossing the line and had to work my way through dozens of runners before finally getting out into open space to get into a steady pace.

I was unsure if my race strategy would pan out successfully, or lead my to a late-race implosion of pain and despair. With the recent knee injury knocking out some important training weeks, I wasn’t sure if I would have enough aerobic fitness and stamina to maintain a 8:00-8:15 pace throughout the majority of the run.

Thankfully…it worked.

A sneaky hilly course, the race covers rolling hills in and around downtown Raleigh through the first 10 miles and then transfers to the city’s greenway trails that pack two major uphills at miles 21 and 23. I hoped that running 8:00-8:15 miles through the first two-thirds of the race would give me enough cushion to conquer the final hills and make it down Hillsborough St. to the NC State Belltower by the 3:45 mark.

I managed an 8:10/mile pace through the first 10K and a 8:20/mile pace through the first 20 miles. I was able to run relatively strong up the final hills, but my quads were certainly hurting and made me work hard to maintain a strong rhythm through the last 5-6 miles.

As I neared the finish line and could see the time showing on the clock at 3:45:XX, I booked it the last two-tenths of a mile to sneak in under the 3:45-mark with my chip time.

Overall, I am extremely happy with the result. This is another step toward the ultimate goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon…though I still have a long way to go.

It’s great to see so many runners conquering a marathon, half, relay, or 10K for the first time. I’m going to selfishly assume this blog has a little bit to do with that. It’ll make me sleep better at night…and maybe neutralize the aching of my quads that will inevitably try to keep me awake.

I’m not sure what the next adventure will be at this point, but don’t worry…you will hear about it hear first. After all, this fat guy still has goals to accomplish…and more importantly needs content to keep up with this once-a-week writing deadline I’ve given myself.

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