Marathons: Paul #46, Leah #36, State #30 : LOCO Marathon 2014
26th October 2014, Newmarket, New Hampshire, USA
Finish Time = 3:55:16
We decided to take a weekend break to rest between Hartford and LOCO, although I should define break / rest. There was a local event being held, 2 trail runs through a hilly course in a nearby park at 5,800 feet altitude, called “Beware the Bear”. You could enter either the 5km or 15km event, or… run both. The 5km finished slightly before the 15km started so you could do the “double bear”. So we did that.
The theory was it was supposed to be like us doing a training run for the weekend but as soon as the gun went off for the 5km we started racing. It felt great to be trail running even if the course was full of tough hills. I finished in 9th place, 1 second behind the guy in 8th and a sub 25 minute time, which I was pretty happy with considering the elevation and altitude. Graph from my watch:
Leah finished in 14th, winning her age group and placing as the 3rd female finisher, 1 second behind 2nd place, winning a “Beware the Bear” teddy bear.
Then we switched our running numbers over and immediately lined up for the start of the 15km event by which time we were toast! We took that one much easier and it was a tough but enjoyable trail running weekend.
So then on to LOCO. I had been working on a consulting project in New Hampshire for over 2 years but had still not run the State. We took the opportunity to head to NH early that weekend and do the marathon before my week of work.
This marathon had qualification requirements, you had to submit proof of a previous 3:35 or faster marathon finish time as an 18 – 34 year old male and 4:05 or faster for an 18 – 34 female. Fortunately we both qualified. It also had a 4:30 cutoff time on the day of the race.
We really lucked out with the weather for this run. It had been raining all week but the day of the marathon was perfect, cool but sunning.
We ran 2 loops of a 13.1 mile course through rural New Hampshire, surrounded by Autumn (fall) colours, trees and farmland and a 3 mile section of trail which went over and around gorgeous lakes and flowing streams.
Our tactic for running sub 4s used to be to try to get the first half done with a good amount of time in hand (around 10 – 13 minutes) as you then knew you could run up to a minute a mile slower in the second half and still just make it. However more recently we’ve been running the first half slower than usual with the plan to either stay consistent or run a negative split. We recently read an article that said to always aim to run a negative split, running the second half stronger than you ran the first.
We stayed pretty consistent through, running the first in 1:56 and the second in 1:59. It definitely helped to have the cool weather and autumn nature as well as the 3 miles of trail (twice, as it was a loop). The trail gave some break to the feet on the hard road and while it slowed a lot of people down due to the rocks and uneven footing, we actually sped up over the trail section.
We finished in 3:55, just a few minutes ahead of our friend and 50 Sub 4 President Bob Kennedy, who was pacing the second half of the 4 hour group. We hadn’t seen Bob since Louisiana, so it was great to catch up. We went to the finishing area, got some food and drink and talked about the club, and each other’s next marathons of course!
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