Marathons: Paul #59, Leah #49 : Irving Marathon 2015
4th April 2015, Irving, Dallas, USA
Finish Time = 3:45:03
Leah: 2nd Place Age Group
2 days following the Ocean Drive Marathon, after confirming we could still walk.. and then run, we entered the Irving marathon being held 4 days later. We had already run a marathon in Texas way back in 2012 so we had the State completed for the 50 States challenge but it wasn’t a sub 4 hour time back then. If we also want to complete the 50 Sub 4 challenge, some States need to be cleaned up and Texas was one.
Irving is just outside of Dallas, so logistics from Denver were easy. We flew in Friday evening, picked up our race packets and went to an Italian cafe near our hotel for a pasta fix.
We did have one bizarre moment when we got back to our hotel after dinner, went up to our floor in the elevator and when the doors opened a half-naked Asian man was standing there waiting for the elevator. Literally all he was wearing was a pair of trousers, no shoes or socks or anything else. As we got out of the elevator he hurried inside. I felt like we were in a scene from The Hangover.
There was a 5k, 10k, Half and Full Marathon event, with a total of around 2,000 participants, 500 of those being in the full marathon. We love events of this type of size as it makes organisation so much easier and a much more pleasant race experience. In the morning we simply walked over to the start and the sun was out without a cloud in the sky.
We lined up in the starting corrals and it was a welcome change to actually have space in them and not be crushed in without anywhere to move. The organisers took some pictures and then we set off. Our goal was to just make sure we ran a sub 4 time.
The course was very calm, it was all paved and a mixture of roads (coned off from the traffic) and running through the Campion Trails, along the path. It was nice to have the space to run and talk together but also provided some out and back sections which allowed us to spot other Marathon Maniacs on the course for some shout-outs.
After a while the 3:45 pacer, Sean, caught up with us and was a Maniac himself too. We got talking and a few miles went by while we shared marathon running experiences. After a while he pushed on to try to run a quick first half to allow a buffer in the second half for the finish time he was pacing.
The volunteers at the aid stations were great, enthusiastic, helpful and full of smiles. They used small water cups, like a shot-glass size which worked well and allowed us to take a quick shot of water without it going everywhere.
The Best Street Address in the World?
We ran past the Dallas Cowboys football club, located on Cowboys Parkway. This then led to running by some interesting road names which had all been named with either the Cowboys team or generally winning in mind. We ran past “Touchdown Drive”, “Winners Drive”, “Avenue of Champions” and “Victory Court”. Winners Drive had to be my favourite, as I can just imagine being able to say “…yeah just mail it to me, my address is 1 Winners Drive”.
Having thought about it, being able to say “Send it over to me, Paul Piper, Avenue of Champions.. no number, they’ll know where to find me” would be pretty sweet too. These were just normal streets with normal houses in too, it’s not like they were the player’s mansions or anything. So having that address is actually within the realms of possibility.
We were getting in some fast miles but we felt good and it was nice to be running in the sun but still with reasonably cool temperatures, in the 50s – 60s. We ran by Maniac #94 who gave us a shout out and shortly after reaching the turnaround and heading back down the way we’d came, he snapped a picture of us. Thanks Kevin!
The rest of the miles went by without any problems and soon we were into the final few. We felt good and decided to finish strong, running our mile 25 as our third fastest mile of the race (8:08) and mile 26 was our second fastest (8:05). Once we see the finish line ahead, quite often if we have a high number of seconds on the clock we’ll also try a burst of speed just to keep it within that minute. That was the case here, but our burst came slightly too late and we crossed in 3:45:03.
After collecting our medals and stretching out a bit, the awards announcement came and it turned out that with our 3:45, Leah had won second place in her female age group! She went up and collected a second medal for placing, the place medals were gold, silver and bronze accordingly.
Irving was a great marathon and considering it is only in its 3rd year it runs as smoothly as an event that’s been going much longer. I would highly recommend it for a friendly, enjoyable marathon in Texas.
Elevation graph from my running watch:
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