5 Ways to Cut 5 Minutes off Your Marathon

Even the best runner in the world can loose time by making simple mistakes. You don’t have to!

How can you cut 5 minutes off of your marathon?

The easiest way is to avoid making simple mistakes that can add 5 to 10 minutes to your marathon.

At this point, the training is over and nothing you do will make you run any faster.

Here are 5 ways to cut at least 5 minutes off of your marathon finish time.

Use the Porta Potty

Something about race morning seems to get the innards all worked up and ready to explode.

The 2021 Boston Marathon will have a rolling start. That means as soon as you get off the bus in Hopkinton, they will be looking for you to head to the starting line.

They will give you time to use the facilities but you will need to get in line as soon as you get off the bus. It is your #1 priority, trust me!

It’s important to use the facilities before you start running as you don’t want to stop during the race.

Shalane Flanagan may have the course record for using a porta potty during the 2018 Boston Marathon, at 14 seconds. But watch this video and see how that stop effected her run.

Des Linden won that year.

Des Linden 2018 Boston Marathon Winner
BAA Photo

During every Boston Marathon that I’ve run, I’ve seen lines at the porta potties.

The first water stop is at mile two and I’ve seen men and women “in the woods” side by side well before that first stop.

After mile 5 you can sometimes find a stop without a line. But if you really gotta go, you may have to wait in line.

Tip #1 – use the facilities before you cross the start line.

Stop eating and drinking 1 hour before you start

Most people have nerves before a race and will eat or drink as a way to deal with their anxiety. Many of us do this unconsciously.

If you use the porta potty and then keep drinking, your system will not have time to process that fluid, or food, before the race starts.

Then you will have to make that porta potty stop.

Sometimes eating too much before a race can upset your stomach. Often there are samples of power bars and sport drinks at the Athletes Village.

Boston Marathon 2019, Hopkinton, MA
BAA Photo

While you will have less time to be tempted this year, you should avoid eating anything new moments before you start heading to Boston.

The hour before you start the 2021 Boston Marathon you will probably be on the bus and then standing in line to pee.

Try not to eat or drink anything. Wait until you are on the course.

By now you should know when you need to hydrate and start taking gels.

Stick to that plan. Stick to what you know.

Tip #2 – stop eating and drinking 1 hour before your race starts.

Double tie your shoes

double tied, 5 way to cut 5 minutes off your marathon, Newtons

I see people running with loose laces all the time.

If you double tie your laces you can avoid this problem.

Un-tied laces may cause you to trip and fall and at some point you will have to stop and tie them.

Just like a porta potty stop, you have to fight the crowd and move to the side of the road and get out of the way. Then you need to bend over and tie your laces and possibly undue some nasty knot that tied it self as you ran.

This can easily cost you 2-5 minutes depending on when in the race you have to make the stop.

If you have to stop later in the race, your muscles may tighten up when you stop and bend to tie your shoes.

All of this can be avoided by double tieing your laces, even if the second knot is fairly lose.

Tip #3 – Tie your shoes properly!

Carry a Water Bottle

Some people always carry a water bottle and some people never carry a water bottle.

For the Boston Marathon you will want to take a water bottle of some kind.

Even if you just use a Poland Spring 500ml bottle, you will save yourself a ton of time.

Here’s why.

Water stops begin at mile two. Everyone who has planned poorly will be at that water stop and probably the next five water stops.

1 At most big marathons, including Boston, those water stops will be a crowded mess.

To get to one of these water stops you will have to make your way through a crowd of runners to the side of the road.

Then try to grab a cup, drink it and get back up to speed all without tripping over someone else.

Even if you don’t fall over someone or drown yourself with a cup of water, you will have to slow down and break your stride.

If you can skip the first five or more water stops, the rest of them are usually pretty easy to get to.

I like to run through the stop, grab a cup, pinch it and chug the cup in one or two gulps.

The Boston Marathon uses paper cups so it’s easy to pinch the cup and never break your stride.

Tip #4 – carry a water bottle and avoid the crowds!

Bring some Food

I know that some people like to run as light as possible. Some people look like they are packed for expedition.

I would suggest something in the middle.

Hopefully by now you know what your stomach will tolerate. There are many brands of gel to choose from and you should have tested a few while you were training.

fig newtons, glycemic index, glucose I’ve run a few races with Snickers bars or fig bars. Both are loaded with sugar and I’ve been eating them as long as I can remember.

Even the elite runners take on fuel while they run. It may be a sports drink in their water bottle or they may take a gel.

But remember, they are running for less than two and a half hours and they are fine tuned running machines.

If you are going to be on the course for more than three hours, a few cups of Gatorade and a gel or two provided by the BAA wont cut it.

Some people don’t like green Gatorade and the gel the BAA hands out may not be your brand.

Tip #5 – bring food that you have run with before

It’s all about control

There are things you can control and things you cannot.

You can’t control the weather and often you can’t control your sleep or how your body will react to the last proper meal you eat before the big race.

My post, My 2018 Boston Marathon Experience, is an example of how I prepared to run in horrible conditions. If you’ve never run Boston before, this blog post will also give you a few insights about the course.

1
BAA Photo

All of the tips I have provided here are things that you can control. Any one of them could save you five minutes. Together they could save you much more time than that.

You’ve put in the miles and the time to get here. You are as ready as you can be.

I hope that these tips that I have learned from running 17 marathons and 9 Boston Marathons will help you have the best marathon of your life.

Still looking for a fall marathon? Check out New England Marathons Fall 2021 for some ideas.

Run well my Friends!

Andy

Taper Tantrums

Taper Tantrums

Originally posted April 1st, 2016 while training for the Boston Marathon. Updated September 24, 2021.

Def: Emotional roller-coaster, feeling bloated, fat, slow and lazy. An endless urge to eat everything in sight, and to seek out food not in sight. The constant feeling like you should be doing something else right now, like running or stretching or checking on the weather three weeks away.

This Saturday we had our longest run of the season: 21.5 miles, or twenty-something depending on how many times you stopped your watch or forgot to re-start your watch.

Taper time hasn’t even really begun.

Boston Marathon, taper tantrums I ran 5.91 miles Tuesday night and cranked out negative splits on the last three miles. It just felt so good. I pushed up the hills and cruised down the hills.

Thursday the taper tantrums really set in. Something set me off in the morning and I was just kind of pissed off all day. I thought I was just pissed. It’s way too early for the taper tantrums.

As the day wore on and on, it dawned on me what was going on. I was in full blown taper mode and I had barely recovered from my long run. What is going on here?

Running with cinder blocks

Now that I’m in the early stages of mid-life, I’ve come to understand mood swings. We all have them; runners have them in spades. When I was younger I surfed the waves of emotion with little control or awareness. If I was running high, whoa! I went with it. If I was in the valley, knife was in hand. Don’t cross me. Metaphorically, of course!

Being older and wiser I can feel the engines ignite. I know what to expect and where this rocket ship is going and that no one else really cares. It’s my freakin ride, step off.

I can also feel the cold dark ugliness of the valley. Nothing is good and everything is bad. If you cross me I’m liable to cut you down in a sentence. You won’t deserve it but I can’t help it.

In full blown taper tantrum, a runner’s mood swings can be sudden, extreme and long.

I think I dove right into my taper tantrums this time because I’m running with cinder blocks. I freely chose these weights and the responsibilities are all mine.

I chose to run a marathon under-prepared and take on a fundraising commitment. I chose to start a business and try to figure everything out. I chose a demanding job. I chose all of this and take full responsibility.

I’m feeling under prepared for a marathon that so many people only get to run once. I worry I’m not showing the respect due a renowned race such as this. The Boston Marathon is not a race to be taken lightly. It is more than a race.

But each commitment and exhausting activity weighs on me. I don’t have time to be bored. Barely have time for lunch or a relaxing drink.

Running with cinder blocks amplifies and intensifies my moods and reactions. I don’t have time for bull shit.

Runners tend to be very focused. We need to get in our training and try to eat right and avoid injury. We are like a guided missile locked onto our targets. Don’t get in our way.

While people around us are tossing idle banter we are calculating the total distance we ran for the week, so far. How to get in a 7 mile run at lunch between meetings and calls. How to avoid a box of Girl Scout cookies in the kitchen. How can I get my work done and get to what matters, running, when everyone keeps bugging the shit out of me?

I love you all and everything you have done for me. But expect me to be in the valley with my cinder blocks a lot these next few weeks.

Run well and please excuse me.

Andy

Longest Run of 2020 so far

Sometimes a long run doesn’t go as planned. I thought twelve miles would be good then dropped back to ten. One wrong turn and I ran almost 14 miles! 19 degrees turned out to be the least of my worries!

Sunday was the Melrose Running Club’s 6th long run of 2020.

I’ve missed the last two runs due to conflicts with races. On February 2nd we ran the Super Sunday race and on January 26th, we ran The Great Stew Chase 15K.

My weekly miles have been pretty low so far and my longest run this year was The Great Stew Chase at 15K or 9.53 miles for me.

The full long run this Sunday was 16.2 and I decided that 12 miles would be enough for me. You really don’t want your weekly long run to by twice as long as any of your previous week’s runs.

I’ve read that the long run should be no more than six miles longer than your longest week day training run. I find that a tough rule to follow.

At shorter distances you can get away with increasing your long run to 150% of your longest weekly run.

So you could go from running 6 mile training runs to a 9 mile long run. You can definitely go from running fours to a 6 mile long run.

The key is to take the long run easier than your shorter week day runs. Most of us would not run a half marathon at our 5K pace. The same thing applies to your weekly long run.

Longest Run of 2020

When I reviewed the 16.2 mile route I figured that I could cut it back to twelve miles easily.

At about 5.5 miles I took a right and the long run people turned left. My plan was working.

I made my way back to the water stop and had two cups of Gatorade/water and headed out. One of the long runners left the water stop just ahead of me and I followed him. I knew there was a turn coming up that I always miss.

I made the turn and Mike Sikkema caught up and passed me. I managed to keep Mike in sight long enough to see him take the right turn onto Main Street/ Rt. 28 in Stoneham.

Sunday Long Run 6, longest run of 2020 This took us along the back side of Spot Pond. I didn’t think of it at the time, but I wanted to go straight and run the front side of the pond.

That was my crucial error.

I was now running by my self but knew where I was and all of the turns.

Soon after the wrong turn my watch chimed in for mile eight.

After I left the long run group I decided that ten miles was a better idea than twelve.

This route is very hilly and my quads were beginning to feel it.

When my watch hit eight miles on the back side of Spot Pond, I knew I was in trouble. There was no way to turn this run into 10 miles from this point in the run.

I had left my phone in my car and only had $5 in my pocket. There was no way to bail on this one.

A Bridge Too Far

As my watch hit nine miles I went under a Rt. 93 bridge. It was definitely a bridge too far.

My pace was still pretty good at 9:24 but I was fading fast.

The next turn was a left onto Elm Street in Medford and another hill. I then took a right onto Highland Ave at the rotary by Flynn Ice Rink. I thought there was a water stop there, but I didn’t recognize the car.

I avoid trying to open trunks of unknown cars.

It was a cold day, so it was okay.

As I continued down Highland I knew the next turn would put me on East Border Road. This is another hilly section which would dump me onto the freakin Fellsway East.

When I got to the second rise in the hill on East Border Road I decided to walk. I hit mile 11 just after cresting that hill and began to run down to the intersection.

Mile eleven came in at 10:34. At this point I wasn’t too concerned with my pace. I was more concerned with surviving to run another day.

I wasn’t cold or depleted but my left knee was beginning to act up. My body just wasn’t prepared for this many miles.

I took the left onto The Fellsway and cursed my self for not turning left at the rotary instead of right. With that turn I would have run about twelve miles and avoided these bloody hills!

I walked some of these hills and ran the down hills as best I could. While running down the last Fells hill I hit mile twelve. That was my stretch goal for the day and I knew I had at least another mile and half to go!

I ran to the intersection with West Wyoming Street and was able to cross the street quickly. Traffic was light and people let me go.

I was now on the home stretch and my knee was telling me to stop.

After mile thirteen I decided to walk. I was beyond anything I had planned and who cared anyway?

As a runner approached I waved and they didn’t even acknowledge me. I guess you don’t look like a fellow runner when you are walking.

As I neared the rail road tracks I started running and kept on until I turned the corner onto Main Street. My ankle and knee were both killing me. Than I “ran” in the last bit to the finish but didn’t have the juice to round it out to 13.75.

13.72 miles was quite enough, thank you!

Hydration and recovery

I went into Brueggers, got an ice coffee and sat with friends for about ten minutes before heading home. As I sat there I could feel both calves getting ready to cramp.

On the way I drank a BodyArmor sport drink which has electrolytes and a variety of vitamins.

After a nice hot shower I applied some arnica gel to both knees and slipped my Body Helix knee compression sleeve onto my left knee.

I recently reviewed the Body Helix compression wraps. I’ve been using the knee wrap for a few weeks as needed and it seems to help.

I don’t get a commission, but you can get 10% off any Body Helix Compression Wraps you buy with code BH10RUN.

I hope you had a good long run this weekend and one that went according to plan.

Run well my Friends!

Andy

Running and Chewing Gum

Running and Chewing Gum is an easy way to make a long run enjoyable by avoiding a dry mouth. It’s really quite easy to do.

These days, most of us are multi-taskers. But can you run and chew gum at the same time?

It seems the only way to keep up with the never-ending demands on our time is to multi task. It may be as simple as putting in a wash and then cooking supper. While cleaning the kitchen as I wait for the food to cook. With the BBC News playing in the background, getting me up to date with the world.

These tasks are more of process and time management. Chewing gum and walking is the proverbial physical coordination test.

Running and Chewing Gum

Doing two physical tasks at the same time can be challenging.

Try rubbing your belly while patting the top of your head. Now do it faster. Now rub you belly in the opposite direction! Now switch hands!

Chewing gum and doing most anything else is much less taxing than this exercise. Chewing gum is done pretty much unconsciously.

Because it is so effortless is why people joke that you can’t do anything else and chew gum. It’s a very low bar!

Often while I run, my mouth will get dry. Sometimes my throat gets horse and it’s difficult to get words out. Even drinking water doesn’t relieve these issues for me.

This Sunday I had a pack of gum in my car. I decided to have a piece before the Sunday Long Run to knock back my coffee breath. Then I forgot I had it in my mouth and started running.

During the entire eight mile run I barely noticed that I had gum in my mouth except at water stops. Then I had to avoid swallowing it with a cup of water.

As I drove home I realized I had run the entire eight miles, about 70 minutes chewing gum. “I guess I can walk or run while chewing gum” I said to myself with a chuckle.

It’s really not that big of a deal.

Most runners don’t run with gum. Many worry they will swallow it or inhale it. It can also get in the way when you take a gel or other food and beverage.

I’ve run a few races with gum and one of my running buddies does it often.

Because I had gum in my mouth, my mouth never dried out and my throat felt fine for the entire run. I was even able to carry on a conversation with the two people I was running with.

Without the gum my mouth and throat would have been too dry to talk after a few miles.

Sunday Long Run Week Ten

This week the Sunday Long Run was sixteen miles. The long run ran out Main Street from Brueggers in Melrose, looped Lake Q and headed down Nahant Street to Breakheart Reservation for a hilly loop of the park.

I didn’t run last Sunday because of an odd hip pain. I only ran a 2.5 mile test run up to the bank and back on Thursday to see what was going on. Oddly enough, my left knee acted up on that run but my hip was fine. After a mile I could have done 10K.

I’m beginning the 10-week road to Philadelphia right now, so I decided to play it safe and run eight miles.

This early on I don’t need big miles and I need to make sure I’m okay. It’s better to deal with an injury early in the plan than later, but you do have to deal with it.

I ran with Aine and David Lunney this week. Two relatively new club members. David is training for his first half marathon, the Newburyport Half Marathon on October 20th.

Since I could talk this week, we were able to have a good conversation about running. I’ve been running since 2003 so I can answer most questions and have plenty of advice. I also tried to keep quiet and let them talk!

Running and chewing gum worked well for me this week. Hopefully I didn’t talk Aine and David’s ears off!

Do you run with gum? Besides water, do you have other ways to keep your mouth and throat from drying out?

Run well my Friends!

Andy

Sunday Long Run 13 2019

March is over with Sunday Long Run 13 in the books!

Last weekend I ran the On The Run Half in Old Orchard Beach, Maine on Saturday. Then the next day I ran 16 miles in from Hopkinton. I would have run further but my left knee started bothering me and I had more than enough miles for the weekend, thank you very much!

Tapering with Sunday Long Run 13

The peak has been reached and taper time is on. Last weekend I ran 29.34 miles over two days which is an all-time high mileage weekend for me.

I felt it through the middle of the week. I ran 4.34 Tuesday night with the club, but not another step until the Sunday Long Run. I’ve never felt that wiped from a weekend of running. Even a marathon. I don’t think it was so much the distance but that I had no recovery time between events.

Sunday Long Run 13 2019, Boston Marathon Training I’m not sure that running three or four halfs a month is a good idea anymore. The run in Old Orchard Beach was basically flat, but I had a slower time than Malden. Malden had more “hills” and a large crowd of 5K runners to deal with on the last lap.

So now it is taper time, but not vacation time.

Taper time has to be managed just like training and a race plan. It’s only two weeks, but they are important weeks.

I’m as fit as I’m going to get for Boston. Now it’s about maintenance, recovery and injury avoidance.

My overall pace for the week thirteen run was 9:14 for 15 miles. If I was really paying attention and dialing things in this would have been closer to 9:30.

We ran plenty of hills and I felt good. I even practiced running down hill. This is something new for me but something that I think is important. You can’t use a down hill to your advantage if your legs aren’t prepared to run it.

Running down hill is about conditioning and control. If you’re not conditioned you will blow out your quads. If you loose control you could get hurt.

Taper Time in Boston

With the marathon now two weeks from Monday, it is time to be careful. Shoes or slippers in the house. All the time. I will also run in the street and not dark sidewalks at night. I’d rather take my chance with a car than heaved pavement.

It is time to recover. All of us have picked up an ache or pain somewhere over the past three months. I usually have something wrong that busts my confidence.

This year I don’t have any major issues. My cardio isn’t great, but I can manage that.

My knees are as good as they’ve been in five years, maybe ten. No muscle strains or cramps either.

Everything is just coming together.

I even hit my goal weight of 180 lbs on Sunday! Totally unexpected. I just haven’t been able to get rid of the last few pounds gathered over the holidays.

Besides my last Sunday Long Run, I plan to run three times a week but less than six miles each time. Maybe 10K just so I can feel like I hit the mark.

For March I ran 130.93 miles. So close to 131. But that would have been so close to 135 and on and on. You gotta call it good sometimes.

March 2019 was my second highest monthly mileage month. In September 2014 I ran 141.2 miles. So pretty close.

I’ll take 130.93 and no injuries any day!

April will be a lower mileage month. I’m tapering for the first two weeks and after Boston I’ll take most of a week off. So, maybe 50 miles including the Marathon.

Taper well my Friends and be careful out there!

Andy

Hampton Half Marathon and 5K 2019

Heading for The Hamptons

There was snow in the Greater Boston Area Saturday with about six inches of accumulation. Fortunately New Hampshire only received about an inch of snow.

The race organizer, Loco Running, was concerned that the storm may slow down and continue into Sunday. They issued an advisory that the race would be postponed for safety if this happened.

Fortunately the storm blew through, the highway was clear and the roads were in good shape for running.

When we got to Hampton Beach there was plenty of parking and we pulled right in. We headed to The Ashworth Hotel to pick up our bibs and shirts. While there wasn’t much snow on the ground, it was still cold at 8:30 AM.

Hampton Half, Winter Running As we left The Ashworth Ballroom and headed towards the car my buddy Durm Cahill saw that the hotel had a restaurant.

We looked through the door and they weren’t very busy so we decided to go in for breakfast. I ate there once before and the food is good. We both got a double stack of blueberry pancakes and coffee.

Previously I had the triple stack and it was way more than I could eat before a race. We both polished of the pancakes in short order and Durm had a side of ham with his.

Fueled up for the race, we checked out the beach and headed back to Durm’s car for our final race prep.

Hampton Half Marathon Start

I sat in the warm car and sorted my gear while Durm stretched his legs. Around 9:45 we headed for the start.

The roads were busier and there were runners everywhere heading towards the start.

There was snow and ice on the ground in some spots. As we approached the start area we saw them shoveling out the start area! It was only an inch or so of snow but there was a layer of icy stuff left behind.

I was a little concerned about slipping at the start. There can be incidental pushing and bumping in the rush to get across the timing mats. And in the rushed crowd it’s difficult to see the road beneath your feet.

No one was closer than 25 feet from the start and I decided to stand at that point. Durm thought that was too aggressive for him so he headed back into the crowd.

I told him that my plan was to stay put when the race director called everyone to the line. We would be behind 500 people. It was still too far up for Durm.

As I stood there waiting two ladies next to me were talking about the 70° difference between yesterday and today. I thought they must have been from northern Maine. Turns out they were from South Dakota!

They flew in Saturday, were running the race and heading back home. Their goal is to run a half marathon in all 50 states. I was shocked that anyone would fly to New Hampshire in March to run a half marathon, but it made sense.

They also wanted to see a lighthouse and asked if Portsmouth was up the highway. I told them it was and they figured they had time to see the lighthouse and make their flight.

Just before the start they played The National Anthem and we all stood silently with hats over our hearts.

With a “Go,go,go!” we gingerly made our way across the starting line.

The First Half of The Half

Hampton Half Marathon The race started just down the street from The Ashworth on Ocean Blvd/Rt. 1A. As soon as we crossed the start we all headed across the street for the first sharp left turn onto Island Path.

Where we turn is a bit of neglected pavement that hadn’t been plowed. The crew had done their best to clear it for us, but there was still ice and snow to contend with. In 2018 they had to shovel this for us also.

The first two and a half miles of the race were through a side neighborhood in Hampton Beach. Most visitors never go there and I’d only been through there a few times for races.

There were lots of turns but I managed not to get bunched up.

We hit mile three just north of where Rt 101 joins Rt. 1A. The road was clear and we were on our way.

The feel of the run

I don’t know if it was the pancakes or all of the clothes I had on, but I just didn’t feel right right from the start.

Hampton Half Marathon I felt weighed down by the clothes and my body. I’m a little over my goal weight for Boston and had way more for breakfast than normal.

I wasn’t tired or sore but it was a real effort to move. I had fueled and hydrated properly. For a bit I worried I was having a cardiac event. I have no idea what that feels like but obviously my engine was having a hard time getting started.

I was having a hard time finding my stride. My pace was fairly consistent throughout the race and on target, but early on I felt like a bag of bricks.

At 5K I took my first supplement and that seemed to help a bit.

By the time we got to our turn off of Rt. 1 at mile 5 I was hitting my stride.

Miles six through ten were through the neighborhoods of Hampton and had most of the race’s hills.

Deep in the Middle

Just before mile six I took a gel. As I worked on it, out of the corner of my eye I saw my old running buddy Jeff Rushton. I’ve run so many runs and races with Jeff I can tell it’s him without even seeing his face or all of him. Some people I can ID with just their silhouette.

So I called out to Jeff and we chatted for a quarter mile or so. He said he couldn’t tell it was me but had been thinking that that guy must be hot in that jacket.

I was. I had anticipated winds off of the ocean and had dressed accordingly. Instead we had a 35° day with virtually no wind! I kept hydrating but could only take off my gloves and hat.

A few times I even wrong sweat out of my hat.

Jeff moved ahead and slowly out of view.

We were not quite half way and I knew better than to try and run someone else’s pace. We were deep in the middle of this race with lots of miles yet to run.

I’ve run this course probably six times, maybe more. I know the hills, turns and the roads.

I used this knowledge to run strait lines on curving roads and to push up the small hills. After a 69ft climb on mile seven, we were done with hills.

I continued to skip the water stops and drink the mix I brought with me and to take my supplements at the right times.

By the time we got to mile ten and back onto Rt. 1A, I was ready to kick it in.

On to The Finish

For the next three miles I locked into my pace between 8:33 and 8:45. My legs felt light and nothing hurt. I didn’t feel as good as I did last fall at the Hampton Rock ‘N Roll Half, but I was running a faster pace.

I passed a lot of people those last three miles. It became almost automatic and out of my control that I would run down who ever was in front of me.

Sometimes a runner would try to keep me from passing, then I would and then I’d put some space between us. Most people who were faster than me were already further down the road. I was the spider, I was the one who knocks.

I was running at my capacity and if someone challenged me I’m not sure I could have held them off.

Looking down Rt 1A from about two miles out there is a long curve in the road. You can see the buildings along the beach in Hampton Beach where the finish line is.

It’s probably worse than Boylston Street because you can see the finish area for two miles, not a few city blocks. You run and run and it feels like you’re on a treadmill.

As we got closer to The Ashworth the crowd built. Then we made the last turn and there was the finish! About 200 yards away.

For the last 0.13 miles I managed a 7:29 pace. It took everything to do that!

My finish time was 1:56 at an 8:52 pace. My goal was anything under 9 minutes, so goal accomplished! My buddy Jeff finished a few minutes before me and was still in the finish area.

We swapped stories and walked around a bit. I wasn’t sure where Durm was so I headed for the hotel, our agreed upon meeting spot. Jeff headed for home.

Apre Hampton Half Marathon

After I caught my breath, had something to drink and walked around a bit, I felt okay. The only thing that hurt was where the cuff of my tights rubbed on my ankles. It’s an elastic band designed to keep them tight against my leg which is good. They’re just too tight.

When I got to The Ashworth I was able to walk up the stairs, no problem.

I got a bowl of soup and headed for the beer table. No tickets for this event, just take a beer or two. I took one Smuttynose pilsner and looked for a place to sit.

The soup was hot, salty and good. I took one sip of my beer while I ate my soup. The guy next to me ran a 1:32 and placed in his division about the same spot as me.

After a few minutes I saw Durm walk in and get his food and beer. I caught his attention and he joined me at the table.

He had a pretty good race and ran about what he expected, 2:06.

At one point I looked up and saw Dave McGillivray walking by. No one seemed to recognize him and he was just walking through the crowd like any other runner. He doesn’t know me from Adam, but I always say hello when I see him.

I called out his name and stood up. He came over, shook my hand and we talked about the race.

Hampton Half Marathon This was his first half since open-heart surgery last year! He ran a 10:17 pace and walked twice. For a guy who just had major surgery that is very impressive.

I told him my finish time and he asked if I was running Boston. I told him that I was and he asked if I was going to do it in 4:17. That’s a little faster than I was planning, but Dave knows running.

He headed off into the crowd and Durm and I finished our food. Thuy Dang dropped by and sat with us and I had a few more beers. I wasn’t driving.

Thuy is running Boston also and finished the Hampton Half in 2:31. We had a quick group photo and headed for home.

No awards or PRs at this race as far as I know. Just a good run.

Run well my Friends,

Andy