Blog Master G

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Saratoga Palio 1/2 Marathon & 5k

Sunday, September 28th, 2008 · 6 Comments


Last weekend I ran my second half-marathon and Jen ran her second 5k (now she’s run twice as many 5ks as I have!). The weather was perfect and hundreds of people showed up here in Saratoga Springs for the third annual Saratoga Palio memorial race to benefit the Melanie Merola O’Donnell Scholarship Fund.

If you check out the half-marathon race results, you’ll see that I placed 9th in my division of 22 and 62nd overall of 354 finishers. Though I missed the very aggressive goal I had set for myself, I’m mostly pleased with my 1:40:05 time (7:39 pace and 4:49 faster than my first half-marathon in Nashville), a new personal record (PR) and not bad for a guy who just started running this year.

I came out pretty fast (a no-no in long races — 7:13, 7:12, 7:09 over first 3 miles) and was maintaining a solid 7:20 average pace over the first 8 miles. Then I slowed to 7:52 in mile 9, back up to 7:35 in mile 10, way down to 8:56 at the mile 11 hill, 8:30 at mile 12, and a strong 7:38 finish in mile 13.

Despite all the GU I was pounding (2 pre-race and 1 every ~45 minutes), my lactate built up and I had to slow down at that 9th mile. I managed to speed up in a few stretches toward the end, but the hills going up Excelsior and then North Broadway kicked my ass.

As I cruised down the hill on the return trip down North Broadway toward the finish line, though, I busted out my signature move — an all-out, insanely fast sprint to the finish (nearly 5 4:35 pace at the 13.1 mark, according to my Garmin) as soon as I saw the clock ticking toward the 1:40 mark. It felt pretty incredible and as if I was flying. I was running so fast that my earphones fell out of my ears and a guy I passed cheered me on.


There’s nothing like the feeling of finishing a race and having your friends greet you and cheer for you at the finish line. It’s one of the reasons I’m hooked on running.


Big congrats to my lovely wife for rocking her second 5k and also setting a new PR!

The course was beautiful, of course, and covered many of the roads where I do my training runs.

Enjoy more photos below or view the Flickr set:

Big thanks to Tom for taking such awesome photos and videos, too!

Tags: photos 2008 · running

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Johnny // Sep 28, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Congrats!!! Looks like you had a great day for the run! What is that clear liquid I see you drinking? Some sort of new beer? Cool!

  • 2 Blog Master G // Sep 28, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    Ha! Thanks, Johnny. And I can’t say that it was clear beer since I drove to Philly for a work conference right after the race.. but clear beer is an interesting concept. 🙂

  • 3 Valerie // Sep 29, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    7 minute miles, wow! Your tips on Gu are helpful…I never know when to take it. I’ll be doing my 5th half marathon this weekend and if all goes well, I’ll man up to train for a full marathon. Enoch and I will see you for the CA International in Dec.!!

  • 4 Blog Master G // Sep 29, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    Thanks, Val! And glad my Gu tips are helpful. I’m starting to be able to tell in my body on my training runs when it’s time to take it.

    And wow, good luck on your 5th half! That’s awesome. You can do the full!

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