After (hopefully) motivating others to run via my photo in today’s Saratogian, it was time to run my third race of 2010. So this morning I headed to Albany to join my two teammates, Olivier and Rick, to run the 24th annual Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club 3-person Winter Marathon Relay.
Before this morning, I hadn’t run more than 8 miles since my last marathon in October, but I was feeling strong going into the race and was excited to run a longer distance than the 4-milers I’ve been running as of late. I’d also previously run just one race of similar distance (Stockadeathon 15k in 2008), and recall really liking the distance — not an all-out sprint like a 5k but a solid clip, faster than a half-marathon… in theory, anyway.
Though I’ve been staying in pretty good shape this winter (running ~20 miles per week and swimming once or twice a week), I’m apparently not in quite as good shape as I was in September when running my last half-marathon (7:01/mile average pace).
Then again, the Saratoga Palio didn’t whip me with 20 MPH winds like the marathon relay did today. Going into the race, I was shooting for what I thought was a fairly conservative 1:04. The course was a bit hillier than I expected, and the winds really took their toll, so I came in just shy of my goal, crossing the 9.2-mile mark in 1:05:09 (7:02 average pace).
Despite the wind, it was a solid race and I was happy with my performance, given my current conditioning and the wind. The course itself wasn’t the most interesting: Just a couple of laps around the SUNY Albany campus and the State Office Park — a mind-numbing route were I ever to run the Winter Marathon solo (I can’t see why I ever would).
There’s not much else to report about the race itself except that I maintained a fairly steady pace (Mile 1 and Mile 8 being the fastest — 6:51 and 6:49; Mile 4 being the slowest — 7:18), drafted off other runners as much as possible (darn wind!), and ate one GU around Mile 5. It was a fun day out and nice to mix up the racing as part of a team.
Coming off an injury, Rick logged a solid 5.7-mile middle leg (7:15 average pace) before Olivier ran us home with a kick-ass performance to round out the 26.2 miles with his 11.3-mile leg (6:59 average pace).
As a team in the combined under 120 (years old) division, we would have easily qualified for the Boston Marathon (too bad they don’t accept relay times!), clocking in a respectable 3:05:39 (7:05 average pace for the team). I left before results were posted, so not sure yet how we fared, but I’m pretty sure we didn’t win. Update: We placed 12th overall of 59 teams (and 5th in our 3M 120- division, which means teams of all men whose total age is 120 or less).
Congrats to all runners! And thanks for cheering us on and taking pictures, Estelle!
Gabe’s mile splits (view Garmin data):
|Split||Time||Avg Speed||Max Speed||Avg HR||Max HR|