The 2016 St George Marathon Race Report

Was each mile of the 2016 St George faster or slower than 2015? ( F = faster; S =  slower; NC = No change.)

  1. F
  2. S
  3. F
  4. S
  5. S
  6. S
  7. S
  8. F
  9. S
  10. F
  11. F
  12. F
  13. F
  14. F
  15. F
  16. F
  17. F
  18. F
  19. F
  20. F
  21. F
  22. F
  23. S
  24. NC
  25. F
  26. F

18 miles of this year’s race were faster than last year’s. But the net gain was only about 30 seconds. Most of the faster miles were in the latter part of the race.

This years execution felt good as my plan to go out slower and finish faster was mostly successful. I pretty much knew going in that I was not going to be able to get much faster than last year as it has been a crazy year for me and my training wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for.

Still not 100% sure if there was an early bird perk of a guaranteed entry for next year if you got on one of the early busses but right now, I’m pretty sure there isn’t. But I was still on probably the 3rd bus or so. I had to hang out at the start for over 2 hours before the race started. Not really that big of a deal, but on the way up in the bus it rained and that had me concerned that I might get wet before the race even started. I was prepared for a little bit of rain, but not for a full on downpour for 2 hours. Luckily, it did not rain and it wasn’t all that cold. Which could be a bad thing as if it’s too warm at the start it’s a good indication that it would probably be too warm later in the day.

Anyway, the pre-race happened well enough. The fire was nice and I had brought a small pack-chair to chill on while waiting so It was nice to have my back against something while I sat. I ate a banana, some potato chips and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich just about 1 hour before the start. Then about 6:15 I packed up my stuff and dropped by drop bag off at the truck and went to the start line.

The race started a few minutes late but that wasn’t a big deal. Before I knew it we were off.

The strategy here was to do not much else but slower in the first half than the second half. I was hoping that maybe in the end I could PR by a minute or two but knew that going out too fast in the start was going to spell disaster in the 2nd half. So, I HAD to play it safe the first half and hold back despite the fact that I felt really good and wanted to go a lot faster during the first miles.

Don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before but one of my strategies for running is this: NEVER cut corners in training and ALWAYS cut corners on the race course. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line and when running a race, of course, stay on the official course. But if it’s a closed off two lane road, then the whole road is the course. If you were running on a track in a competitive event no one would remain on the outside lanes if it was allowed because the distance on the outside lane of a running track is of course longer and takes more time to complete. So, the corners on a road course can be shortened in the same manner as taking the inside lane versus the outside lane. So when you turn a corner look for the shortest distance to the inside of the next corner and make a straight line for it. It is not any form of cheating or gaining an unfair advantage (just like runners on a track going on the inside lane).

Having said this, I think some people running a race think they need to do what everyone else is doing and follow the majority of the crowds through the course even though they are staying in the middle of the road or are turning to the inside lane to the next corner too soon. I ran on the inside of the road when others were taking the outside frequently.

So by no means am I advocating doing anything wrong here. But if you can stay on the official course and shorten the distance to the finish by smartly considering taking the inside of each corner and taking the straightest line between each one then you will end up at least getting to the finish by a few steps faster than meandering and staying to the outside of the corners.

So, I passed quite a few people who don’t really consider this and I’ll admit, I had to run away from where everyone else was running which, I guess, could make people a little uncomfortable because they might think that others think they are doing something wrong or whatever. But enough with that stuff. If you are on the course, you are on the course.

Okay, the Veyo hill was kinda fun and I had no problems getting up it. I was constantly checking out my watch and looking at each of my splits. Before I knew it I was halfway done and I was feeling alright. I was drinking something at every aid station and having a gel about every 5 miles. This worked out well, I think. I didn’t have any problems with energy or breathing. It might be just in my head but I swear I could feel more oxygen in the air once I got down to the last 5k of the race.

After about mile 15, when course drops down Snow Canyon I picked up the pace and the weather was feeling okay, maybe a little warm.

There was a big crowd of people there and they cheered and I took a few high fives from some lovely people. Their cheers helped give me some energy and keep me positive.

So mile 18 came up and at this point (I could go off about my stupid gps watch, but I’ll spare you) I didn’t think that I was able to go significantly faster than I had been going. But I knew I could go at least a little bit faster. So I did my best. I checked my watch frequently to keep my speed in check to make sure that I wasn’t going too fast or too slow. Again, here is where I was able to take the inside lane and pass a few people.

Snow Canyon Parkway came up and that was, according to my math the point of the race where 5k remains. I was going at a decent pace and decided to just keep looking at my watch about every minute and make sure that I was going faster than my goal pace. It was the best that I could do to keep hacking away at my time.

I remember last year that it was about mile 24 that I started to fade and I don’t know if it was mental or physical but it was a rough last few miles to crank out sub 6:30 miles. This year, I was feeling okay, I knew that I was getting almost done physically and mentally but the point that I really felt like I had hit a wall was after I saw a sign that said “mile 25.2” it was probably no more than 30 seconds after I passed the sign where my body and head were like “okay, dude, you’re done” and I had to fight that by just counting steps and keep forcing myself to move forward.

Running through town was nice but this year it really felt like there were fewer people than I remember but I thank all those that did cheer on some guy they didn’t really know. And especially a thank you to those who would read my name on my bib and shout “go, Morgan!” and “you got this, Morgan!”

Oh, so there was one person who gradually passed me and I thought that if I could keep them in my sights then I think I’ll be in good shape so I tried to keep going and not let them get too far ahead. Well, that person eventually faded a bit and I ended up passing them. I know it might sound mean, but it is a good feeling to pass people late in the race - not because they feel bad, but because you feel good enough to keep up a good pace.

Well, as I stated before I was 30 seconds faster than my time from last year. And technically a personal record - but by about 3 seconds.

It was a warm year, maybe the warmest that I remember at the finish. So that is a factor in performance. I don’t know what the outcome would have been if the temps were 10 degrees colder but it might have been a little better.

The finish line area was great and all the volunteers were very energetic and helpful. I think now that I’m headed to the ten year club for this race. I would like to get in one more PR on this race and possibly break 2:50 but if I just get out there and have fun for the rest of my days then that would be alright.

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