So this will be shorter than my typical race reports.
Never much of a fan of the Detroit route or scenery I didn't really want to do the Detroit marathon. Especially when so many people told me about their complaints with the race. Crowding, lots of concrete, bridge hill, tunnel humidity, long stretch of nothing and blustery Belle Isle make for a daunting experience. Well, don't have to worry about that because I still haven't done the Detroit marathon and have now resolved not to. I have however done the Detroit half marathon, just unplanned.
As this marathon cycle concluded I enjoyed the company of an Army co-worker on PCT for 2 runs. He had done distances like a marathon or more in the Army but never an official race. I conned him into this one...then let him experience the second half by himself...but I'm getting ahead of myself.
During race prep I was, of course, worrying over the weather which looked to be soaking rain. The week before I spent time figuring out wardrobe and committed that if I was soaked before the start I wasn't going to start. I mean I'm as gung ho as the next guy but I'm too old to practice being miserable. I was also contending with a serious allergy driven case of sinus infection from about the Sunday prior. This was, in short, not good.
Race day dawned with soaking rain in R. Hills and all the way into Detroit. I parked at the MGM (free!) and enjoyed their classy restrooms while a dismayed attendant watched a bunch of nasty runners march through. I met my friend at 2nd and Fort with time enough to visit with his family and find another portalet. Then it was race time. The weather at race time was heavy clouds, very warm and humid but no rain.
I had on my RoadId visor, Detroit RoadShark shirt (this time made by PrintAura). Nike Terra Kiger shorts, Feetures Merino socks, and trusty old Asics GT-2170s. Yep, the same women's shoes which are now reserved strictly for half and full marathons. I still prowl eBay but no luck lately. (I do have some new GT-2000 5s, don't like them as much). I was carrying a spi-belt with extra bandaids, moleskin, gu and my passport - is that really necessary? why yes it is....but it shouldn't be. I also carried my work iPhone which I hate, but I needed it to find my friend.
The race started at 7 and we got the gun around 7:14. The corrals were crowded and we stayed crowded until the bridge, where it was still crowded. Sorry, guess I'm not big marathon material. Though I do want to do NYC. Oh well. We charged up the bridge. I was trying to stave off my friend and go slower but it was a challenge. We enjoyed the views and the river side in Canada. But then the tunnel loomed. It was far too hot for a marathon as it was. 70 - 73 degrees and 87% humidity is bad. And the tunnel was just more so.
It's hard to tell about pacing in the tunnel when my watch was out of contact with those lovely satellites, but I used to hold a pace quite nicely before GPS. So I hold the times as suspect for both the border tunnel and the Jefferson blvd tunnel. Nevertheless, the climb out of the border tunnel killed me, just about right there. By mile 10 or so I knew that the heat, humidity and sinus problems had stuck a fork in me, I was done. I told my friend I was bailing at the half, there was no way I was going to persist and head back out of the inner city to Indian Village and Belle Isle just to walk back or worse. Especially, with the sun starting to peek out and temps climbing further.
It was not my day. I finished the half, went to my car to download, and then returned to watch my buddy finish in 4:38. That's an excellent time for a first timer under those brutal conditions. Between the smokin' Brooksie Way and this nightmare of a Detroit marathon this global warming thing isn't working out for me. Yes, I'll do another sometime next year - probably not Disney, maybe NYC if I can get in - but I still have no desire to do Detroit, next time I'll just be smart enough not to pay for it or start it.
Official time was DNF
2.5m split was 25.55, 10:22/mi
5m split was 51:32, 10:19/mi
7m split was 1:11:59, 10:18/mi
10m split was 1:42:19, 10:14/mi
12.9m split was 2:11:51, 10:14/mi
My Polar M400 watch splits registered a total distance of 13.67 miles with a time of 2:14:04. Avg pace of 9:48, max pace of 7:51. Avg heart rate was 151. 509 ft of ascent and 410 ft of descent. Comparison of splits/results makes me think that my watch is of limited value!
10) 8:36 (couldn't be)
During the Civil War at the Battle of Shiloh:
Late that night tough [General William Tecumseh] Sherman came to see [General Ulysses S.] Grant. Sherman had found himself, in the heat of the enemy's fire that day, but now he was licked; as far as he could see, the important next step was "to put the river between us and the enemy, and recuperate," and he hunted up Grant to see when and how the retreat could be arranged. He came on Grant, at last, at midnight or later, standing under the tree in the heavy rain, hat slouched down over his face, coat-collar up around his ears, a dimly-glowing lantern in his hand, cigar clenched between his teeth. Sherman looked at Grant; then, "moved," as he put it later, "by some wise and sudden instinct" not to talk about retreat, he said: "Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?" Grant said "Yes," and his cigar glowed in the darkness as he gave a quick, hard puff at it, "Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow, though."
And that they did.
So it goes with the next marathon.
Sometimes the X Factor of running any race can seriously spoil the day but you did a smart thing for you... Saved it for another day.
Take tons of pride in completing a hard training schedule while keeping your family life, helping a freind start and encourage him to complete what only 1% of the population will ever do!
There will always be another race...just sayin
Thanks for the report and group hug
You are the best cheerleader! Thanks.
I've had 22 races before my first DNF, not a bad track record (ha ha). I'm pretty happy. And I ran a decent time for the unofficial Detroit half. Only about 10 minutes off my PR, when I was sick and hot. I'm disappointed but I know there will be another race down the road.
In reply to this post by clark.barrett
I am sorry about your race, Clark. This year's weather was atypical for Detroit, but that was the case across the country this fall.
For me, it is a first class event. The people who come out to support it are awesome and the legendary beer stop between miles 24 and 25 is heaven sent.
Having run it twice, I have moved on. But I have only fond memories of it and my two Detroit finisher's medals are as treasured as any of the five that I own.
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