Health and Wellness

Green Bay Cellcom Marathon Race Report Part 2

As I briefly mentioned in part 1 of this race report I ran without my Garmin GPS watch. Just after passing the mile 4 marker several runners near me began to discuss the discrepancy between their GPS watch measurements and the course mile markers. This is a common topic for racers as a race distance is measured on an optimal line and not the wandering path of a runner and the slight variability of the GPS. I dismissed their concerns and pressed onward. Also not thinking much that my 4 mile lap split was 9:22 (almost 2 minutes longer than my previous miles. I attributed that to me not paying attention to the actual mile marker or not pressing correctly.

Fast forward to Monday May 17. All racers receive an email from the race director – the course was mis marked. An extra 0.15 miles had been included in mile 4 … essentially we ran an extra 800 feet. My reaction:
1) New, even better PR
2) A lower PR to try to better … ouch
3) I am glad it was longer rather than shorter

My new adjusted time for 26.2 miles was 3:26:09 (time for 26.35 miles was 3:27:20). So I ran for an extra 1 minute and 11 seconds. And now I am only 11 minutes and 10 seconds away from a Boston marathon qualifying time (a very long 11 and half minutes).

I feel really good about running a very steady pace despite the incredible variability of the wind. According to the on-course chip timing data (now corrected with the extra 0.15 miles removed):
Mile 5: 39:10 (7:50 per mile)
Mile 10: 1:17:57 (7:54 per mile)
Half: 1:41:53 (7:52 per mile)
Mile 15: 1:56:22 (7:50 per mile)
Mile 20: 2:36:17 (7:52 per mile)
Finish: 3:26:09 (7:54 per mile)

I am pleased that I maintained an even tempo throughout the race. I had the most favorable wind conditions from mile 10 to mile 16 and my lowest per mile time shows at that point. I had the fiercest head wind between mile 16 and mile 22, but had minimal pace drop-off. Also having a final 10k in just under 50 minutes is also reassuring because that is the portion of the race (after the proverbial wall) that most marathon runners blow up. I have had mixed experiences with the “wall.” I hit the wall on my first marathon in 2005 (the Fox Cities) and also had trouble with the final 10K while running the Whistlestop and Milwaukee Marathons. The Twin Cities marathon in 2008 I had a great final 10k on Grand Avenue, but not as great as I had on Sunday.

What’s Next?
I am now two days post marathon. I have enjoyed several hamburgers, a fast food meal, a large beer, and plenty of ice cream. It is now time to return to my normal “healthy” diet and resume exercising. I am not quite ready to run, but I do have a hankering for a workout. My next marathon is New York, November 6. I am running a 10K in June and have several century bike rides planned for the summer. I want to get at least one half marathon scheduled for late August or early September and I am even toying with the idea of a September marathon to see if I can get closer to that Boston qualifying time. Time will tell.

What questions do you have about marathon running and training? Maybe I can answer them.


By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.