Brian Johnson (MM8807, DA707, HF7287)
Marathon Distance or Longer # 32
Carmel Marathon, Carmel Indiana
This was a fun race where I did get a chance to see quite a few Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics
The story of the day was, “Sleet. Wind. Sun. Sleet. Wind. Sun.” all day.
5 minutes before the race started, we had a nice bit of sleet come in and reduce visibility. Thankfully it didn’t last too long.
Carmel is a city of roundabouts. There were a lot of them.
There are not a lot of hills, and I think the highest point at points was the top of a bridge.
one of the coolest things I saw during the race was 2 people leading a blind runner.
For me, this race was a bit of a challenge. I knew to make it with a 6:30 (ish) cutoff, I would need to bank time early and often. So, the first half of the race was a challenge to see if I could complete it in about 3 hours and bank some time going into the second half of the race.
Bank Early. Bank Often.
In the second half of the race, that time advantage came into play.
I stayed ahead of the 6:30 pacer until somewhere into mile 17. Between 17 and 21 we stayed near each other. she eventually got in front of me and left me behind.
that was when I ran into a different issue. The sweeper.
In most races, there is a police car/ambulance at the extreme back of the race. They are “the sweeper”. if you get behind them, you are done. You are “swept” from the course.
I started playing the game of, “how far can I stay in front of the sweeper” for the next 3 miles.
I stayed right on my time goal the entire time.
I knew I had to hit the bike trail at mile 24 to know I was going to be ok.
The police car kept getting closer and closer, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. I also stated feeling the little “twinges” on the back of my legs knowing I wasn’t too far from leg cramps starting.
I finally made the turn and breathed a sigh of relief. I wasn’t going to get swept from the course, I eventually made it back.
The back side of the curse can be very lonely if you are a 6-hour marathoner. There were multiple times that I was a good 45 minutes or more when I would see another racer.
it was nice to get into the last mile and know that I was almost done.
I was pleased with my final time.
3 weeks ago, dead tired, I ran a marathon in 7:50
I ran Carmel in 6:35:35. It was my fastest time in 3 years and better by more than 1:15.
the race would have been a lot more fun if I didn’t have to wear my winter gear all day.
Next race is in 2 weeks in Kansas.
Photo and Post Credit Brian Johnson