Detroit Marathon – 10.20.13 – Race Recap!

By | October 25, 2013

It is not an overstatement to say that I had amazing weekend in the “D”.   I’m going to follow up with a second post about the family fun we had this weekend (*including pictures from Niagra Falls!*), but in the meantime, here’s a quick race recap:

This was not my fastest marathon, nor was it my slowest.  It was, however, my *easiest*, and possibly, the race where I had the most fun.   Detroit was my sister’s first marathon. So, the goal for the day was to run with my sister and help pace her to a strong finish.  I am also planning on racing for a PR at Philly in 4 weeks, so I didn’t want to ruin my legs.  Mission accomplished!

We stayed with my Aunt and Uncle, who live about an hour outside Detroit.  We were up at 4:30 and out the door by 5:00 am.  We carpooled into the city with my Aunt (running her first half) and cousins (also running their first half!) We were dropped off near the start, and immediately hit the porta-potty line.  By the time we made it through the bathroom lines and dropped off our checked-bags, it was about 6:50 am.  I said a quick goodbye to Mark, who was running the half and seeded in Coral B.  I knew he was going to have a strong race – perfect weather and a flat course.

Kelly and I made our way back to our corral.  The corral was closed by the time we got there, so we had to slip through the fence.  It was really crowded, but that was honestly fine since it was so cold out.  I totally appreciated the human body warmth :)  Once we made it in, we only had a few minutes then we were off!

Right from the start, we had a few gadget problems.  Kelly’s iPhone wasn’t able to connect to Pandora.  I offered her my iPod, but she wanted to fiddle with hers a bit.  Within 2 miles, my iPod died too.  Eventually, Kelly’s phone started working, but I ended up running from miles 2 to the finish without music.  I haven’t run a marathon without music before, and it definitely required a bit of mental toughness that I hadn’t used before.  That said, I am glad to know that I can do it.

We ran the first few miles very conservatively.  I think this was partially because Kelly wasn’t sure exactly how she wanted to pace the race, and partly because she was annoyed at not having music! Despite being slow, the first few miles flew by: we saw the sunrise from the Ambassador Bridge, high-fived Canadian border agents, and joked about all the good signs (my favorite being: Run Faster! The Kenyans are Finished and Drinking all the Beer!”)

Around Mile 5 I dropped off for a quick bathroom break.  I had to wait in the porta-potty line for a few minutes (annoying) and told Kelly to go on ahead of me.  I spent mile 6 playing catchup- I busted out a quick 7:48 mile.  Most of the people I passed looked at me like I was insane, but it was really kind of fun to see how quickly I could catch Kelly.  After about a mile and a half I saw the familiar blonde pony-tail bouncing ahead of me.  I caught her before the tunnel.

My garmin got a little messed up in the tunnel, but it was a fun mile.  When we got out of the tunnel, we passed two cousins, who had been in an earlier wave.  We learned that our aunt was a bit ahead.  We picked up the pace a bit trying to catch her before the half-runners turned off for their finish.  We didn’t catch her, but the quicker pace seemed to stick.  We finished the first half in 2:17.

The second half was *easy.* The miles felt like they just ticked by.  Indian Village was beautiful, Belle Isle was WINDY, and suddenly we were on the Riverwalk headed into the last few miles.  As we headed back downtown, my legs were itching to go faster, but I stayed with Kelly.  When she saw the sign for Mile 26, she totally turned on the jets. I was a bit surprised she had so much left in the tank, but tried to keep up! We crossed the finish line together, in 4:24.  Our second half was 2:07, which was a half-marathon PR for Kelly.

All in all, the splits shook out like this:

Avg Pace
Summary 4:24:54.0 25.61 10:21
1 10:49.5 1.00 10:49
2 10:51.8 1.00 10:52
3 11:32.7 1.00 11:33
4 10:46.7 1.00 10:47
5 14:38.0 1.00 14:38
6 7:48.6 1.00 7:49
7 8:46.6 1.00 8:47
8 20:14.1 1.00 20:14
9 10:02.1 1.00 10:02
10 9:38.8 1.00 9:39
11 9:12.4 1.00 9:12
12 9:32.8 1.00 9:33
13 9:32.7 1.00 9:33
14 9:47.3 1.00 9:47
15 9:44.6 1.00 9:45
16 9:51.0 1.00 9:51
17 9:40.9 1.00 9:41
18 9:30.5 1.00 9:30
19 9:37.2 1.00 9:37
20 9:22.0 1.00 9:22
21 9:41.9 1.00 9:42
22 9:29.0 1.00 9:29
23 9:36.6 1.00 9:37
24 9:46.1 1.00 9:46
25 10:05.9 1.00 10:06
26 5:14.3 0.61 8:36


We got our picture taken and immediately found Mark and my Aunt.  Mark ran 1:40, a 3 minute pr! We later found out that he was in the top-5o for the Mens’ 25-29 age group (out of over 600 runners).  I am so freaking excited for him.

A quick lunch out with the family and we headed back to my Aunt’s house for a much deserved nap, pizza, and relaxation.

All in all, the race was fantastic.  We had incredible weather.  The course was well organized.  I still can’t get over how smoothly everything went, particularly for a race that involved sending 17,000 runners across an international border and back.  The t-shirt was great, medal well-designed, and post-race food was good.  I am slightly disappointed in the race pictures – Kelly and I waited in line and posed at the finish and I was really looking forward to seeing that picture.  It looks like the race picture website is missing a ton of pictures though, so who knows if we’ll ever see it.

Anyway, huge congrats to my sister, Mark, my Aunt, and everyone else who ran Detroit this weekend.  It was one of those weekends that really reminded me why I love to run, and made me so excited to race with family more often! My aunt is already trying to convince us to go out to Michigan for the Bayshore Marathon in Traverse City in May :)

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