Back again at this classic race today (my 4th time, I think?) with 5,499 of my closest friends. Usually it's insufferably hot and humid but we were fortunate to have temperatures and humidities both in the low 70s today.
Watch time: 1:58:32/Garmin time: 1:58:40
Official chip time: 1:58:24 (11:50 min/mile pace)
Previous best on this challenging course: 2:01:24 (2005)
So exactly a 3-minute course PR. I'll take it! The entire 3 minutes can be accounted for by not walking up ANY hills this time (for the first time on this course), and indeed, there are several tough ones. I did walk for a short while several times at water stops, just to gulp down some water, but limited it to just as long as necessary to drink-and-go.
Still a long way off my ten mile PR (different course, cold weather, 2007): 1:48:52
On the final hill on the Severn River bridge, there was an overweight teenage boy really struggling and I started badgering him to get up the hill: "C'mon! We're going to run up this hill! Count to twenty and we'll be there! Lift up your chin and you can breathe easier! Use your arms! Look, just run to that flag and we're done!"
Mostly it helped take my mind off myself, of course, but it kept me going!
He did great. I passed him later but found him after the finish line and shook his hand and congratulated him.
I felt strong the whole race, very positive mentally, and got a great technical long-sleeved running shirt at the finish line that I'll wear often. Also nice to see some old friends at the start and on course!
A good day for running, and a solid training run in the bank!