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Race Pace Advice

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Race Pace Advice

Post  mountandog on Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:12 pm

I will be running the Beaver Island, Michigan marathon on Saturday with my daughter. There are about 80 runners in total for the marathon and about another 80 for the half which starts a couple of hours later. Based on past year results, I should be in the top 5 or so, but far enough back that I won't be able to pace off the fastest. So how do you run a race of this duration by yourself with very, very little crowd support? Is it possible to PR, or does the race adrenaline just wear off too soon? In the past I could always focus on a runner up ahead to try and catch or maintain contact. This is unlikely Saturday. I have never run any race this small and wonder if its even worth trying to go out and PR it. Perhaps I'd be better off running a minute slower pace and help my daughter get her BQ. Although she should be well prepared herself, she'll probably be running alone too.

Thoughts? Advice?
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Re: Race Pace Advice

Post  Julie on Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:37 pm

My PR race was a very small race. It is in a way easier because you lose absolutely no time weaving in and out of runners or having people slower than you starting ahead. I guess decide if you want to do your best or pace your daughter and stick with your decision. Crowds are nice, in a way, but it's still you doing the running and you who need to talk to yourself and keep yourself on track. In many ways, I find it easier to keep focus and just run with little crowd support (like maybe 3 people out the whole marathon other than the aid stations- oh yeah that's another bonus, no wait at aid stations or potties).
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Re: Race Pace Advice

Post  healdgator on Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:08 am

I haven't run a marathon in those conditions, but I ran a 10 miler a couple years back that had about 40 racers. I passed 2 people the whole way and went long stretches without seeing anybody. Those races are tough. I would be somebody really focused who has done a lot of pace work (or is comfortable dialing into a pace) could PR, but that wouldn't be me.
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Re: Race Pace Advice

Post  Mike MacLellan on Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:06 am

My experience with low turn-out races:

1. A trail 21k. Got into the first group of two (about 25-30 people in each group), but just barely maintaining contact on the back. Ended up passing most of them and having only 4-5 in front of me by the halfway point. Started picking runners off one-by-one until I was in 3rd, pacing off the guy in 2nd. At the top of a climb, passed him, and just did my best to keep in visual contact with the guy in 1st. He won by 30 seconds, but I raced the last 12k of that race like my life depended on it.

2. OC Marathon. Yeah, huge turn-out, but also a 5 mile stretch with 0 crowd support and very few other runners. Took a LOT of mental fortitude to hold pace, considering it was miles 20-25. PR'ed and BQ'ed.

3. 30k trail race. 8 people in my race, 7 in the 50k. Caught the first place guy, who was running the 50k, so we paced it pretty leisurely until the turnaround for me, then I booked it downhill, legs blew up, and I just gave it what I comfortably could. So, the mind gave into the legs a bit, but I still won it and got a good workout.

Bottom line: it's possible, it's just hard.
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Re: Race Pace Advice

Post  Jerry on Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:12 pm

I hate this, but would pursue a PR just to see how it works.

Wearing a iShuffle? lol!
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Re: Race Pace Advice

Post  mountandog on Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:00 pm

Jerry wrote:I hate this, but would pursue a PR just to see how it works.

Wearing a iShuffle? lol!

I hate it too but was thinking the same thing.
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