Marathon number 6 was the Deseret News Marathon in Salt Lake City on July 24, 2001. It was warm, dry and sunny, although at the start in the Parley's Canyon it was cool. The marathon started at 5 am. The first mile is down, but miles 2-6.5 are a steady up grade. I ran mile one in 7:25 and then began 9 minute or more miles for a while. 6.5 to 8.5 is back down the up course, 8.5 to 11 is a serious upgrade. There is over 1000 feet of climbing in the first 11 miles and about 2000 feet of drop down in to SLC at the end. The course enters town at about mile 20 going by the this is the place monument, which was fun on Pioneer Day in Utah. The course finishes on the Pioneer Day parade route for the last 1.5 miles, which was crowded but strangely flat. I ran with 3:30 and 3:45 pace charts on my wrists and tried to stay between them. I was a minute or so better than 3:45 pace at mile 6.5, gained a couple of minutes down to 8.5 and was about 3.5 minutes a head of this pace at the half. I ran the second half about on 3:30 pace, which meant better than 3:30 up to maybe mile 23 and then a struggle to keep running from 23 in. I finished 3:33:48, which I am pleased with considering the altitude and course. I think that there was a false start (the start cannon seemed to fire 10-20 seconds after the pack started out). I don't know if official times were adjusted.
The aid stops were good, with lots of water, powerade, cliff shots, vaseline and fruit. I had my own power gel, but took a water over the head and in the mouth at each stop. There were some pretty long gaps without a stop coming over the hill into town.
I went out to Utah on Friday night for a Tuesday run and ran very lightly the week before. I stayed with my Mom in Salem, where the strangeness of land use and zoning was apparent. There is an enormous horse trailer barn shading the development I stayed in, built with no concern for the neighbors. Across the street is a private park, open to the community but electically organized. I ran 2-3 0.75 mile laps of the park in the days preceding the marathon. On the day before the race I moved to Salt Lake, visiting Steve Blair at the University and staying in the Little America hotel. Given the early start of the race I tried to live on EDT while in Utah. I went to bed at 8 most nights. The day before the race I went to bed at 5 and slept until 8, but had a fitful night after that. I got up to go to the buses at 2 am.
I'm writing this on Sunday after a Tuesday run and am already mostly recovered. Yesterday we moved into our new home in Durham and I was fine carrying boxes, though still have a bit of trouble stretching
A plot of finishers vs. pace in SLC is below. My pace was 8:09. The mean pace was 9:19, finishing at 4:04 with a 42 minute deviation. The plot looks multimodal to me, corresponding perhaps to the distinctions in the training and goals of elite, competitive, recreational, exercise and excursion runners. The data is pretty similar to the Flying Pig results. On the bus ride up I met runner 919 from Minnesota, who had run 35 marathons before but hadn't run in 3 years. He looked a bit out of shape. He had decided to run the marathon on 1 days notice. He finished in 4:16. He was in town for the American Association of Physicists in Medicine annual meeting.