Monday, February 25, 2008

23 consecutive years of marathons and ultras

I ran the Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club Mid-Winter marathon yesterday. This was my 6th time running this marathon in the last 10 years, but my first since 2004, when I ran 4:09:30. Yesterday, I ran 4:06:32. My finish yesterday made 2008 the 23rd consecutive year in which I've finished at least one marathon or ultra. My first marathon was run in August of 1986 in the Sugarloaf Marathon in Maine. I'm very happy with this streak, simply because it shows that I've managed to persist in my running for fully half of my life right now.

In my six times running this race, I've run as fast as 3:52 in 2001 and as slowly as 4:49 in 2002. Yesterday was my second fastest of my six runs at this race. Fifteen years ago, I would have been embarrassed to run over 4 hours in the marathon, but I'm quite happy with yesterday's result. I have been running at 10mpm pace or slower on the treadmill most of the time, and I've only done two longs runs since October - a pair of slow 20 milers in January. I felt really strong for the whole race and ran a very negative split. Here are my 5 mile splits:

5 : 47:59 - nice easy start
10: 49:35 - still easy, but an extended Port-a-Potty stop
15: 46:30 - feeling good, started to push a bit
20: 48:02 - felt like I was running faster than this
25: 44:02 - still felt strong at 20 and started to work more
1.2: 10:24 - strong finish.

My 1/2 marathon splits were approximately 2:06:30 and 2:00:00.

Considering that I lifted twice last week, did speedwork on Tuesday night, and skied on Saturday, I'm very happy with this marathon result.

My 4:09:30 in 2004 was done the year I finished Hardrock. My 3:52 came the year I finished my first 100 miler. I use this race as a long training run and a mid-winter fitness check, and I'm happy with where I am right now.


janinsanfran said...

That's an inspiring record, Damon. I've put your blog on my regular reading list so as to feel appropriately humbled by someone who keeps on keeping on :-)

Damon said...


I don't think anyone should be humbled by my streak. I'm just stubborn and persistent - nothing more.

Your blog is inspiring in that while I'm running for my own personal reasons, you're trying to change some things in the world with your spare time.

ollie said...

Damon, I wish it were 8 years ago and I could make fun of your finish time with a straight face. :-)

Good job!

Jeff said...

Damon -
I was there as well and you know, i think i remember you and by absolute coincidence i just stumbled across your blog! Must have been you looking at your pic (if you still sport a beard). I finished @3:57 and was wearing the double bottle waist pack.

I'm training for VT100. If you ever need a partner for a long run, I'd be up for it - we seem to run the same pace.

Damon said...


It would have been hard to miss me, given the bright orange wind jacket that I was wearing. There were a number of ultrarunners there on Sunday, from the fast to the slow.

I live in central Vermont, but I'm always willing to travel to get in a long run. If you have never run the VT100 before, I can give you lots of info about the race. I volunteer every year and I either run or pace most every year. This year, I'm pacing after I run Western States 3 weeks earlier.