2013高雄國際馬拉松Kaohsiung International Marathon 23k Race Report

Discussion in 'Chapters' started by spoonerweb, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. spoonerweb

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    Differences from last year: Weighed more, warmer temps, started on time, slight course change, saw two barefoot marathoners, ran faster.

    I gained about 3lbs since last year's race. It was also about 3C higher at the start. I am also not used to how to prepare the day of and day before for this length of race. I usually run marathons in just under 3hrs. I was able to run the course a couple times before the actual race this year, but didn't know they had changed the course slightly to include a new bridge that they had just finished last year. Last year the race started almost 15min later than it was supposed to. The half-marathon starts 15min after the marathon and I think the marathon started late last year.

    Last year I placed 16th overall, 1st in my age group, with a time of 1:30:48. According to my last marathon, this year I was hoping to run a 3:40/km pace which would be about a 1:26 for the 23km. According to last year's times, that would have gotten me about 4th place.

    There was one person in front of me at the starting line. Unfortunately, that person decided to wait 1 or 2 seconds after the race started to actually start running which meant there were now 4-5 people in front of me and the lead runners took off. After about 500m, the route makes a right turn and goes down a slight hill for 1km. It was really hard to figure out what position I was in when I turned the corner because the lead group was already at the next curve and there were a lot of people ahead of me. A little after 2km into the race, the route turns left and goes down into a tunnel. As we start going up to come out of the tunnel, we start to see the walkers from the marathon, so now it is going to be impossible to figure out what position I am in. At about 3km, we took another turn to the right to head on the main, straight stretch of road. We had one problem at one of the intersections with cars trying to go through the intersection even though the police had told them not to go through, so we had to make our way around the cars. I had just moved to the front of a group, so it wasn't a problem for me. There is a bridge and at about 9km the half-marathoners split off from the marathoners. I wish they would put up more signs for the half-marathon when they need to turn off, especially signs up higher on the poles. The marathoners keep in the first lane on the right while the half-marathoners keep in the second lane on the right. This works really well until we have to split from the marathoners by taking a right turn. This year I tried to get over to the right as soon as I could, but this just made me weave around more than I needed to and I still have many people to cross in front of to make the right turn. I tried to count how many were in front of me, but didn't know where the lead group actually was and they had probably already made the next right turn. I did see one person who was wearing black with some white accents about 1km ahead of me.

    The half-marathoners run for about 1.5km (on a fairly deserted road for it being downtown) and pick up a pink scrunchy while the marathoners run about 8km more and pick up a black scrunchy and then rejoin the half-marathoners as we take a right. This is the place where I hope they change the route for the 23km race to be an actual half-marathon (difficult to do) or 25km race (very easy to do). After about 1km, I heard someone counting the runners and I heard them say I was 38th. However, that was overall with both races combined. At that point, I am just looking for runners with pink scrunchies on their wrists to know how many people in the half-marathon I have passed.

    The race is very strange to me because after 3km, I am passing a lot of runners going really slow. Then a break for 1.5km. Then still passing runners for most of the rest of the race, but not as many and not as quickly. At 13km, they change the course slightly and we took a sharp right onto a road I hadn't ran on before and was the roughest section of the whole race. (I hope they repave it before next year's race.) Within 200m we took a very sharp left and then went over the small bridge. After taking another left after the bridge, they was an even bigger bridge, but it is the final one. At 14.5km, we make a right turn right after coming off the bridge and this is when it feels like we are returning for the finish. I have noticed since rejoining the marathoners my pace has slowed from 3:40 to 3:50. At 15km, I saw a barefoot marathoner. At 16km, I started to see and pass a few half-marathoners. At 18km, I saw another barefoot marathoner. I cheered on both of them as I went past. At 19km, I passed the person wearing black with white accents. He tried to keep up for about 100m, but then fell behind. At about 20.5km, there is a small hill, a really sharp right, then a really sharp left, then up a hill until the 21km mark. At about 22km, we turn right and I see someone with a pink scrunchy about 100m ahead of me. I know the block is 1km long and then we enter the stadium, so I need to pass him before the intersection. I picked up the pace a little and made it past him. When I practiced the course, couldn't remember how the finish actually went. I knew we went into the stadium and there was a strange ramp I almost tripped on. So this year I tried to pay a little more attention to where the entrance was to the stadium and I was better prepared for the ramp. I ran a short distance on the track and finished.

    This year I placed 13th overall, 1st in my age group, with a time of 1:26:25. I was kind of surprised there were that many people in front of me. Looks like there was a little more competition this year. For next year, I will know how to be better prepared the day of and day before the race. I also will try to start in the left lane at the very front. I also hope to not only lose the 3lbs I had gained, but lose an additional 5lbs. I also hope the weather will be cooler next year, especially since it will be at the beginning of Feb instead of towards the end. So for next year, I should be able to run 1:23 and perhaps even run under 1:20. Last year that would have gotten me 2nd and close to 1st. Next year I hope that gets me into the top 10.
     
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