My second marathon of 2014 is complete! I posted in January about my New Years Resolutions and one of them was to qualify for Boston. Last year I qualified by 5 seconds, which was not enough to get me into the race. It filled up before my turn came to register. I worked very hard all winter with the plan of qualifying at Kalamazoo.
I had been told Kalamazoo was hilly and to be honest I kind of brushed the rumors aside. The rumors turned out to be VERY true. The course boasted some killer hills. Not to mention the wind we would get stuck in that made it feel as if I was running through jello!
The gun went off at 8:00AM on Sunday May 4th. We had weather in our favor with it only being about 45 degrees and a beautiful sun shining in the sky.
My running buddy, John was there to help pace me through out the race. We started the race at a comfortable 7:35 pace, while other people around us seemed to take a different approach.
The first few miles are somewhat sloping down hill and many people took out and decided to bank time and use that in their favor. We decided that wasn't the best move for me and held a comfortable, conversational pace.
We hit the first set of hills running through Western Michigan Universities campus. We were at about mile 5, or 6 I'd say. There were some doozy's and each one we would manage to pass a few more people.
When the race began I was barely even top 10 in the women's division. By the time we got to mile 22 I had moved to 5th place!
We held our pace at about 7:40 until I reached mile 24; that's when my legs decided they had reached their limit!
I still managed to push out an 8:00 mile and an 8:14 mile to finish the race with an overall time of 3:23:11. I DID IT! I managed to qualify for Boston by over 10 minutes! That means 2015 I WILL be Boston Strong!
My grade for The Kalamazoo Marathon is this: A+
The course was filled with people from the community supporting the runners. Their were plenty of water and GU stops, and the difficulty level was high enough that everyone managed to finish feeling proud of what they had accomplished!
I ended up with 5th place in the women's division and my former teammate Brian Reynolds WON the mens division with a super quick time of 2:35! (Brian's an animal!)
I had a whole cheering section at the race as well! My parents made it out, my husband and even a few of my BRF's (Best Running Friends) from Grand Rapids!
|My crew from Grand Rapids, before the race! From Left to right, Annete, Molly, Gretchen, Me, David, Sarah, Kevn|
|Brian and me before the race! Teammates for life! Go FSU Bulldogs!|
|John and I kicking in at the finish!|
|After the race with my "bike crew" These guys kept me supported by riding their bikes along side the last 4 miles!|
|My husband woke up at the crack of dawn to drive me out to the start line, and he and my parents were out on the course supporting the entire race!|