So at mile four the race begins a 12 mile out and back section. This section is mostly flat and goes along the river. As a approached the one hour mark, I was curious how many miles I would do in the first hour. I keep running fast, putting in 7:20 miles which was fast for me in a marathon. At one hour I looked at my GPS watch and saw that I had run about 8.2 miles. I was shocked! I was averaging a 7:17 mile overall.
So I decided to just keep pushing and seeing how long I could keep this up. As I run by each mile, I realized that my GPS was saying that the course was short. I've been told that the course was short, but I didn't really care at the time. The reason the course was short is because the course was measured along the middle of the road, but the runners were only given one lane and hugging the inside corner of the road means that you are going to be running a shorter distance.
Anyway as I approached the half way point in the race, I was on pace for a half marathon PR. So in that next five miles I was posting miles between 7:20-7:25 miles. I hit the half marathon marker at 1:35:56. This is a two minute half marathon PR! So at this point I thought if I run a 2 hour second half I'd do a 3:36, which wouldn't be too far of from my goal. But that would be a huge melt down.
So as I went ahead I still felt good and just keep pushing. I had slowed down a bit, I was now running mid to upper 7:20's. As I came up to the turn around I noticed that there were not too many ahead of me. I began to cramp and little in my thighs, but I wanted to run strong through the turn around as there were many fans cheering runners on. I also knew that my energy was running low and that I needed a little boost. So I grabbed a vanilla GU from my belt and consumed it with some water in the turn around on the run. This seemed to give me the boost that I needed.