Monday, April 03, 2017

RunDown: Oakland Marathon 2017 (#31)

Summary: Tough course, hot day. 

Toni and stayed at the Marriott Hotel on Saturday night. We had tickets to see the play "Hamilton" on Saturday night and it gets out late.

So we took Bart back after the show to Oakland, and I fell into bed at around 11:30pm. 

At 5:30am I took the shuttle to the start area and hung out until the start at 7:10am. 

This was a small race. Only about 700 runners for the full marathon.  We started at 7:10am (The halfers start at 9am.)

The course is hilly. See my profile from the watch below. The marathon site itself is a bit smooths the graph to make it look less nasty.  We are all used to that trick but, sigh.

I knew that for me the hills would be killer. I planned to walk any of them that were too steep to run without a lot of effort.  

The early morning temps were nice, but even at dawn I could see holes showing up in the fog/cloud cover.

As you can see from the map, had a nice tour of downtown and then we headed north to highway 13-ish. I was feeling pretty good, temps were cool, I was drinking and eating GU just fine. 

When we hit the steep parts I power walked...sometimes hardly slower than the 'runners'
around me. The field was already spread out and was pretty sparse. 

All along the course, even in the middle of nowhere, there were people out cheering you on. Some were friends/relatives but others just doing it for fun. 

A high point was when we got a view of the city skyline from on-high. Too lazy to drag out the phone but it was a nice view. I was still feeling ok. Full sun was out but we were still in an area with some tree-shade.

I should mention: the roads were pretty messed up from the rain. Lots of cracks and deep holes that required keeping your eyes open. This is true all over California so I wasn't surprised. Everybody was super careful.

The Oakland Police and the parking enforcement team was out in force and every single cross street had somebody making sure that drivers didn't do anything stupid. The field was sparse enough that they could shepard people through when there was a gap between runners. This worked out really well and I never had a problem...they did a great (and safe) job. 

Finally, after many false downhills we reached the last uphill and started the long down to the flats. I managed to clock some 10:30-ish miles on this part. It was a bit too steep in places to get good energy extraction and I was breaking on every step in that lovely (not.) quad busting way.

Once we got down the furthest southeast point we turned northwest and headed back to town. This stretch was still ok as there was a cooling wind and the sun was from behind. I was looking forward to seeing Toni at mile 19.5 at the corner of Webster and 10th. 

All pictures courtesy of Toni (unless marked as done by the marathon)

At mile 19.5

At 19.5 still not crashed but HOT...knew it was coming

Famous Tribute Tower

State flower (Poppies) Mural

Off I go!
Now the going started to gradually get tough. We were heading into deeply industrial Oakland. No more trees, lots of asphalt and lots of SUN. At this point my splits started slowing and my  23 mile split before my watch ran out of battery (argh.) was 13:00. It got worse from there.

I run-walked from there. I was not able to run but it was not nearly as bad as Tacoma.

The company I had was the halfers..they started at 9am and when I got to 20miles they were just hitting the halfway point of their half marathon. Of course we are now 1:30 or so in for them, so these are relatively slow half marathoners so that was a good thing from my point of view. We all had a similar slow pace.

At one point I texted Toni (one advantage of walking) and let her know I was slowing down..she was worried a bit but I let her know not  a problem, would finish, but just taking it as I could. She walked to the finish area.

If I had one complaint for the race director it would be that they could put another water stops from mile 23 to the finish. It's a really hot area of Oakland at the end of the race.

On the shuttle back to Marriot. ..really nice service!

Canonical post-race imbibing

After the race was done my Garmin totaled
 up 1200' of climbing.  Yikes. I have not done any hill work at all, as my new work location has no hills near it. 

This was also one of my worst prepared marathons with only 220 miles of running in the previous 90 days. Oops (Caught cold, trip to Mexico, hip issue etc. You happens. 8)


A pretty slow race, typical for a blow-up in the last 5-6 miles due to under-training, hills and heat. But hey, still a finish!

Any day you can run a marathon is a great day! 8)

Total Marathon Finishers 351
Male 60-65 A.G.    9  / 21

7.8 Mile   01:27:06 11:10 min/mi
14.5 Mile 02:44:02 11:18 min/mi
21.5 Mile 04:03:02 11:18 min/mi
Elapsed 05:06:32
Pace  11:41 min/mile