Monday, August 29, 2011

The North Face Endurance Challenge Kansas City Marathon Race Report - 8/27/11

It was a little odd.  No, not the fact I was jamming a marathon in less than a month after a half ironman or a week after a long course triathlon or two weeks before an adventure race.  That's "normal" for my slanted perspective.  What was odd was running a marathon on a Saturday.  That's a new one on me, and I liked it!

It's nice to have a day to recoup and relive your accomplishment before going back to the grind and go about your business with people that don't know you ran 26.2 miles at once on the weekend.  It's just a different world.

On to the race!

Dean Karnazes pre race.

The North Face Endurance Challenge event came to Kansas City this past weekend for the first time, ever.  Normally it's a trail race series but they couldn't find the right mix to have a trail run so they hosted a road race.  To offset the lack of trail running, they found every hill in downtown Kansas City and put it on the course.  And, they thought what better time of year than the end of the summer!  Nice.

Luckily we just got out of 100+ head index days so the race was maybe at 86 degrees by noon.  It did get hot, but if you finished in a decent amount of time you weren't cooked.

It was also nice not having to fight racers in the first 2 miles.  Only 100 ran the 50k and 100 ran the marathon Saturday.  There were some points along the course I didn't see anyone for 2 or 3 miles until an aid station.  I didn't mind that as most of my training runs are alone.  I was used to it.

I was also "used" to the heat and humidity.  But, I think I failed to properly heed the call of H20.  After having a few rogue runners run with our 3:45 pace group and a police women say "good job, ironmen" (only missing 2.4 miles of swimming and 112 miles of biking, no biggie) at mile 14ish, the gut came back.

I knew I would not be able to keep 3:45 pace.  It was too much physical wise for my level of training.  I was going to hold on with them til half way and then throttle it back.  Well, my stomach decided to throttle it back as well.

I had tinkered with my nutrition (same as what I use for training and no issues) and there didn't seem to be an advantage.  The other telling factor was that I weighed 180 pounds at the start and 171 after i got home.  That was even after pounding gatorade, water, and a pop for a sugar rush after the race.  I must have been close to severely dehydrated.  I didn't have the mental or physical bonk, just a stomach bonk.  I need to find ways to get more water in on the run.  It's a fine line between hydration and sloshing.

I had stomach issues AFTER the Kansas City Marathon, but not during.  It was a lot cooler and sweating wasn't an issue until the end.  The fluid intake was probably sufficient for that time if year but isn't going to work in Kansas City in August.

Something to tinker with next year.

It was cool to also run into ScottyTri's and his band of merry relay team runners.  I really enjoyed passing the 20 mile aid station and seeing Scotty waiting for his team mate and knowing I was beating their relay team!  Then I was brought back to earth when Scotty zoomed past me heading to the finish line.

As for the results, I was able to push out a 4:12:12 - 31/92.  Not bad, but not my best.  If not for the stomach issues I think I could have topped my PR last year at KC Marathon.  Oh well.  There's always next time!
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