The race was in the very beautiful Presqu'Isle State Park in Erie PA. For some reason I wasn't expecting it to be nearly as pretty as it was- it was really nice! The race route is 2 laps around the perimeter of the park, so you're always within view of Lake Erie and really nice beaches/ dunes.
I stuck to the game plan exactly- went through 1/2 right on target, but things weren't feeling quite right. From about 15km I was starting to have a bit of tummy trouble- nothing disastrous (thinking of that infamous picture of Diarrhea Man Runner), but it was bothering me enough that I couldn't get much gatorade down and I wasn't having too much luck with the gels either. When I got to 30K I had dropped my pace by 1 second/km- nothing to worry about I thought- I'd just hold steady for a few more km and then start my kick at 35k and get that time back. At 35K it wasn't happening, so I thought I'd try again at 37K, but again, I couldn't pick it up. At close to 40K I really started pushing- I was turning my legs over as fast as I could, but I just couldn't get any more speed. When I came around the final bend toward the home stretch, my dad was there to cheer my on. He started running beside me, screaming encouragement and urging me to go faster. My only thought at that point was "this guy is 62, has Plantar Fasciitis, has a backpack on, and I still can't outrun him!" I hung on and kept pushing, and came across the line at 3:12:15- a 19 second PB. Not as much as I was hoping for, but considering I wasn't feeling great, I'm pretty happy with that. I think that if my tummy had been just a bit better and I could have got another gel or 2 into myself, I may have had the energy to pick thing up a bit more at the end.
All in all, I'm quite happy with that result. A PB is always a good thing. It was a great course, a lovely day, and fun weekend all around.