Monday, March 18, 2013

Luck of the Irish helps secure my fastest LA Marathon time ever...

For millions of people yesterday it was time to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in the time honoured tradition, but for me that Irish luck must have rubbed off and I ran my fastest ever marathon time in 3:42:18.

L.A. Marathon 2013 medal
LA Marathon 2013 medal
The 2011 L.A. Marathon may have been my first and most memorable marathon in torrential conditions, but yesterday I created new memories, achieving a new Personal Record and it felt great.
L.A. Marathon medals 2011-2013
LA Marathon medals 2011-2013
There was a real sea of green, both on the course and amongst all the cheering spectators, plus even the official race medal and t-shirt had a little shamrock as a reminder of this 28th annual L.A. Marathon.

In B corral before the race at Dodger Stadium
B corral LA Marathon Dodger Stadium
It was an early start to the day at 3am and what seemed like hours long wait at Dodger Stadium before we started the race around 7:25am. This year I was in Corral B, with the other sub-4 runners, and it really helped at the start of the race as there wasn't such a crush along the course in Chinatown and Downtown L.A.

Spotted running through the Veterans Administration part of the course
Running through Veterans Administration LA Marathon
Fortunately all my training this season paid off and also my knee injury kept at bay, unlike in the Honolulu Marathon in December where I was in agony for most of the race, and I felt strong for at least the first 19 miles

Smiles and a big thumbs up at Mile 24
Smiles Mile 24 LA Marathon
What really helped boost my morale the most during this race was the fantastic support along the course, whether it be from my running charity T2: Team to End AIDS teammates and coaches, Charlie and Cooper just before mile 15, or the kindness and cheers of random strangers, it all made a huge difference and kept me going.

Marine layer keeps things cool at Finish in Santa Monica
After LA Marathon Finish Line in Santa Monica
The last four miles were certainly the hardest, but luckily there was a slight downhill incline to help me along to the Finish Line in misty Santa Monica. In fact the weather conditions were perfect for running, nice and cool with no rain. Even when the sun did come out in Hollywood and West Hollywood it wasn't too fierce and we were all running towards the cooler ocean anyway.

Crush of supporters waiting to welcome friends and family 
Crowds after LA Marathon Finish Line
My objective was to beat my time from last year of 3:47:50, or at least from 2011 of 3:58:13, so you wouldn't believe my relief and sheer delight when I shaved a full five minutes off my personal best time.

All wrapped up to stay warm after the marathon
After LA Marathon Finish Line in Santa Monica
After staying around to greet my teammates, it was time to escape the crazy merriment and crush of people in Santa Monica and head home for a nice 'refreshing' ice-bath and to hydrate with a cocktail or two of my own (no green beer for me).

Congratulations, champagne and an ice-bath awaited at home 
Congratulations balloons champagne
I can't believe it's all over for another year and I can't wait for the race day photos to help relive all the memories of the course.

L.A. Marathon 2013 medal and t-shirt
LA Marathon 2013 medal t-shirt
Now it's time to eat and drink what I like, and give my body a rest, at least until my next marathon in Vancouver in May...

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails