CIM - 4:09:54 - 12/4/2016
I'm not sure where to start this late race report, so I'll just jump in by saying that the CIM was a super fine well oiled marathon with nothing but the best organization going and the weather was nearly perfect the entire race. Everything the race directors did was to make the CIM the most friendly race ever for all the participants, be they the marathoners, half marathoners or relay runners...
My race day started at about 3:30am getting my stuff on and getting over to the motel's runners breakfast. It was about 42* outside and foggy. Then it was a quick block walk to a bus stop pickup where we were whisked off to Folsom where the race starts. Upon arrival it was announced that there were over 300 Blue Temples of Doom available for the runners last minute race preparations!Which pretty much meant little or no wait time to get in and get business done. The starting line was set up across a large four lane highway by a big mall in Folsom. It was lit up as bright as daylight which made finding my 4 hour pace group which was lined up to the right of the main group of runners. I had decided to do the pacer group because I didn't want to blow my whole marathon by going out to fast. At the starting line I met a couple of runners that actually lived in the general area and started a little support group within the pacer group. Just like clock work the race started at 7:am right after the National Anthem.
I really liked the start with the pacers, I didn't take off like a slobbering dog looking for a car to chase. I stayed very controlled and started a conversation with my little group of new friends encouraging them to be very deliberate with their running strategy and we would all make it to the end and accomplish our goals. My goal was to finish this marathon and with any luck finish with a "BQ" time.
So now the race is on and the miles just started to roll bye and I mean they just rolled bye. There were no hills on this course. It was just a series or rollers from the start to the finish which was a net loss of 340 feet in elevation by the end of the marathon. It seemed to me that I was running down the main road through one big neighborhood subdivision from the start to the finish line where the marathon ended right in front of the California State Capitol Building in Sacramento.
The fan support along the route was sparse at best until you got close to the finish line. This was a very focused marathon from the get go. Like they said at the start, most of the runners at the CIM this day were there to take advantage of the net elevation loss to run the fastest marathon in the west to a "BQ"! It seems to me that at the finish line it was announced that 29% of this days field of runners in the marathon actually "BQ'ed" this day and that CIM produces more "BQ" runners to the Boston Marathon than any other marathon.
Oh well, Like I said the miles clicked of fairly uneventful with me keeping a very steady pace of about 9:05 mpm until I got out to about mile 18 or 19 where I started giving up more and more seconds per mile. By the time I had gotten to mile 20 I had lost my running friends and fallen back from the pacer group. I kept trying to keep up with the pace group but started to fall back a little bit each mile. I watched my time very very carefully and calculated exactly what I need to get over the finish line with a "BQ" and knuckled down and forced myself to keep moving my feet forward to the finish.
As I came around he corner after going through a false finish line arch I saw the real finish line arch and took a look at my Garmin that was showing me that I was approaching 4:10:XX, I dug down deeper and pushed as hard as I could and made it over the finish line with the finish line clock showing exactly 4:12:00. I felt a bit defeated at this point in time as I needed a 4:10:00 to get my "BQ" this day. At the end of the run it was 57* and there was no wind.
I immediately started looking for the results table to asses the damage I had done to myself. After hunting all over the place and not finding the results table, I gave up and decided to just go have a beer at the beer tent and head off the the motel. As I got into the beer tent area I realized that the beer being served was a Fake beer, it didn't have any alcohol in it. How disgusting was that, I thought. So I took my fake beer and decided to take it with me on my walk back to my motel room. As I was leaving the beer tent area I was stopped by security and informed that I couldn't leave the area with a beer. I immediately stated that this beer was non-alcoholic and what law prohibited me from leaving the area with a fake beer. The poor security guard didn't know, so I walked over to the nearest trash receptacle and deposited my free fake beer in it and left the area....still not knowing what my official time was.
As I made my way over the .9 miles to my room I couldn't wait to get back to get on line and check my time. Just as I got in my room and got my phone powered up I got a text from Hillbilly Runner who congratulated me on getting a "BQ". I thanked him and then asked what was my time, 'cause I didn't know. Well that little bit of return information surly made my day and trip to The CIM worth it but then set my head spinning when I realized that I had only made my goal of a "BQ" by 6 seconds........ All in all, I would recommend running the CIM for any reason, except the fake beer.
So that's my CIM race report and I'm sticking to it............