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Hamilton Marathon 2010

In November I ran the Hamilton Marthon with my mom and dad (Dave and Marilyn) and friend and training partner Chris with the hopes of running another sub-3 hour marathon.  I ran the race before a few years back with Chris the first year it was run and it was a very tough course then and we both finished around 3hours 16 mins.  With the changes to the course over the past few years this course looked to be very fast with a fair amount of down hill sections.  The days leading up to the race were kind of colder and we were unsure of what to wear on race day.  But the morning of the race was actually sunny but on the cooler side, so we all went for the long sleeves but with shorts.  The race started off great holding a pace around the 6:40 min mile, going below that at times, but not pushing hard yet.  According to the elevation map around 17 miles to about 21 miles was all gradual decline leading to steep downhill section.  But once we hit the 17 mile mark we were actually starting a gradual incline which then leveled out but still no decline section.  The decline didn’t actually start until after 19 miles, which mentally was touch as we were expecting it sooner.  Anyways we pressed on to the steep downhill section which was almost a mile but continuing downhill for another mile after that as well.  After the downhill section was done there was just a short uphill to the last out and back very flat section of the course.  This was the toughest part of the course for me, as the downhill section really effected my quads and calves so they were hurting on the flats.  I continued to push the pace as much as possible on this last section but it was actually pretty quite, not many runners around and only the odd spectator here and there.  So mentally it was getting tough as well.  But coming up to the last few miles I knew I would be cutting it close to get my sub-3hour time.  So I pushed it as hard as I could with about a mile left, but that mile seemed to go on for ever.  With a nasty little dirt/grass/gravel section in the last few 100 meters and some short inclines to make me really push my limits mentally and physically, was another surprise on this course, but I wasn’t going to let anything stop me now that I was this close to the finish.  Turning on to the finishing shoot I did an all out sprint for the finish line, which I crossed in a clock time of 2hours 59mins and 59secs (chip time was 2 hours 59mins and 49secs).  I couldn’t believe I was that close to missing my goal, but praise the Lord I did it!  My second sub-3hour marathon, this was a tougher course then what I thought it was going to be and I think a lot of other people expected it to be as well.  I started the race with a group of about 8 people that wanted to finish sub-3hour (we stayed together until around the 19 mile mark) and out of that group only 2 of us were able to do it.  Anyways another marathon in the books, now for the off season recovery and then getting ready for Vineman Ironman distance triathlon in California in July…..can’t wait.Safe training this winter and see you all at the races in the new year.Blessings!Jason Shaw

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