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Detroit Marathon 2007

The morning started off great.  After waking up I felt confident that today was going to be a good day.  Yes it is true that an actual person can look forward to running a marathon.  The temperature outside felt good and the wind was not as bad as it was from last years Detroit Marathon.  As this point in my running career any weather that is better than what we experienced in Chicago is perfect for me.  But this morning did feel a little different than other mornings before a big event.  I did not feel nervous or scared.  I was excited and calm at the same time.  The reason for this attitude was due to the fact that I knew I was not shooting for a certain time today.  My main goal of the day was to make sure my younger brother, Jonathan, completed his first marathon.  From the day that he told me he was going to sign up for the full marathon I felt a little “responsible” and wanted to make sure that everything went as well as it could for him.  He had trained hard, did the long runs, and did not sound too nervous when I talked to him last so I knew he would do well.  At the starting line area I ran into Jonathan and my Dad.  After the usual pre-race activities we headed to the start line and got nestled into our corral.  The plan was to start with the four hour pace group and see how Jonathan felt.  The last final minutes before the gun sounded felt like forever like they always do. 
Finally the gun sounded and we were off!  Well not exactly.  For anyone that has done a larger race you know that getting 15,000 people across a starting line is a not a fast affair.  We did however have the luxury of being in the 4th corral from the starting line so our walk to the actual start line was not that bad.  Our chip time was actually only about 1:30 off of the race clock.  As the miles moved on by we talked and I ran into various people that I knew that were running.  Even though this was my 3rd time running this marathon the course felt a little new since I only visit it on a yearly basis.  As we made our way over the Ambassador Bridge into Canada the sun was just beginning to rise over the buildings and it was a beautiful view.  We were still on pace and coasting along with the four hour pace group.  Coming down the bridge we began to speed up due to the natural down push and picked up our pace a little bit.  From then on we were at about an 8 – 8:30 minute pace.  The pace did not feel too hard for either of us, and I think were simply going with the wave of people.  Running through the Windsor Tunnel was very hot and muggy.  Reminders of the Chicago Marathon.  Thankfully the tunnel is only a little over a mile long so I welcomed the cold air as we exited out onto Jefferson Avenue, what I call the best part of the marathon.  By the way in case you were wondering we ran an 8:12 mile under water.  As usual the walls and streets were filed with people all cheering and welcoming us back to the USA.  It is really cool to see everyone there and welcoming all of the runners back.  As we continued on Jonathan was doing well and the miles continued to roll by.  At the half way point we had a time of 1:57:50 and that was great. 
Around mile 16 – 17 after getting onto Belle Isle the distance had began to set in and I could tell that we were slowing down.  No problem, the goal was to finish and we were still moving along at a good pace.  I stayed at the pace that Jonathan was running, trying to get ahead of him just a little at times to keep him honest and moving.  After water stations we took an extra minute to walk and stretch, and that helped.  I think he wanted to be done more than anything.  Around mile 24 I felt our pace began to speed up a little bit.  Must have been knowing that the finish line was not that far away. 
Around mile 25 Coach Ken was there to offer us an alternative liquid refreshment that is not usually served until after 12 Noon in Michigan.  To be honest that little shot of beer was the best tasting thing all morning after tons of Gatorade and Gels.  Plus I felt 100% better and we picked up our pace even more.  Instant buzz?  Who knows?  With about a half a mile left we really picked up our pace and it felt like we were just starting the race.  It is funny how the body finds energy it did not have a few miles back when it knows it is almost done.  As we turned the last couple of corners being cheered on, we saw the finish line and sprinted towards the end.  I really thought that Jonathan beat me but the cool thing is that we crossed at the exact same time!  We finished with a time of 4:13:50.  That is about an hour better than my first marathon time.  Jonathan did awesome!  He completed his first marathon and can now call himself a marathoner.  Plus I really enjoyed running my 7th marathon with my brother and being there all along the way.  As always thanks to everyone that has supported both of us along the way and thanks to the Lord above for watching out for us.  This will be one of my favorite marathons that I will always remember.  It could of not been more perfect than it was.                                  

October 26, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Great race Al!  I\’m sure it felt good to have a good run after the Chicago debacle.  I can\’t believe how often you run endurance events like this–you are so strong.  Congrats to your brother on his first marathon.

    Comment by Unknown | October 26, 2007 | Reply

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