Windermere Marathon – Sub Four Goal and Visiting The Grandkids


June 01, 2014 and the Windermere Marathon, Spokane Washington

Is the: Glass half full:

Ran my second fastest marathon.

or

Glass half empty: Missed my goal by going out to fast.

PRE RACE:  My daughter and son-in-law had our second grandchild in Feb, Alaina Michele. My wife (Michele) and I could not wait to visit.  When deciding when to venture out to Washington State we wanted to visit when our little Alaina was settled.  Likewise, we wanted to visit when the weather would be favorable to play outside with Aiden, our four going on five year old grandson.  AND I wanted to fit in another marathon to add another state to my “Raced-In” collection of states.  The Memorial day weekend was perfect timing.  During our visit we got to take the kids to a Bounce House, visit a Big Cat Zoo, attend an Air Show, ride a train around the Spokane’s River Square Park and run/walk the Windermere Marathon.  I ran the 26.2 miles and Michele fast walked the half.  It was a great trip.

 10379943_813149148696243_5036383981711493517_o  10382772_812976325380192_6868233241182091113_n
 At The Expo  Hanging Out With other Runners

EXPO:  The expo was small (30 vendors) yet well presented and organized.  Other then a mishap where I got the shirt for the half marathon I enjoyed the expo.  I was able to meet author and runner Dane Rauschenberg.  Dane has run over 100 marathons, a 200 mile relay as a team of one and countless other adventures run.  I picked up a copy of his book and can’t wait to read it.

WEATHER:  The week leading up to the marathon was cool, windy and brisk.  Coming from VA Beach, VA. Michele and I were down right cold.  The local temperatures had me questioning the running gear I brought along on the trip.  Luckily the weekend brought warm temperatures.  Race morning we were greeted with bright sunshine and a starting temp. around 50f.  During the running of the marathon the sun came out with a vengeance with a finishing temperature of 78f.

RACE KIT:
Short sleeve tech shirt (Virginia 24 Hour For Cancer)
OPEDIX Core-Tech Shorts
Long Distance Race Ready Shorts
8 Layer Socks
Nike Air Pegasus Shoes
Garmin 201 GPS
Nathan Hand Held Water Bottle
Hammer Endurolytes
GU Energy Labs Tri-Berry Power Gels
Runners High Nutrition – Race Primer,
Foot Kinetics, RunGoo

RACE: Windermere is a Point to Point race.  At 0530 we boarded buses that would take us out to Rocky Hill Park in the town of Liberty Lakes.  0600 we arrived at the start which was staged out of a nice little city park.  Everything was well organised, and the volunteers were helpful. The only thing that was lacking was some shelter.  500+ runners were standing and sitting outside waiting on the start with nothing over our heads but the blue skies and sunshine.  This worked out well for our run, but I kept wondering what we would do if it was raining or cold.  Would we have been standing in the rain for an hour waiting on the gun to go off?

marathon-elevation

(Course Profile/Elevation)

The beginning miles were run around the residential streets of Liberty Lake then out of town and on to the Centennial Trail.  This trail system parallels the Spokane River leading us into the town of Spokane.  The fairly flat (some rolling hills along the way) and fast course would bring runners into the River Square Park in downtown Spokane.

10253860_813622898648868_4501638470957554371_n(Waiting on the start)

45 minutes prior to the start I took on my last pre-race fueling with a mixture of Runners’ High Race Primer.  This mixture topped off my energy levels and provided a good kick start even with an almost 25 minute start delay.

Start:  Mile 1 9:01 / Mile 2 8:32 / Mile 3 9:05 / Mile 4 9:07 / Mile 5 8:55 / Mile 6 8:55 – Some lessons you have to learn more then once.  My goal for this race was to run a sub four hour marathon to back up my first sub four in Niagara Falls 8 months before.  After my spring Ultra marathon training for my 100 Miler at Umstead I had questioned if I was in true marathon shape  going into this race.  After a delayed start my legs felt really good to be running again.  The hardest part of the course was the opening six miles and although my goal pace was 9:00 – 9:15 I could not keep myself on pace.

Mile 7 8:52 / Mile 8 8:48 / Mile 9 8:56 / Mile 10 9:02 / Mile 11 8:56 / Mile 12 8:48

Mile 13 8:47 1:55:46 – At halfway I was really enjoying the run.  I knew I had gone out a bit fast but wanted to continue on this pace with hopes of a big day.  At this point I set a new goal of setting a PR.  It was also around this point the temperatures began to rise.  I noticed I was drinking more then I had expected and was getting very hot.  At each aid stop I dumped a water cup over my head and motored on.

Mile 14 8:47 / Mile 15 8:49 / Mile 16 8:45 / Mile 17 9:28 / Mile 18 9:08 / Mile 19 9:07 10295131_10152520128806757_6587380298077788669_o

(Battling away when things were tough)

Mile 20 9:44 2:59:36 - Not sure what got me first, the heat, my fast start and running the hardest part of the course below my goal pace.  No matter what, they all conspired to drag down my leg turnover.  I also felt mentally weak.  I just could not will myself to pick up the pace even while realizing I was losing grip on my goal.  From Mile 20 on I also was fighting off cramps in my inner thighs and calves.  Although taking my Endurolytes on schedule (2 caps every six miles) my muscles began to lock up if I tried to push them faster then they wanted to be pushed.  Not sure at what point but I had to fast walk a bit until a cramp in my inner left thigh relaxed.  I’m not such where this came from as I’m not normally prone to cramps at the marathon distance.  This took the wind out of my sails.

Mile 21 10:22 / Mile 22 10:01 / Mile 23 10:04 / Mile 24 10:39 / Mile 25 10:28 / Mile 26 10:40

10414622_815570881787403_801604980200125721_n(Finishing up, hot, tired and beat….#12 done)

FINISH TIME: Mile 26.2 4:04:05 – This finish was humbling.  I normally have something left for the last few miles, but here I had nothing.  My legs were heavy, tired and lacked all zip.  Honestly I was disappointed in my finish.  I’m smarter then this when it comes to pacing, but as stated above maybe in life and running you have to learn some lessons more then once.

Michele finished her Half Marathon in 3:07:00 10342473_813897308621427_6136604052756494953_n

(Finishing Bling)

FINAL THOUGHTS:  Windermere marathon is an excellent small sized marathon.  I believe if run right this marathon would make an excellent Boston Qualifying Race.  The town of Spokane and Liberty Lakes provide excellent support.  If you’re going to be in the Spokane area over Memorial Day…add it to your list of things to do. 10402509_10203994100721192_9038435984829676561_n

 results  Micheleresults

Thank you Windermere Marathon…we had a great time.  But someone needs a hair cut!


  • Paul Starling

    Great job, Brian! On your 2nd fastest marathon! We learn and we move on! In the right conditions you look to have a fastest one in you! Keep up the work and keep on posting your reports! Always love to read them!

    • Brian Burk

      Thanks Paul. Learn something on every run/race.

      Brian