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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Halving a Marathon While Having a Really Good Time

As I think about running the 2010 Chicago Marathon, I became worried about getting stuck in the pack. With no marathons behind me, what could I prove? Apparently, if I do well enough the Illinois Marathon Half Marathon in May 2010, I can start in a seeded corral.

Why am I happy? Simple. My time will be better by having to dodge fewer runners in what I imagine will be a bottle necked gridlock. I'm not elite. I couldn't start 400 meters at the pace those guys will run the entire race. I'm also not expecting to run a 5:00:00 26.2 miles. If healthy, I expect to break 4:00, and potentially run in the 3:30s. I'll know better as time goes along where reality is, and the half marathon should be a truth teller. I'll have 24 weeks after that to focus my training (using Hal Higdon's plan with some variations as needed).

To run a 3:20:59 marathon, I'll need to be in 1:35:43.9 shape (according to Merv). Might be asking too much for a first half marathon with just a half year's training, but that's the time. A 3:30 marathon equates to a 1:40 half, and a 3:45 will need 1:47.2 half speed. Below, the chart show where each time lands me, if I can get into a blessed corral. I hope to be in the B or C corral.

Time Qualifications for Seeded Start Corrals:

                                                Men                                           Women

Start Corral         Half Marathon   Marathon         Half Marathon   Marathon

Top 100                1:10:59                 2:30:59             1:20:59                 3:00:59

Corral A                1:25:59                 3:10:59             1:25:59                 3:10:59

Corral B                1:35:59                 3:35:59             1:35:59                 3:35:59

Corral C                1:45:59                 3:55:59             1:45:59                 3:55:59

Corral D                1:50:59                 4:00:59             1:50:59                 4:00:59

Open                        N/A

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