Amica Newport Rhode Island Marathon

Marathon #19 in the “run a marathon in each of the 50 states” is done. I completed #19 in Newport, Rhode Island yesterday. The course was beautiful, the day was perfect, the volunteers were great, and my performance sucked. I finished in 5:13:36 – not my worst marathon, but no where near the 4:45:00 I was hoping for.

While my running base is great, I made three mistakes. I flew across the country from San Francisco to Boston on Thursday and sat hunched over my computer the entire flight. When I woke up Friday morning my upper back and neck were killing me. They settled down by Sunday morning when I woke up, but I was physically tense. Next, while I ate right on Friday and Saturday, I don’t think I ate enough. When I woke up Sunday morning I was hungry – never a great sign before a marathon. I had a normal breakfast (about 500 calories), but I only ate about an hour before the run so I don’t feel like it got stored up properly. Finally, the course only had water the first eight miles and then only every other mile – gatorade didn’t appear until mile 8. I ended up dehydrated and underfueled.

The race looped back to the starting line for the finish of the half marathon. I saw Amy at 13.1 miles and she jogged with me a little. Even though I went through the half at 2:24, I knew I was in trouble. When Amy asked how I was doing, I said something like “I’ve got nothing in my legs – it’s going to be a long 13 miles.” Fortunately, I’ve been there before and know that I can run 13 miles when I’ve got nothing in the tank, so I just soldiered on.

If you look at my mile splits on RunKeeper, you can see the great fade begin around mile 16.  I was between 10:30 and 11:30 until mile 16 at which point my pace shifted to around 13:00 per mile. I was able to hold that pace, with a 12:00, a 12:22, and an 11:28 at the end, but that’s because I was working hard with my new friend Puck who paced me in (or I paced him – I don’t remember) for the last few miles.

My friend Warren Katz finished his first marathon (at age 47) and his wife Ilana cranked out a PR for a half in 2:00. It was a huge marathon weekend – my partner Ryan McIntyre ran Amsterdam with Lindel Eakman (one of our investors – his first marathon) and my partner Jason Mendelson did the Amsterdam half marathon (his first, after having major hip surgery a year and a half ago). As a bonus, Ryan’s wife Katherine ran the San Francisco Nike Women’s Marathon. Way to go gang!

On Sunday I’m going to run the St. Louis Rock and Roll Marathon with my friend Matt Shobe (now at BigDoor; was one of the co-founders of FeedBurner). Matt paced me through the Huntsville, AL several years ago and is a great marathon partner. This is the first time I’m doing a marathon on back to back weekends. While I’m crisscrossing the country again this week (New York today and tomorrow, then San Francisco Wednesday through Friday before heading to St. Louis), I feel pretty good “the day after.” I’m in a mild state of disbelief that I’m going to do this again in six days, but I’m looking forward to seeing how it feels.

Once again my sherpa Amy was amazing. She’s got an awesome blog post up with some beautiful pictures of Newport and the marathon.

  • Marathoners around the world.. 🙂

  • Great recap – looks like you had a picture-perfect day (and course). Looking forward to seeing you and Amy next weekend.

  • Anonymous

    Great job Brad! I ran the Hartford, CT the day before and can relate to
    having dead legs for the 2nd half. I noticed you haven’t done a CT
    marathon yet and recommend Hartford. The organizers did a great job and
    the turnout was very good. I ran to raise money and awareness for JDRF
    and will probably do it again next year with more people than myself,
    you are welcome to join. Best of luck in St. Louis!

  • I’m a big fan of carrying my own gels (I prefer PowerGel to Gu). I can carry 500-800 calories (plus electrolytes) in my pocket and not worry about what the race has. Still have to drink water with them, though.

    Any finish is a good finish in my book!

    If you haven’t done Michigan yet, consider Grand Rapids next year around this time – it’s a wonderful, flat course, and they have the best pace teams around! – ripe for a PR 🙂 Hope to see you there.

    • I’m going to try gels on Sunday. I’ve never run with them but will. I know the gel + water drill well so I’ll be sure to do the right thing there.
      I haven’t yet done Michigan. Thanks for the suggestion.

      • Cool. Make sure you try your preferred brand and flavors on a training run first in case they don’t sit well with you.

        • Tobias Peggs

          Agree with this. Brad – try them this week, even if you simply have one for breakfast. Just make sure they sit comfortably with you. I’m a big gel fan (I go with Vanilla-flavored Gu, FWIW), and suck one down every 45 mins on a long run. But I’m also a fan of the golden rule: don’t do anything for the first time on race day. You have 6 days to try some first…
          Also – 2 marathons in two weeks. You beast. We are not worthy 🙂

          • I’m also a Gu fan in general (although Chocolate) – I just need to do this on the marathon day, rather than rely on whatever they have on the course.

  • Congrats on #19, it was a perfect day for a run around the shores of RI, and if I was a runner I would have been there.

    • Yes – it was beautiful. Rhode Island at its best.

  • Wow! Congratulations!

  • Congratulations on getting #19 under your belt. I’m sorry that I couldn’t catch up with you and Amy while you were in the neighborhood.

  • Thank you for making this site very interesting! Keep going! You’re doing very well!

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