The Detroit Marathon

I never really thought it was realistic for an average person to run 26.2 miles until my friend Ninad’s dad ran one a few years ago. Then my friend Tim ran the Chicago marathon twice and my friend Tom ran it once. Since that time I’ve always had it in the back of my mind to run one.

Anyways, Tim was training for the his third Chicago marathon this summer when the unfortunate happened — it filled up. He settled on the Detroit marathon instead and made plans to visit me this weekend. With that in mind I figured I’d give my legs a test and run the half-marathon, all 13.1 miles of it. Previous to this decision I’d run 6.5 miles once two summers ago, otherwise my longest runs had been 4.5 miles.

I’ve been fairly busy at work so I didn’t get a chance to follow any real training regimen. Instead I tried to go on as many distance runs as possible and made specific plans to run 8 miles once near the end of September and 11 miles once in early to mid-October.

Anyways, the 29th of October arrived and I must say that running the half-marathon was once of the coolest experiences of my life. We started near Comerica park (home of the Detroit Tigers) and then made our way through Mexicantown over the ambassador bridge to Windsor, Canada. In Windsor, we ran along the campus of the University of Windsor and then along the Detroit river till we took the tunnel back to the US.

To be honest, the adrenaline from all the people cheering was such that I didn’t even think about how far I’d run till the seventh mile. I didn’t really feel anything till the 10th mile.

That’s when I hit the wall. At the 1:03 mark, I’d run 7 miles. At the 1:38 mark, I was at the 10 mile mark. I ran a 5K in Ann Arbor back in August in 25 minutes, and that was almost the exact distance left. I tried to psych myself up but my legs were telling a different story.

Then at 1:51, I’d run 11 miles, the last of which took me 13 minutes. At 2:01 I hit the 12 mile mark.

At 12.5 miles, I was walking and a spectator looked at me and said, “you can’t walk now, you’re almost there!!!” I thought, “you’re right!” and I started galloping and then my right calf locked up. I slowed down my trot.

Finally at just after 2:13 on the official clock, I crossed the finish line, on the 30-yard line of Ford Field (home of football’s Detroit Lions). Of course it took me just under 4 minutes to get to the start line at the beginning of the race, so my official time for this 13.1 mile run is 2 hours, 9 minutes, 24 seconds.

The winner of the 26.2 mile run finished just 5 minutes after me, so I’m proud to say that in theory I could’ve beaten him (if only I could run another 13.1 miles in 5 minutes — that’s 158.2 MPH for all your mathematicians).

I fell short of my 2 hour goal, but I still beat a 10-minute mile pace by a few seconds.

Anyways, I’m very glad to have run the half-marathon and I’m thinking next year might be the year for the whole thing. Chicago is on 10/7, Washington DC is on 10/28. I’m still trying to find out the date of Detroit’s.

And as I proclaim my intentions, I can still barely walk. That could only mean that I must really want to do this.

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10 2006

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  1. Stacey #

    Go Shailesh! I certainly couldn’t have done it… running is pretty much the bane of my existence (only slightly melodramatic!). Well played!

    Just one more thing – where’s the blog on Flag Football?! :oP


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