Ran today the longest race ever: Skyline to the Sea. It was also the longest run I’ve ever done. Took 3.13 and seconds to complete. Distance marathon, pharm on trails, sometimes really narrow and steep. I had no detailed plans how to do it nor any time goal in mind. Thought anything between 2.55 and 3.30 is possible. Even though it’s mostly downhill, the course is so tough I don’t think I could’ve run sub 3hrs on any given day. That would have needed a running team, strategy, and a lot more training on narrow trails.
So I started out running behind two other guys until the first aid station at 10.5K and 42 mins. From there I sped up a bit and left the guys behind. Then at just after 45 mins got a wasp bite in the neck! Is it over? No, probably didn’t get much poison in and I got the sting removed. Another aid station comes at around 18K at which point I’m calculating the finishing time is probably going to be somewhere between 3.10 and 3.20 unless I burn down. The third aid station comes in near Big Basin park HQ at 25.5K and bit less than 2hrs. I’m feeling my pace has slowed down. There are plenty of obstacles like fallen trees, rocks and other stuff you have to go around. I’m not taking too many risks and continue to just jog this through on my own.
At around 2.10 from the start I start to feel fat is burning. My leg muscles and also knees are aching more and more, step by step. I take my energy gel and think, well, the world top would have finished a marathon already — but not here! Continue to descent towards Berry Creek Falls and I’m already figuring out where to see them. Then I feel suddenly somebody running behind. Steps closing in! It is over 2.30 already from the start. I don’t look back, reach the bottom, hear the falls but have no time to sightseeing. Decide to speed up all I can. The trail widens, running gets easier. After 2.40 I don’t hear steps anymore nor do I hear hikers cheering for any other runner immediately behind.
Getting closer to Waddell Beach I start to ask hikers how far we are. I’m getting really tired, minutes and miles are getting longer. I manage to keep my pace and form still pretty good, not slowing down, fearing somebody will catch me. Final aid station is not ready, the guy is setting it up, and I decide to pass. It’s just 2 miles to go. Final ascent is much harder than I thought. I keep on looking back, and feel good to have nobody there. Final descent, and I’m done. They tell it’s the course record. Geir Moholdt crosses the finishing line 3.27 from the start. Yes, it was him who got me. But he faced the marathon wall right there. From where I needed an half an hour to finish he spent almost 15 mins more. So tough is the marathon. Anyway, without Geir chasing I think my time would have probably been closer to 3.20 today.