By Dave Merchant firstname.lastname@example.org
Three Chelsea cross country runners recently participated in a marathon. Here is their stories about the experience. From Joseph Norwood: “My 15 year old little brother wanted to run a marathon after cross country season ended and I decided to do it with him. I invited Zander Hartsuff to run with us and we all signed up for the Veterans Marathon in Columbia City, Indiana. This marathon was a week after States. So, once States was over we ran one 15 miler and then started tapering until the race. Going into the marathon, Zander and I wanted to run 6:53 pace so that we could break 3 hours and qualify for Boston. When we actually showed up to run, it was about 27 degrees outside. We started off by running right on pace, but it was super windy so I picked it up to draft off the group ahead of me; however, when I caught them, I found that they were going slower than my goal pace! So, I kept moving up until eventually I caught up to some 1/2 marathoners that were going at a good pace. Eventually, Zander caught back up to me, but we were going way under our goal pace and we hadn't even completed half of the race. So, we talked to a professional runner that was in the running pack and he told us to slow down. We were lazy though and we ended up waiting until the 11 mile to slow down a little. At this point, we were really worried about dying because in a marathon when you hit the wall, you hit it hard. Knowing this we finished the first half of the race and tried to stay in control until mile eighteen. Once we got to mile eighteen, we used Coach Swager's training and just started to pick up the pace. I eventually started running 6 minute miles and I dropped Zander. We all did great and I finished with a time of 2:50:59! So, I was under the Boston Qualifying time by 9 minutes and 1 second. I would run the marathon this year, but you have to be 18 to run it so I'll have to wait until 2021. Overall, I got third, Zander got fourth, and Jonas got fifth. Mile sixteen was the point where the race got painful and the last two miles were really tough. I am proud of all three of us and am happy to celebrate Veterans with the marathon.
From Joseph’s brother Jonas Norwood: "I think it was pretty fun, it was only 26 miles though so it does not sound very long however it takes a while to run it. I think that everyone should run so that they can be healthier. I would have ran farther if given the option but I do not know if I am in shape for it. It would be pretty cool if Chelsea had a marathon. I wanted to run a marathon because it sounded fun, and it was. If you want to run then you should run. My time was 3:10:46, which was a bit slower than I wanted. I am planning on running another probably next year, then I probably will go under three hours."
From Zander Hartsuff: “The marathon idea popped up earlier in the season when I was talking to Joseph about post-season races, and he said he and Jonas signed up for a marathon the weekend after states. I thought about it for a while, and I decided I wanted to give a try, as I had never done a real marathon before. Going into the race I wasn't really sure what I was capable of, but Joseph and I agreed that breaking 3 hours was a good goal (which is 6:53 per mile).
I went out right on pace, but Joseph chose to go out way faster than we planned. For the first four or five miles, I was split between going faster with him or staying at our goal pace. Eventually I decided that my pace was too slow, so I negative split each mile until I caught up with him around mile 10. He had slowed down a little bit from his original pace. When I caught up to him, he was talking to a guy who was just doing the half marathon as a training run. When we told him our original plan he advised us to slow down to our goal pace, hold that until mile 18, and then take off from there. By doing this we would save our energy for the part of the race when it got difficult. We listened to him, but we never really slowed down to our goal pace. By this point I was a little worried since I was already at a farther distance that I had ever gone, and my legs were starting to hurt. By mile 21 Joseph had pulled away from me a bit. He dropped it down way more than I was planning on going. By this point I felt like I was just trying to hang on to my pace, but somehow I was faster than before. I really surprised myself by how fast I was going and not slowing down.
Overall I would say this was a very fun experience, and I enjoyed it a lot. Hopefully I'll be able to do the Boston Marathon, if not this year than next year. It was very fun, and I really surprised myself by how fast I went. (Final time was 2:51:47).”