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At the Races

ING Hartford Marathon – Oct 12, 2013

So while I was thinking about what to say about this year’s marathon experience, one name kept ringing in my head: Benjamin Button. Who or what is Benjamin Button you might ask? And what does he have to do with my marathon experience? Patience, and all will be revealed. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a 2008 movie starring Brad Pitt as a man who ages in reverse.
2008 was actually the same year I returned to marathon racing after a 7 year lay-off that also contributed to my increasing waistline.

My finish times over the last 6 marathons were;
2008 – NYC – 5 hrs 5 mins
2009 – Philadelphia PA – 4 hrs 42 mins
2010 – Long Branch NJ – 4 hrs 34 mins
2011 – Richmond VA – 4 hrs 29 mins
2012 – Steamtown PA – 4 hrs 26 mins 57 secs
2013 – Hartford CT – 3 hrs 59 mins 41 secs.
Breaking 4 hours was like running on cloud nine for 26.2 miles.

Now stay with me, if you do the math, that is, in 5 years I have reduced my time by 1hr 6mins!
I just have to keep this up and in the next 10 years I’ll be doing a 2 hour marathon! I’m not getting older, I’m getting better! Ergo Benjamin Button!

A couple things I’d like to share with you that helped me; is that I absorbed and put into effect, what I learned by attending the ERC Chi Running workshop by Glenn Trimboli, (elbows at 90 degrees, land mid-foot, lean forward and use gravity to assist me). And also the Fleet Feet PowerBar presentation on nutrition & hydration. (I took a PowerBar Gel with a couple mothfuls of water, every 30 mins, a total of 8 gels)
But most of all my training consisted of training slow to run fast. I ran with my training partner, my wife Faye most mornings, five miles at between a 10 – 11 minute pace. That allowed me to do a very consistent 9.04 pace and achieve my ultimate goal of a sub-four hour marathon.

Lastly, if you’re like me and you prefer a smaller marathon, with easy access to the start, less stress to register and well organized; the ING Hartford Marathon is for you! (held the 2nd Sat in October) With 2700 runners, a nice flat course and a beautiful medal it was a great experience.
John E. Harvey Jr

2013 Hartford Marathon

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NYC Marathon Bus

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Photo Highlights

Photos on flickr

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