I started to get real cocky at Mile 24 when I felt that I had sub-3 in the bag. I started giving high fives to my adoring fans (or lack thereof).
The problem with a 5:30AM marathon start is that the natives are still sleeping, even when you're almost done! There was hardly any crowd support during the race for the front runners, so you just made do with whatever was out there in San Francisco at this ungodly hour. Let's just say that I couldn't post the pictures that I found when I did a google search for something funny to post for this section.
I went through the 24 mile mark in 2:44, giving me roughly a little under 16 minutes to cover the remaining 2.2 miles. All I had to do was average about 7:15 to be right under the wire with a few a seconds to spare.
I went through a windy Mile 25 at a 7:14 clip with a total elapsed time of 2:51:54.
OK. This might be close, but I think I've still got this. I started doing the math in my head.
8 minutes to cover 1.2 miles....that's if I still had 1.2 miles to go!
Based on my past marathoning experience, and the fact that the mile markers had been off by about .10 all day, I knew that the actual distance left was going to be closer to 1.3 miles!! That .10 is going to take me at least 35 seconds!
I started to really pick it up over the final mile, but the head wind along the water front, and behind PacBell Park, was making the task that much harder.
I could hear the announcer off in the distance calling out the finishers' name and time. I listened as the first four females crossed the finish line, with the 4th place female crossing in 2:58:42.
I had less than a half mile to go.
I was sprinting like a mad man, spittle all over my face, passing a few marathoners, and a big pack of the 5K'ers doing their charity walk. I'm sure I frightened more than one kiddy out there trying to have a good time.
"Mom, what's wrong with that man?"
And then I heard the announcer clearly say, "And there's our last runner under 3 hours because I don't see anyone else coming."
I still had .10 to go.
35 seconds later, I crossed the line in 3:00:35.
I waited around as the rest of the crew finished.
Fil F: 3:33
Lauren L: 3:55 (with beer in hand)
Yvette N: 6:21 (first marathon!)
Brian S: 7:09
Cara S: 6:09
Amanda B (Half): 1:59 (first half!)
Yung N (Half): 2:09 (first half!)
If you're curious, then here's how you pace yourself to a 3-hr marathon: