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I ran with a pace group at last year's Long Beach Marathon. Our leader was supposed to set a steady pace that would get us across the finish line for a 3:50 finish. There were probably 20 of us all together following along in a shifting blob of runners. I chatted with a few of the people along the way, passing the time and hearing some great stories.
Our pace setter blew up on a hill at around mile 17 and I never saw him again (he ended up finishing at around 4:30). A few of us pressed on without him, and I fell into step with Trish for the next few miles. I had learned earlier that if she finished in the planned 3:50, she would qualify for Boston. We were able to make up the time we lost on the hill, and we were roughly on pace to finish in time.
At around mile 21, I started to slow and couldn't keep pace with her. Didn't exactly blow up, but I lost a couple minutes over the final five miles. I was happy to hear that she pushed on to finish in 3:50:59, capturing a Boston Qualifier by a single second. She was also fortunate to get signed up amid the crush of runners that filled registration in eight hours.
She found me on Facebook, and I will be following along online as she runs her first Boston Marathon. I think if I were to qualify, I would just enjoy the day and the course as much as possible, enjoying the reward for all the hard work to get there. From what I can tell, Trish has been training to shave six minutes off her PR, in hopes of qualifying for Boston, at Boston, under the new standards.
I have no idea what will be going through her head as she runs. Probably nothing like the video below, but when I saw it last night on Half-Fast, I couldn't stop laughing.