The Long Run

Gasparilla Marathon

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Member Since:

Mar 20, 2007



Goal Type:

Boston Qualifier

Running Accomplishments:


  • 1 mile : 5:43 (3/2017)
  • 5K : 18:34 (12/2011)
  • 5 mile : 32:03 (5/2010)
  • 10K : 39:29 (11/2013)
  • 11K: 46:47 (July 2008)
  • Half Marathon : 1:26:47 (11/2012)
  • Marathon : 3:06:34 (02/2010)
  • 50K Trail: 4:34 (01/2012)
  • 50 Mile: 8:34:48 (4/2012)
  • 100K: 11:06 (2/2012)
  • 100 Mile: 29:03:39 (6/2013)


  • Marine Corps Marathon - 3:27:00, Oct 2016
  • Marine Corps Marathon - 3:28:12, Oct 2015
  • Pocatello Marathon (ID) - 3:32:25, Sept 2015
  • Chasing The Unicorn (PA) - 3:31:20, Aug 2015
  • Run for The Red (Poconos) - 3:30:40, May 2015
  • Boston - 3:24:42, Apr 2015
  • Clearwater - 3:27:04, Jan 2015
  • Clearwater - 3:16:17, Jan 2014
  • Boston  - 3:27:00, Apr 2011
  • DesNews - 3:10:57, Jul 2010
  • Gasparilla  - 3:06:34, Feb 2010
  • Space Coast - 3:11:29, Nov 2009
  • Estes Park  (7500' and up) - 3:52:19, Jun 2009
  • Boston - 3:17:22, Apr 2009
  • Niagara Falls - 3:19:21, Oct 2008
  • San Diego RnR  - 3:24:18, Jun 2008
  • Jacksonville Marathon -3:21:24, Dec 2007
  • Chicago Marathon - 3:35:08, Oct 2007
  • Disney Marathon - 3:52:34, Jan 2007





Short-Term Running Goals:


  • Sub 40:00 10K
  • 2:59 Marathon
  • 1:25 Half Marathon
  • 18:30 5K


Long-Term Running Goals:

Maintain my health and continuously seek to improve my fitness. Maybe someday get under 3:00 for marathon. More importantly, I'd like to figure out what my maximum ability is and reach that.

I'd also like to find the right balance in life and use running to enhance and improve myself.



Dad of  two awesome kids.

Also, have one wonderful brown dog named Sammy and just added a grey tiger cat whose life started out rough but now has a better home.

I've recently started another blog so I can easily add lots of pictures and so other non-FRB users can leave comments:

Forward Progress!

 Also, for 2012 I started a blog to write down each day one thing that I am grateful for

Grateful Blog


Love living in Florida but love to travel and see the country and rest of the world.


Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 18.10 Month: 164.28 Year: 1190.74
Brooks T7 Lifetime Miles: 202.78
Brooks ST5 Lifetime Miles: 403.91
GoMeb Speed3 Lifetime Miles: 483.77
Brooks Pure Flow Lifetime Miles: 160.60
Brooks Launch(lobster) Lifetime Miles: 782.98
GoMeb Razor Lifetime Miles: 468.00
Race: Gasparilla Marathon (26.2 Miles) 03:06:34, Place overall: 43, Place in age division: 5
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance


I don't think this race could have gone any better.  Lots of things seemed to come together.  When I woke up at 4:00 I had a pretty good feeling about the day.  We left the house at 4:30 and were making pretty good time when we hit a lot of traffic at the downtown exit.  Fortunately, we were pretty close to the start so I got out of the car and went over to the starting area while Jenny found a place to park the car.   The weather was a nice 45ish degrees and clear.  I found my way to the starting area.   The quick brisk walk was a good warm up.  Once there, I jogged up and down a side street for just under a half mile and practiced accelerating up to race pace.   I was wearing shorts and a sleeveless shirt with an old larger t-shirt on top for the warm up which I ditched right before the start.

I had lined up a little bit ahead of the 3:20 pace group, so didn't have too long to wait to cross the starting line.  This is the last year they are doing the full marathon here, so attendance was the highest it's been.  There were 2000 marathon finishers and over 3000 half marathon finishers all starting at the same spot and same time.

Miles 1-6 Davis Island: 7:21, 7:01 (+:14), 7:01, 6:56 (+:10), 7:02, 7:03

I was kind of stuck in the pack for a bit, but we were moving pretty good.  My plan was to take the first mile somewhat easy before settling into the pace I wanted.  Crossed over the bridge onto Davis Island for the first part of the race which was a 6 mile loop around the island.  Finished the first mile in 7:21 which would end up being the slowest mile of the race (one of my goals).  Then, I was on my pace, I feeling pretty good, the line was thinning into a more reasonable amount.  Still very early on in the race, but I felt like I had a good shot at a PR today.  Twice, my garmin mile was a little bit short of the mile markers, possibly due to the twisting.  I ran by a person juggling with flaming batons which looked pretty cool in the early morning darkness.  When I finished mile 4 in 6:56, I was a little worried I had started speeding up too early, but decided not to worry about it.  At one point a big group of people made a wrong turn before volunteers and police could block off that road.  Fortunately for those people, I think it just added a little bit of distance onto their route before joining back up with the real route.

As I neared the end of Davis Island it was starting to get light out and the downtown Tampa buildings were just ahead, it was a beautiful morning, I could hear the birds singing (I had my ipod but hadn't turned it on yet).  We crossed back over the bridge to the mainland.  Going up the bridge (about 25 feet high), I slowed down a little, but gained it back on the way down.  We were soon approaching the marathon/half marathon split point.

Miles 7-11, Downtown Tampa: 7:03, 7:00 (+:12), 6:51, 6:55 (+:15), 6:48 (+:17)

Shortly after crossing back to the mainland, I saw David and Karen (they raced the 15K yesterday and were here today for moral support), then a little bit later I saw Jenny and the boys, always a huge boost!  We were heading north now, there was some wind but nothing too bad.  Turn around point was at about 9 miles.  Not sure when exactly, but sometime before then, saw the lead pack heading south (maybe about 5 guys stuck together).  This section of the course had a good amount of turns, several bridge crossings over the Hillsborough River and running underneath some buildings, so the pace seemed to be off a bit, but at least one of those miles seemed to be legitimately under 7:00 pace. Sometime around mile 11 we joined back up with the half marathoners.  I saw Kathryn's husband Chuck, and then shortly after that saw Jenny and the boys cheering again!  Towards the end of this section, the marathon route joined back up with the half marathon route and it became crowded again.

Miles 12-14, back in the crowd: (7:02, 7:05, 7:07)

I had to do a lot of weaving here to get through the half marathoners.  I passed by the 2:20 half marathon pace group.  It was hard to not slow down because most of the people were not going at your pace.  There was another marathoner wearing a green shirt who I had been tag teaming, so I tried to keep my sites on him for a frame of reference which seemed to help.

Miles 15-20, Bayshore Blvd and a park: 7:05, 7:08, 7:05, 6:52, 7:06, 7:08

About mile 14, the half marathoners were at their turn around point, so the crowd was once again very thin.  I think about mile 16 the top of my left foot was hurting and I decided to retie my shoe.  I stopped, checked it and realized it wasn't too tight.  A few people passed me when I stopped but I think I caught back up to them.  We turned into a park which looped around a small lake circled by a jogging trail.  I had one more under 7:00 mile (another goal, one sub-7:00 in second half).  Just before mile 20 I came up behind Pat (who I often run into in races).  We stayed together for a bit under just after mile 20.  I was looking forward to the mile 20 sign, but knew there would be some wind, heading back north on Bayshore.

Miles 21-26.2, Bayshore home stretch: 7:10, 7:08, 7:16, 7:17, 7:18, 7:09, 1:36(.23@6:58)

Ok, just trying to hang on here.  Not exposed to the wind until about mile 22 or so.  Was determined to not let my pace drop too badly (like I did for the last 6 miles of Spacecoast marathon which were 7:38ish).  Took it mile by mile and was careful not to  follow anyone that I came up behind.   Feeling hopeful at the last mile and managed to pick it back up a little bit.  I was so relieved I hadn't fallen apart.  I wasn't sure about my actual finish time until I saw the clock because I had just been looking at the mile splits.  I don't think anyone passed me for this final stretch.  I heard someone cheer and some more people joined in (it was Jenny again but I had trouble seeing here).  Great feeling to cross over the finish line!

Met up with Jenny and the boys after the race, then stood in line for some food from the Columbia restaurant (a very popular landmark here in Tampa), they had salad, bread, black beans and rice and paella - I know, a little odd to be eating this at 9:15 in the morning, but why not?

We went back to the finish line and saw several of our friends cross the finish line, lots of people we knew had a good race today.

I was in 75th place at the halfway point and finished in 42nd place, so I'm pretty happy about that.



Clock Time03:06:50
Chip Time03:06:34
Overall Place43 / 2090
Gender Place40 / 1236
Division Place5 / 224
Age Grade70.3%

Brooks Launch Miles: 26.70
From Carolyn in Colorado on Mon, Mar 01, 2010 at 11:45:25 from

Congratulations on an awesome race, Mark! That's a PR for you, right? It seems like dealing with the crowds and running into the half marathoners would be disconcerting.

Way to finish strong!

From jtshad on Mon, Mar 01, 2010 at 11:57:03 from

Congrats on the PR and great race! I have been waiting for you to post so I could hear the story. Nice job with the pacing and staying strong throughout the race. That is an awesome time, your running is so strong right now!

Congrats again on a superior effort!

From ChrisM on Mon, Mar 01, 2010 at 13:20:10 from

Well done on the improvement, glad the race went so well!

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Mar 01, 2010 at 16:16:50 from

You gave the 3:00 guy a good scare. He thought he was safe for a while. He laughed at you when you ran 3:52, and was still laughing when it took you several attempts to crack 3:20. Even your 3:11 PR did not bother him that much. But now with 3:06 he is scratching his head trying to figure out what he is going to do to hold you off.

From Mike on Mon, Mar 01, 2010 at 18:15:41 from

Congratulations Mark! ....your spirit and determination has brought you fantastic results.

You are certain to hit your quest....

From Snoqualmie on Tue, Mar 02, 2010 at 10:56:27 from

Well done, Mark! Thanks for the great report. Enjoy your well-deserved recovery!

From Burt on Tue, Mar 02, 2010 at 20:58:30 from

That is awesome Mark. 46th out of 2000??? Way to go! You've almost reached your quest.

My favorite part was the paella. I love paella.

From Mark on Fri, Mar 05, 2010 at 22:12:28 from

Thanks everyone!

Sasha, I think I might be getting within striking range. I'm going to run Deseret News Marathon next since I'll be out that way this summer. I know it's not an easy course but it's not impossible either. Any pointers?

Jim, I read your race report the night before my marathon for inspiration, it must have worked because I almost got the same time!

From mike mcclellan on Sun, Mar 07, 2010 at 00:55:59 from

Very solid race Mark!! Congrats on your PR.

From Lyman on Thu, Mar 18, 2010 at 16:51:05 from

Just got around to reading your race report. CONGRATULATIONS on a new PR. Excellent time. You are on track of hitting a sub 3 soon. BTW - your splits look like put out a very even and consistent effort. Very smart.

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