The Long Run

Estes Park 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: Estes Park Marathon (26.2 Miles) 03:52:19, Place overall: 11, Place in age division: 4
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance

This was the hardest run I have ever done.  This race is advertised as the highest fully paved marathon in the world.  The highest I had ever run was Moab at 4,000 feet back in March.

I knew it was going to be hard based on the course descriptions and what other people had written, but I didn't know exactly what "hard" meant.  I had looked on a pace calculator, which said 3:17 at sea level was equal to 3:33 at 7,500 feet.  Add some time for hills, but how much time?  How much time for unknowns.  I would find that out.

We arrived in Denver yesterday and drove to Granby, to meet Jenny's parents at the condo they were renting.  Their condo was at 8,400 feet, and I could definitely feel it as I was unloading the car and walking up the steps.   I drank lots of water to help with the adjustment and we found a nice local restaurant and had some pasta.   Jenny, her mom, and sister were going to run the 10K.

We woke up at 3:30, left just after 4:00, and arrived in Estes Park at 6:00, but it felt later, since I was still on Florida time.   The drive across Trail Ridge road was spectacular.  Saw tons (literally) of Elk and a few deer.  Climbed up over the tree line and back down.  We lucked out on the weather because the park ranger told us that last week they had to close down the road a few of the nights for snow.   But, the drive went perfect, so far so good.

I had a plan, which was to try and go out at about an 8:00 pace, and see how I felt.  Go slower up the hills if I needed to, and maybe pick up some speed down hill.

Mile 1 - 8:22

Mile 2 - 7:48

The plans quickly changed.   After just 0.11 miles I was in a slight panic mode, feeling like I wasn't getting enough oxygen.  Fortunately, that subsided somewhat, we hit the first down hill and my pace picked up.  After 2 miles, I was close to an 8:00 pace, maybe this wouldn't be so bad after all.   Just before mile 2, I was running next to a woman, she was running pretty strong and looked like she knew what she was doing.  Another woman on a bike pulled up to her and told her that she was the first place female and so would be following her the entire race, which I thought was a nice touch.

Mile 3 - 8:40 + :18 Garmin adjust

Mile 4 - 9:24

Mile 5 - 9:37+ :20 Garmin adjust

Mile 6 - 9:48

Then came mile 3, my left calf was burning, tight, not good.  In the 4th mile we were starting to climb.  My heart rate was up, almost felt like a tempo run.  I saw a porta potty and stopped to use it.  I didn't really have to go, but figured that this might save me time later, I mainly needed to stop.   Got out and back on the road, heart rate was back down and I trudged up the hill.

This was the big hill.  I had never done anything like this before, 600 feet up in less than 3 miles.  On the way up, I was behind a few guys, I thought I could pass them.  So, I did and lasted about a minute before dropping back and having to walk.  I caught back up to them and fell in behind them for the trip up the hill.  The hill crested at 5.75 miles.  They had some big speakers set up, playing music and announcing runners as they neared the crest.  That really lifted up my spirits.

Mile 7 - 8:13 + :18 garmin adjust

Mile 8 - 7:58

Mile 9 - 7:42 + :11 garmin adjust

Mile 10 - 8:11

Mile 11 - 8:19

Mile 12 - 8:28

Mile 13 - 8:00 + :18 garmin adjust

These miles seemed to all go pretty well.  Miles 7-9 and part of 10 were mostly downhill.  Some of it was pretty steep and I tried to stay in control.  I eventually caught up to 1st place female (whose name was Karen), she seemed to slow a little bit and I passed her.  This worried me somewhat, as I didn't know what I was doing on this race, and thought it might be asking for trouble, setting myself up to crash later on.  Oh, well, just go on and see what happens.

Mile 14 - 9:00

Mile 15 - 8:43

These miles were slower but not terrible, but it was getting a lot warmer.  Early in the morning it was much cooler out, so I had on a long sleeve shirt.  That was the wrong choice.  I took my shirt off and tied it around my waist so the bib would still show in front.  I suddenly felt much, much better.

Mile 16 - 9:29

Mile 17 - 8:18 + 2:16

Mile 18 - 9:56 + :33 Garmin adjust

Mile 19 - 9:03

Mile 20 - 9:51


A lot of uphill running in this stretch.  I really don't remember what happened in mile 16, maybe I took a long water stop break or something, but I had thought it went well, oh well.  Then in mile 17 I was feeling good, like I could really just keep moving.  But then, I got to a water stop, and ended up wasting a lot of time.  My mouth felt very gummy and dry, so I drank gatorade and water until I was almost feeling like I might slosh, but stopped short of that, and took some salt.  I also realized that I was just standing there, I at least could have been walking, not sure how much time that cost me.  When I finally got going again I just hit the lap button so I could concentrate on the next mile.  Mile 18 had another long stop but I didn't try for the start fresh approach.  Just before mile 20, was the crest of the second big hill, another 500 feet up.  After that it was mostly downhill from there.  I was doing a lot of leap frogging with various people.  Passing, getting passed.  Especially with 1st place female.  I chatted a bit with her at one of the aid stations, then she pulled ahead of me.  I wished her good luck thinking that would be the last I saw of her.

Mile 21 - 8:33

The downhill here felt pretty good, but I was quite beat up at this point and the wind started whipping directly into me, at least it made things feel cooler, and at least I was getting the wind on the up hill part.

Mile 22 - 9:41

There was some walking involved in this mile.  It was a mix of down hill, flat and a little bit up up hill, along with the wind still blowing.  Things got better after this.

Mile 23 - 8:43

Better, more consistent, and resisted walk break urge.

Mile 24 - 8:44

A lot like the previous mile.

Mile 25 - 8:28

Better, I was no longer worried about crashing, I could do it, I could still get under 4:00.  I also caught back up with 1st place female.

Mile 26 - 8:20

Shortly after mile 25 marker, I could see Jenny and her parents.  I waved to them and Jenny ran over to me and said she would run me in.  It was great having her to run with for most of this mile, she really came through for me and is easily my number one inspiration.   She warned me that there was one more steep uphill before getting onto the high school track.  I was worried about it, but when I got there I just did it and it wasn't so bad.  I was hurting quite a bit now.  Calves were on fire.

Last 0.11 - :44 (6:26 pace)

My Garmin actually measured a total of 26.3x miles, but with all of the adjustments and that odd adjustment at mile 17, my garmin was a little out of sync with the mile markers at the end.  I gave it all I had as I ran about 3/4 of a lap on the track and headed into the finish chute.  I wanted to be done.  I had no idea what my total time was, just that I had a lot of slow miles.

I was actually pleased with my time since I made it under 4 hours, and beat (slightly) my time for my first marathon.

Karen (first place female), finished slightly after me.  Her husband thanked me for helping to pull her in, which was very nice of him.   Actually, I needed to thank her, as she was often pulling me along, but I didn't get a chance to.  So, thanks for all the help and congrats on 1st place!

I tried to walk of the calf pain.  It wasn't going away.  I looked like I was wandering around in a daze and Jenny was a bit worried about me.  They gave her a big bag of ice which she rubbed up and down my calves which helped quite a lot.  Slowly I returned to normal.  They had the showers available in the high school which I used, and those helped tremendously.

It was a great race, very well organized.   It also had a very casual feeling about it which was nice.  Although there were only 104 finishers, I never felt lonely out on the course, due to all of the leap frogging.

If I had stuck around , I might have gotten an age group award, the overall winner was in my age group so I think that bumped me up to 3rd place, but not every race does that.  The winner ran a 2:47 which is incredible.

We had a great drive back over to Granby across the Rocky Mountain National Park.  The kids got a chance to play in the snow and we saw a bunch more Elk and even a couple of Moose.

Glycerin 6 Miles: 26.20
From Jelmo on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 01:24:34 from

congrats on a great run on a tough course!

From jorge on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 09:06:58 from

Congrats Mark, it must have been incredibly hard... Well, to finish before the first place female, says it all...

Way to go!!!

From Carolyn in Colorado on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 11:11:17 from

Congratulations! Great job. That sounds like a really tough course with all the uphills. The elevation doesn't scare me as much since I live at high elevation, but that is still quite a bit higher than I'm used to.

It's very impressive that you could do so well on that course, especially when you live and train at much lower elevation. You are a very strong runner.

From Burt on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 12:47:18 from

Sounds like a beautiful race. You're one tough dude.

You mentioned drinking water to help adjust to the elevation change. I've never heard of that. Can you expound a little?

From jeffc on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 15:52:23 from

Wow what a race! That sounds like a beautiful race that you wouldn't be able to enjoy because of all the hard work. Congratulations on getting through it and finishing strong. Sounds like you made a really nice trip out of it as well.

From Mark on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 09:22:04 from

Thanks everyone!

I'm glad I ran this one and will never forget it.

Burt, the locals here told me to drink lots of water, I think I've read it some place also. Not sure what exactly it does but it did seem to help.

Next time I'll try and adjust first and see if that helps, but at least now I know what it feels like.

From RunnerAdam on Wed, Jun 17, 2009 at 00:04:49 from

Congrats!! I randomly saw your race report from browsing the mileage board and noticed we have amazingly similar PRs for the 5 and 10k races and similar goals for running. I'm hoping I follow your lead on a marathon as I am planning to get 3:10:00 this year to qualify for Boston.

From JimF on Wed, Jun 17, 2009 at 10:01:15 from

Congrats on a great race! I am totally impressed with your result running at altitude and on a hilly course. I don't even think I would have tried it. It sounds like a great experience and beautiful course.

From Mark on Fri, Jun 19, 2009 at 22:14:54 from

Adam, thanks for stopping by. Keep plugging away on your training, looks like you are getting there. You certainly have a tougher job to BQ than I did since I "only" needed a 3:20. Good luck, and can't wait to see how you do.

Jim, thanks, I think one of the main reasons I did this race was to try it and see what happens, now I know :)

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