I was sorry to have missed the very special Maui Marathon. Although, many miles away, a special friend and athlete, Phil McGain was there enjoying the gorgeous scenery and tells the story like many before of his race adventures. His time, an impressive 4 hours 9 minutes, although his goal was to be under 4; he had a smooth start, but couldnt’ find his second bottle of hidden Coke. Towards the end, suffered severe dreaded cramping but of course still finished with a smile.
“I’m feeling good, so I start to pick up the pace just a bit. I hit half marathon in 1 hour 57 minutes, I’m now shooting for a sub 4 hour marathon and if things go well, maybe 3.55. Now at 8.45 pace and going strong. Coming up to Lahaina I had stashed some Coke bottles the day before, so I pick up my first one, I remember exactly where it was, but the second, I spaced on, couldn’t find it, oh well.”
Another entertaining story of the race that captured 2600 participant’s hearts from around the globe on our treasured island. Phil, thanks for the fun and inspiring read. I’m sure the runners that you’ll be helping next month on the Big Island for the IRONMAN, will be thrilled to see you there.. Thanks, Suzie!
Maui Marathon, Septemer 2009
Number 8 in the Bag, can’t believe it’s my 8th marathon. Always go into these crazy races with high expectations, trying to figure out your finish time, getting the right pace at each part of the race. I had a good build up, mostly working on my speed, but did do some long runs, 17, 20, 17, then tapering down to 12 the week before.
It was a 5.30am start from the Kaahumanu shopping center. The usual hot shots were there which I recongnised and had a quick chat, Wild Billy Conner, Arol, Jamie Kemmel leading the leaders on this bike. I was near the front of the line, not sure why because I’m not very fast, but ma y as well be the front of the pack at least for a few seconds.
BANG, right on 5.30, we were off in the dark, heading down, not sure the name of the street, but we quickly get onto the highway leading over to Maalaea, nice pace around 9 minute miles, starting to get sweaty pretty quick, it was going to be a hot one. Half way across the sun was rising over the mighty Haleakala, which was beautiful. Eventually turned left at the lights and headed down hill to Maalaea Harbour. Cruising down this hill was fun, now at around a 8 minute mile pace, which was too much for me, but what the hell, we are going downhill.
Next comes the hard part, going up the Pali and through the tunnel, it’s about 3 miles uphill at this point in the race, so I slow down to a 9 and ha lf minute pace, shorten my stride and get over the Pali without too much damage on the legs. We are now at around mile 11 and back down hill towards half Marathon point, now it’s all flat towards Lahaina and then onto the finish at Whalers Village at Kaanapali. Getting half way is easy, but it’s at this point you need to decide how your doing overall and the real race starts to begin. I’m feeling good, so I start to pick up the pace just a bit. I hit half marathon in 1 hour 57 minutes, I’m now shooting for a sub 4 hour marathon and if things go well, maybe 3.55. Now at 8.45 pace and going strong. Coming up to Lahaina I had stashed some coke bottles the day before, so I pick up my first one, I remember exactly where it was, but the second, I spaced on, couldn’t find it, oh well.
Now coming up to the turn off into Lahaina to go down Front Street, must be at mile 21 now and starting to feel some pain in the legs, but still able to push at my sub 9 minute pace. As I come into the main restaurant area of Lahaina, my legs are starting to loose power quickly, now at mile 22, only 4 to go, but that can be a very hard 4 miles.
Past the Hardrock café, not sure what is happening to my legs now but it doesn’t feel good, oh crap. I slow down and see if I can get some life back in them, and then I decide to walk the next Aid station and fill up on anything I can get my hands on. Legs are not improving, at about mile 23, BANG I get my first cramp in my calf, oh dam. I had taken all my gels and salt tablets correctly, so the only thing I figure was I was going to fast after the Pali. I stop to stretch out the calf, then all of a sudden my other calf cramps, then my two hamstrings. I’m now straight legged in the middle of the road, can’t move, almost falling over. A kind gentleman offers me some Gatorade, so I take it, another person offers me more salt, I take that too. I eventually lean over and stretch out the cramps, but I know I’m in big trouble now.
I carry on walking for a few hundred yards, until my legs get some blood going through them again, I then start to run again, OH NO Phil, your not going to run, the legs are dead, Bonked, cramping again. So all I can do it walk for 2.5 miles to the finish. I eventually see the finish line and start up a slow jog, so much pain even to do that. I cross the line in 4 hours, 9 minutes which isn’t a bad time, but when you want sub 4 hours, it’s a little disappointing. I quickly get over it and enjoy the atmosphere of the finish line. I get plenty of food and drinks into me and go on to cheer the rest of the finishers.
A great day, another learning experience, I’m proud of my result.
Here’s a link to the marathon results and finishers:https://jtltiming.com/results/maui.html and the official link for the Maui Marathon: