Sunday, May 19, 2013

2013 Idaho Great Potato Marathon

Me, Dennis, Christie, and Derek
Perfect weather for a marathon today. 48 degrees at the start and maybe 60 degrees at the end. My idea of a 3 hour run went out the window in the first mile. Not because I was hurting or anything but I made the decision to run a bit conservative so that I would feel good at the end and have closer to even splits. 
A smile! Proof that I had fun. Mile 20

The half and full marathon follow the same route to mile 13 and then the half turns left and we continue on. There were probably 3 times as many half runners as full marathon runners.  When I got to mile 13 they all turned and I continued on by myself after being surrounded by lots of company.  My friend Christine Kollar came to supply me with Tailwind along the course and a smiling face which was a big boost at mile 10, 13, 18/20. David McKinnon joined me from mile 20 to the end which was a big boost too. After mile 20 the course goes slightly uphill.  When I say slightly I mean barely noticeable but after running at an average pace right around 7 minutes a mile my pace jumped up to 7:25 consistently all the way to the end. 

David pushing me through the mile 20 aid station
I had no idea what my overall pace was or even what my time was until I got to the end and read the finish line clock that read 3:08 and change.  I knew my mile splits from when the watch was beeping each mile so I knew I was in the ballpark for Boston qualifying.  My time was good enough to BQ and I even beat my wife! Michelle was doing the half marathon and she wanted to beat me to the finish since we started at the same time. I passed her on the FINAL turn. I went screaming by yelling WHATZ up MICHELLE as I snuck right between her and Cami who had joined her along with Hannah at the end. DANG IT Ryan! I overheard Cami and Hannah offer to 'take me out' and Michelle must have declined!
Hannah, Mom, Cami, Dad, Kaylee, Michelle, Me, and Zach

BUT when we got to the finish and compared watches we realized that she beat me by 5 seconds due to the chip/gun difference. THEN after we got home and checked the official results we actually TIED with a time 3:08:13! I have challenged her to a re-match!

Everyone knows I am a HR training nerd so here it comes, my Avg HR for the race was 156. My normal marathon target HR is 165 so I guess I should have pushed harder.
Derek, Christine, Michelle, Me, and Jayk

It was great to have my parents and all my kids at the finish line to celebrate with us.  It was also wonderful to be there to share in the finish line moments of a number of our friends.  I even got a kiss from Spuddy the Potato girl at the end (yes she's a girl).  10th place overall. 3rd in my age group. Edged out the women's winner by just under a minute!

Garmin details for the running nerds like me


The real story for me today though, was the fact that the course covers so many of the miles I have used for training and where I learned to love running when I started.  As the miles clicked by I thought back over the years to some of the memorable moments I have had along this path.  

Michelle and I did a run before Boston where we got to Discovery Park and there was snow on the ground.  When we stopped near the picnic shelters there were taningers with the yellow chest and orange head everywhere which was a cool sight.

When we passed by the Crow Inn around mile 4 it reminded me of the first time I mapped out a half marathon on the greenbelt and ran it.  The hydrotube off Warm Springs to the Crow Inn and back is a perfect half marathon.

We passed the Shakespeare Festival where Michelle and I have parked for each of our runs on Robie Creek which are good memories.

Next was the Lucky 13 on Eckert and Warm Springs where I have done the Run Til You Puke Half twice with Tony Huff and others.   It was nice to see Tony out on the next corner cheering us on as we passed today.

Near Barber Park I ran a half marathon with Doug Draney the day of the Potato Marathon in 2010 and we even got mixed up in the race when it kicked out on Parkcenter.  At that time I remember dreaming of running a 1:40 half someday.

When we approached the Parkcenter Bridge it reminded me of the day Christie and I ran her 50 miler and the greenbelt was under a foot of water.  We ran through the water like 10 year old kids having the time of our lives.

Just as we went under the Broadway bridge it reminded me of all the times Michelle rode her bike with me while I was training for races.  We would go down fast together and her worthless bike wouldn't shift so she could get up the other side.  I often had to push her and her bike up the other side into Julia Davis.

The first time I ever ran a marathon was the the Ryan Anderson 1st Annual Invitational December 6th, 2009.  Michelle and I started and ended at the rock on the south side of the greenbelt right next to the Anne Frank memorial.  Every time I pass that spot it reminds me of how far I have come.

The first time I ever ran a mile in the 7's was right by the firefighter memorial just after Americana.  I remember that day very clearly in February 2010 and wondering if it was a fluke.  I always have a smile through that section.

Just before St. George in 2010, my last hard run was a 10 miler with Mike Marquart that started and ended at the Glenwood parking lot.  I wondered if that day was a fluke too because it was my fastest 10 miler ever until 1 week ago.

Ironically, after all the miles and all the training, I actually ran 4 miles today that I have never covered.  From Les Bois around mile 21 we ran through Garden City.  It was a really nice stretch of greenbelt and it's hard to believe I haven't done it.  So that will be my new memory from today.  Pushing hard once again through uncharted territory hoping to meet my goal around the next corner.


  1. So glad you're family was there to see you BQ! That's a memory I'm sure they'll always treasure of you! Congratulations on another BQ and a nice PR to boot! It was a wonderful day to race and I'm just happy that I qualified too so you didn't have to give me that awkward look at the end when you had to confess that you DID!

    1. I am glad too! Just wish I was on the other side of the fence when you crossed to give you a hug! I thought you had gone home or something after we didn't see you forever.

  2. I was really looking forward to your congratulatory hug and thought you forgot all about me, but Dennis almost squeezed the life out of me to make up for it! You can give me my bear hug tomorrow. I accept late hug payments! :) My stomach was really upset after I finished so I headed straight for the 18,000 runner long porta potty line!!!


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