Monday, November 9, 2009

Over the weekend, we went to Indianapolis to run the 2009 Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon. All of the flags, mostly US Flags, Indiana State Flags, and City of Indianapolis Flags, were at half mast in light of the tragic shooting at Fort Hood on Thursday, November 5th. The weather was particularly beautiful though for this time of year, sunny and close to 50-55 degrees at the start.

 At least 6,000 people participated in Saturday’s marathon and half-marathon. The course started from the Statehouse, wound through Downtown and then to the Northside areas of Broad Ripple, Butler University and the Museum of Art.

There was a strong wind from the South as you could see many flags along the course flapping heavily in the wind. As the 16th largest city in the country, I was taken back by all the flags flown near and on top of many of the buildings. It is truly a patriotic town, I love that.

Although the course was USATF certified (IN08015 MW), when I remapped it on ( it came out to 13.61 miles. As a runner for the Fleet Feet Nike Elite Racing Team in Chicago, I am generally aware when a course is long or short, so when I crossed mile 9 and my pace had suddenly slowed by more than a minute, I knew the course was markedly off.

I ran the rest of the way, not looking at my watch, and just trying to catch the runner in front of me. I felt strong and that I had maintained a consistent pace even though I had been slowed by 10-15 seconds going into the heavy wind in the final miles.

I finished in 4th place overall in 1:13:49 and was pleased! I am just getting back in shape and felt a top 5 finish was a great beginning to training for the Phoenix Rock 'n' Roll Marathon this January!

If the course were close to 13.61 miles or a half mile too long, then my time would have been approximately 1:11:00. Anyone who ran the half over the weekend should understand that they actually ran faster than their finishing time, so if you run a seven, eight or nine minute mile, divide that by two and subtract it from your finishing chip time. Aaron Moody, the elite athlete coordinator, has promised to email me when he figures how long the half marathon actually was.

Other than the course being long and the heavy wind from the South, it was a truly amazing event and well put together. I would definitely recommend this flat, fast race for anyone looking to run a great marathon or half marathon in early November.

Mark Rode of Indianapolis won the half marathon in 1:10:55 and Mathew Chesang of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, won the full marathon in 2:21:00.

Indianapolis Monumental Marathon

Runners hit their stride during Monumental Marathon

Brent Alexander