My first (and not last) Marathon Race Report - November 2009


This weekend is the anniversary of my wife's first 1/2 marathon.  We ran it in Healdsburg, California and I used it as a training run and to pace her.  I was training for my first marathon which was going to be in in San Antonio and was the Rock-N-Roll San Antonio.  So with this weekend on my mind I thought I would post my race report.

I have learned so much from this race and am fired up to go sub-4:00 this time around if not in the 3:40 range.  And the beauty was the knowledge that I would do an Olympic triathlon in 2010 as well as another marathon.

When I read this again I realized my first mistake and that was NO BREAKFAST....what was I thinking?  For the US Open Tri Championships this year I packed a breakfast so I was ready for the race.  I guess this proves that you learn a lot through experience.  All that being said my next marathon is in a couple of months and I'm ready to roll.....


So to make it easier for me to inform everybody on the story of running my first marathon I figured I would type it out and all could read.

On Saturday Night I enjoyed a great dinner with our friends from Castle Hills (Adam and Karen) and when I got back to the hotel I laid out all my clothes, setup my tri belt with Gu, got my sneakers ready with the chip, made sure sungleasses were available as well as the Garmin.

Went to bed around 10:30p and when that alarm went off at 5:04a I laid in bed for 2 minutes but then realized that I had to get up b/c the last bus left at 6am.

So I got out of the hotel room at 5:30a with everything but my iPod. Thought I forgot the iPod in Dallas all weekend. Of course on the ride home while getting gas I found the iPod in my travel bag.....oh well.

Standing in downtown San Antonio for over an hour I finally got on the bus. The bus took me to the starting line and it was 7:15am but I had to use the Porto-Potty. The gun went off while I was in line but thankfully it was a a rolling start. I went to the nearest corral and the line was not moving so I jumped out and then back in 3 corrals up. Still not moving so I jumped out again and moved up another set of corrals and finally the line was moving.

Got to the starting line around 7:51am and the run was off and going. I slarted out slow and paced myself for a 9 min/mile. I got to the 13.1 mile marker in under 2 hours and I knew I was on pace to achieve my goal of 4 hours. The race was progressing nicely and I was feeling good.

Prior to the 13.1 mile marker the greatest site was seeing the Kenyans at mile 24 (I was at 12) and they were cooking. I'm not 100% sure I saw sweat on them. It was amazing to see these incredible athletes.

Just prior to that there is a split-off for the 1/2 and the Full. I passed that split-off and said to myself.....Guess I'm doing this.

I got all the way to Mile 18 and was on pace for 4 hours and felt great. That is until the 18.5 mile point and my right quad just started to cramp. I knew immediately that I was dehydrated. I pushed through it all the way to mile 20.5 when the left quad bagan to cramp. I would stop and stretch and push myself for 0.5 to 0.75 miles until I had to stop again and stretch.

i took as much water and Cytomax as I could handle but at this point there was no way I was going to be come hydrated so I just kept pushing myself.

All the words of encouragement from my friends played in my head and pushed me along the route. At that 20.5 mile point there was a young man on all four's throwing up and I said to myself that will not be me. I will finish this without losing my cookieds. 0.5 miles later there was a young lady on the side of the road with paramedics getting stretched out and again I said.....not me. Keep going.

I got to mile 23 when the right calf began to cramp horribly. I pushed and pushed until the 25.5 mile marker and the left calf cramped up. I stopped and stretched. I finally got ready to go and ran and ran and ran. At the turn toward 26 miles two pictures showed up. The first was a man on the ground with the paramdedics and I almost yelled at them to put him on the gurney and ush him to the finish line. The second picture was the steepest hill on the course (who designed this finish?) Sure enough both calf muscles cramped again right at the 26 mile marker but I was not going to stop. I ran the final 0.2 miles with my feet flexed and passed people along the way.

When I made that final turn toward the finish line there was no stopping me. Quad cramps, calf cramps, tiredness.....nothing. I crossed the finish line with my arms up and have never felt the sense of accomplishment at an athletic event that I felt when I crossed that finish line.

Thank you to everybody for their help, their encouragement and positive vibes. I could not have done this without you.

Most importantly was having Karen and Jackson at the finish when I was done. Two bananas, an orange, Cytomax and them.....what a finish!!!!!

Of course after the finish I had to talk the desk clerk into letting me into the room so that I could shower. Karen had setup ice bags for me for the 4.5 hour car ride back. The ice bags were helpful and hopefully just as helpful as the ice baths that Melissa and Jill told me to take during my training.

Will know more tomorrow about that.

At the end of the day I am ready for 2010 and an Olympic Distance Triathlon plus another Marathon.

Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.