Fargo Marathon 2008: Play by play of men's race

Jeff Kolpack blogged the men's race suboerbly from start to finish but did not get his early predictions correct. He was probably quite surprised by Eric Sondag overtaking the Kenyan John Rotich in the last few miles. On Monday, Rotich's coach reported that Rotich injuried himself during the race and was not fatigued by his previous Lincoln marathon. He thus downplayed Sondag's strategic assumption that Rotich may not have enough to keep pace in last 2 miles. Sounds a little bit like rhetoric to me. Injuries in running can be the result of fatigue, lack of stretching, or over-exertion. There might be more. Nevertheless, even injuried, Rotich finished 3rd.
The men's half and marathon course records made this weekend were not too substantial. Neither broke the previous record by large amounts. I suspect the wind may have been doing a bit of damage. Fargo has yet to break the 2:30 barrier in the marathon despite a few runners who have bested that mark. The presence of the Duma Racing Club members really put some excitement into the 4th year of the Marathon with that possiblity. They deserve some props for coming up this way.
Hopefully next year more elite runners will come and create another fantastic race. Especially more elite women should come too because the women's races need a little competition. This year I suspect a lot of elite US women were going for the Olympic Trials last month in Boston. A Tico (aka Costa Rican) Gabriela Trana won the women's half with a time of 1:20.04 but well ahead of the next competitor. I doubt she is related to Jesse. The women's world record is 1:06.25


Eric said…
Thanks for the respectful comments in your blog entries. Strategy comes into play in a huge way when a guy like me goes up against someone with a much faster performance, and I was very pleased that my plan worked out. I was very disappointed in the Duma coach for making those comments, and even more disappointed in Jeff Kolpack for writing a very one-sided article that could just has well have been titled 'Sondag Gets Lucky, Wins Race'.

One goal that I wasn't able to achieve was bringing the time under 2:30. I had made a decision at mile 21, just after passing Matt Thull, to shut down the time trial for sub-2:30 and save up for a race for second place with Brian Anderson. At the time, Rotich was still running strong, two minutes ahead, and I had missed my bottles at the last aid station, and was worried about running out of gas, and losing my spot in the top three.

The three miles before Rotich came into sight at 24 were 5:48, 5:56, 5:55. Miles 24 to the finish were 5:38, 5:32, and 5:21, with a 2:29 final half mile into the dome. I had a lot left, and not using it up to get the sub-2:30 is one of my only regrets in the race.

Next year will be even better. There will be several Fargo guys, and a few more North Dakota guys with a solid shot at 2:26 to 2:32 times. Very exciting to think about.

Thanks again. Cheers!

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