I forget when it happened, but at one point earlier this year I volunteered to pace our running buddy, Jeanelle Beland, to try to get her across in under 3:45. At the time, we decided to wait and see how the year went.
As it turns out, my Columbus Marathon didn't go as well as I'd hoped. So I certainly didn't think trying to pace Jeanelle for 42.2K would make sense. There would have been an excellent chance my hamstrings would tighten up as they did in Columbus and I wouldn't make it through the run. But there was another option: I could run the last 10 or 12 kilometres with her, which is the toughest part of the run, without question. So Jeanelle agreed and Jenny and I drove to Hamilton on the morning of the marathon.
I met up with Jeanelle just before the 30k mark. Our goal was to hit 8:34 per mile or 5:19 per kilometre. Here are our splits:
5:21 (690 m.)
Our average pace was 5:21 -- close enough.
Jenny got us Coca-cola which I carried with us the full 12 kilometres. She handed out cola to lots of the Runners' Choice runners, who definitely appreciated it.
Jeanelle was a champ. The first 6 kilometres we did together were tough -- a fairly strong headwind. I tried to block the wind for her, but I don't think it did much good. But once we turned around and had the wind at our back, Jeanelle was able to pick up the pace and kill those last 7 kilometres. Her finish time was 3:43:04 -- almost 2 minutes below what she needs to qualify for Boston.
So it was a successful day.