Blaine Moore crossing the finish line at the Cox Rhode Island Marathon.Well, race weekend is here. The Cox Sports Marathon is on Sunday morning, so I’m going to hold a contest of sorts this weekend.

Last year, I won the marathon in 2:43:27, which was pretty exciting.

Going into the race this year, I have 3 goals.

  1. Break the course record.
  2. Set the course record.
  3. Run faster than 2:37:00.

I admit it; I’m a bit single minded.

First, breaking the course record is actually impossible given that it’s a different course. But I want to run faster than that anyway. Saying that I want to break the course record is the same thing as saying that I want to set a personal best. (Breaking the course record sounds better though so that’s what I’m going with.)

I’d also like to set the course record, which is different than breaking it. Setting the course record means that I win the race again. Technically, I can win the race without setting the course record, but in that case I’ll go off the prior argument that new course = new record. I just want to win. (After all, my site isn’t called Run to Dawdle for a reason.)

My actual time goal is to run faster than 2 hours and 37 minutes. I’ll need to average a 5:59.5/mile pace throughout the race in order to do that. (Ideally, I’ll run faster than that.)

A few weeks ago, I discussed the difference in elevation between the old course and new course. Here’s the profiles:

Here is how I ran the race last year (on a slightly different course) and a projection of how I might do this year:

  Mile     2008     Prediction     2009                 Mile     2008     Prediction     2009  
1 6:05 5:40   14 6:10 5:55  
2 6:08 5:51   15 6:15 5:57  
3 6:10 5:51   16 6:05 6:00  
4 6:09 5:51   17 5:50 5:55  
5 6:03 5:48   18 6:12 6:00  
6 6:19 6:04   19 6:20 5:55  
7 6:08 5:50   20 6:34 5:58  
8 5:55 5:55   21 6:21 6:03  
9 5:59 5:55   22 6:27 6:05  
10 5:58 5:55   23 6:51 6:21  
11 6:00 5:56   24 6:49 6:05  
12 5:50 5:57   25 6:18 6:00  
13 6:06 5:58   26 6:01 5:49  

If I run that, it will bring me through 26 miles in 2:34:34, which is about a 2:35:45 marathon if I run the same average pace for the last 385 yards. Here’s where the contest comes in.

In the comments below, let me know what you think my finishing time will be. Last year, it was about 51° and it rained at the start, remaining overcast. I don’t pay any attention to weather forecasts this far out, so you are welcome to check into that to see how you think it might affect me.

My personal best is that 2:43:27 that I ran last year. I won’t be upset if you think I’m going to go out too fast and then crash and burn, nor will I be super ecstatic if you think I’ll carry forward a strong early pace into an unrealistically fast pace. Make a guess for what you think my time will be, be it honest or pulling a random number out of a hat. You know what I’m going to attempt to do.

What’s the prize going to be? Well, I have no idea. Bragging rights? A little running trinket? A running DVD or gadget? Leave a suggestion for what you think the winner should get; this is pretty informal so I don’t promise anything. Then again, I might just surprise you and award something cool.

Entry Rules

  • 1 guess per person, and it must be left in the comments below by Saturday night, EDT. If the comment is left on Sunday (even if it’s right at midnight EDT) then it won’t be eligible.
  • If your comment doesn’t appear right away, it probably got moderated, and I may not check the computer to approve it until Sunday night. Don’t worry; I’ll get it.
  • You must leave a valid email address in the comment box. It won’t appear on the site; don’t worry.
  • Valid entry must include a predicted marathon finish time including hours, minutes and seconds. Optionally, you may also include a prize suggestion for the winner. (Extra imaginary points if it’s creative or funny, but must be something a runner might like to receive.)
  • No prize other than recognition is guaranteed, but if there is one I’ll be contacting the winner by email. If it’s something that needs to be shipped, I’ll obviously need a postal address, but I’ll just ask for that in email if it is necessary.

So – guess away! How do you think I’m going to do? Feel free to guess what place I’ll come in, and commentary is also welcome.

Leave a comment in the box below: