Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Marathoned out

My fiancee and I have returned from the far reaches of the north after an enjoyable weekend. The Paavo Nurmi Marathon was on Saturday. Thankfully a bout of storms kept the sun from coming out until the last five miles, which enabled me to run my fastest marathon ever: 2:56.39 -- good for fourth place overall. Here are the top ten:

I always start fast, so on Saturday I ran the first five or six miles with Ben Schneider, who won the Paavo for the second year in a row. For the first time, a video company was filming and, since we were in the lead, they were driving right in front of us. After I let Ben go, I ran with third place John Storkomp for awhile, then let him go as he surged, trying to catch Ben. I caught him again at the half, though, as we crossed in 1:22 (imagine if I could keep that pace for the second half!). We ran off and on together for five or six miles, me slowing on the hills, then surging to catch him again. I lost John for good on the steep hills before we turn onto Highway 51 for the last five miles. Somewhere in those last miles, 48-year-old John Beirl passed me, and went on to catch Storkomp as well. The best part of the marathon, though, came at the very end, where I gave my fiancee a kiss before crossing the finish line. We'll always remember that one!
Then there was soreness, further travels to Iron Mountain and my great aunt's Carmelite monastery, and finally a return to work this morning. And work there is, so I had better get back to it!


John said...


Nice to see you again on the marathon circuit. Those Paavo hills are notorious and brutal. Glad we were able to finish before the real heat of the day started.

See you soon.

John Beirl
Ashland, WI

Franz Klein said...

And it was good to see you run as well, John, although I would have preferred to have seen you after crossing the finish line and enjoying a cup of finnish stew! Best of luck in your running. Perhaps I'll see you at another race!