4 Stories from the 2015 Twin Cities Marathon Weekend
There was something like 30,000 participants during the 2015 Twin Cities Marathon weekend of events. That’s 30,000 tales of triumph and despair, jubilation and heartbreak, doubt and self confidence. Stories of suffering and pain as goals were missed, but also stories joy and elation as goals were reached and exceeded.
In my experience, runners love to share their stories. After every race I have run, I talk about my mile by mile breakdown to just about anyone who will listen (thank you family). I process what I may have done differently to have run even faster.
I am also inspired by the stories from others. They help us feel like we’re connected to something larger than ourselves. They unite us in a shared experience, and feeling of togetherness, regardless of where we finished in the pack.
We recently shared a recap of the 2015 Twin Cities Marathon, the elite finishers, and a few sentences about “faces in the crowd.” Below is a deeper glimpse into the race stories of four individuals. From the 5K to the marathon, some of our readers shared just a bit about how their race went. Hopefully it will give you just a taste of what it’s like to participate in Minnesota’s biggest running event of the year.
Alice Sodergren – 5K and 10K
Alice didn’t do the marathon, or the 10 mile. Instead, she raced the 5k and 10k. In 2014, she wanted to do the Looney Challenge, but couldn’t due to injury. Unfortunately, she missed the 2015 deadline as well. She wasn’t able to get into the 10 mile either, so instead of skipping race weekend altogether, she created her own version of the Looney Challenge (the mini-Looney Challenge?). She recalls that,
“This year was a year of recovery and getting back to baseline! I am so happy that I have met my race goals and am looking forward to maybe next year doing my 4th marathon – Twin Cities!”
I appreciate that Alice has big goals, but also knows her own limits. Unlike some runners (myself included), she is allowing herself the opportunity to set and achiever smaller goals before tackling bigger ones. That is a great way to build positive momentum!
Sarah Stevenson – Marathon
This was Sarah’s 11th successfully completed marathon. During the 2015 Twin Cities Marathon, she learned something important about herself: she is a lot faster than she thought she was.
“During many of my marathons, if I started out too quickly (attacked the race), I would often bonk and finish slower than I should’ve. As a result, I began running marathons defensively: starting slow; staying slow through 13.1 or 15 or 20 miles and then try to pick up. I wasn’t confident in my training enough to attack the races. I set PR’s this way, slowly working my time from 5:00 to 4:12 over the years.”
She made a few changes to her diet, and started following a Hanson’s plan, which got her down to a 3:53 pr. Still, she wasn’t satisfied. After sitting on that 3:53 for two years, she decided 2015 was the year to go for it. She decided, “I was going to attack the race and either set a big PR or crash again. It paid off – I set a 5 min PR and never crashed. I just attacked the race – I really raced a marathon where before I feel I just ran them. I learned I can attack a race, start out at my goal pace and maintain my goal pace for an entire race. Great feeling.”
This is a powerful lesson. I think most of us are faster than we think we are, but for whatever reason, don’t take the risks we need to test that out. Good job Sarah!
Fred Goodrie – TC 10 Mile
Fred had a tough race. He missed his goal, but came close. He was optimistic however, because the final mile of his TC 10 Mile was his fastest of the whole race. “I learned that no matter how tired I am…I still have gas left in the tank to finish the race at the pace I wanted to finish.”
Although the hill around mile 2 tried to “suck the life out of me…” he kept his composure and saved some energy for the end. This is typically a sign of a mature runner: When you don’t let momentary setbacks define your entire race.
Fred is hoping to tackle his first marathon at the 2016 Grandma’s in Duluth, and wonders if he is crazy to also tackle TCM that October…
No Fred, not crazy at all!
Derek Brown – Marathon
Derek ran his third Twin Cities Marathon in 2015. In 2014, he was hyper focused on qualifying for Boston (sounds familiar). He tensed up, and had a very unpleasant race (and missed the BQ by 14 second). His takeaway? “When you are tense or put too much pressure on yourself, it takes the fun out of the race, and you make mistakes… You can’t perform at your best, and you definitely do not have a good time.”
After stewing over this for weeks and months, he decided to take another shot at a BQ in 2015. Unfortunately, some Achilles paratenonitis hit in August. He says, “Instead of a BQ I was looking at no running. I cross-trained and managed to do a few runs in September. I realized how much I had taken for granted last year. The injury removed the pressure to hit a time goal, and made the race all about having fun again–the joy of running.”
He was happy on race day, felt wonderful, and actually enjoyed the race. “I ended up feeling great on race day. I smiled and interacted with the crowd the whole day. I ran strong, hit my first BQ, and improved from 2014 by over 1 minute. It wasn’t easy but it was awesome. It restored the fun to running and made me thankful for the ability to get out there.”
This is what running is all about Derek. Congrats on the BQ!
As you reflect on your own race (whatever that may be) take a moment to pause and reflect on these questions.
- How did your race go? Describe it.
- What stands out?
- What did you learn from it?
- Will you try again?