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Posts from the ‘Running’ Category

2012 Publix Georgia Marathon Race Report

The 6th running of the Georgia Marathon followed the course that has been run the past several years. Temperatures at race time were in the upper 50’s, reaching the high 70’s by the finish. The humidity level was pretty high for the first couple of hours. This led to sweat laden shirts, shorts and socks as the air could not absorb the sweat. Later in the race, the humidity eased, but the sun and hot air more than compensated for the lack of humidity.

In terms of race organization, things went pretty smoothly in spite of the hot temperatures. This year’s event was not as hot as the first year it ran, but some of the aid stations still had issues keeping up with demand for water & gatorade. Why they do not go ahead and fill 10000 cups of each at the first two aid stations is simply beyond me. I cringed when I saw runners clamoring at packages of cups to then hold a cup out for a volunteer to fill from a pitcher. Just ridiculous. Also, the finish line had no cold refreshments for the marathon runners. I’m not sure about the half folks, but when I hit the finish line I was handed a hot bottle of water. Yech.

I’m really proud of my accomplishment and need to reflect on the training that got me here. This wasn’t my best, but was far from my worst. And right now I’m just not happy with my physical appearance, although my physical conditioning appears to be spot on. Here are the objective details of my 6th Georgia Marathon / 18th marathon in general:



Michael Schubert #204

Age: 38 Gender: M
Distance MAR
Clock Time 5:14:45
Chip Time 5:07:56
Overall Place 1378 / 1868
Gender Place 962 / 1232
Division Place 172 / 220
10K 1:07:05
Half 2:22:34
22 1Mi 4:07:01
Divtotal 224
Sextotal 1260
Pace 11:46
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2012 Georgia Cup Resolution Run Race Report

Happy New Year!

This year started the same way that 5 others in recent memory have, with a 10k run under the moniker of New Year’s Resolutions. This event was a Georgia Cup series event, and I believe was the first year of its running. I have competed in the Atlanta Track Club Resolution Run a number of times, but found myself on the wrong side of a registration deadline. What was once a no-frills, $5 race is now an event that requires pre-registration (and $30!) several days in advance. So, I found myself racing closer to home in Norcross today.

It certainly did not feel like January 1st in Atlanta. The temperature was in the 50’s when I awoke and warmed up to around 60 under cloudy skies. Following the event, the sky opened up and then the winds came in. But as far as the race was concerned, the weather could not have been better. I raced in shorts and a short sleeve shirt and worked up quite a sweat on the hilly course.

The race was run well. I initially questioned the presence of merely 2 port-a-johns, but the line was never horrendous as only a couple of hundred folks were racing. The course itself was well marked and meandered through Technology Park. Police and/or volunteers were at intersections and the turn around points and kept us safe from what little traffic there was. There were plenty of water stops to keep runners hydrated. Sports drink would have been nice on the course or at the finish, but this is really my only complaint and it’s a minor one. The finish line festivities had more water, pretzels, bananas, Oreos, etc. – the usual fare. Results were quickly posted and traffic seemed to be a non-issue.

Here’s a look at the course for those of you who are interested. It is different than the one posted on the Georgia Cup site. In fact, it felt shorter (and my Garmin measured shorter) than a 10k. We’ll have to wait and see whether there is any official word on course length. No big deal either way – everyone ran the same course, it’d just be nice to know.

In all, it was a great day and felt really great to put on a number and run after nearly 6 months without doing so.  My final time was just over 54 minutes, and I came in 4th in my age group. My next race is likely another 10k in early February. I need to set another qualifying time for the Peachtree.

Happy running, folks!

2011 Peachtree Road Race Report

This year marked my 6th year in the event, and I am happy to say that for a fun-run 10k I finished in under 1 hour! My training this year has absolutely been in the abyss. Much of that has to do with a double dose of strep throat early in the year (January and February) followed up with a couple of sinus infections in late March and again in May. This simply has not been my year.

I had hoped to have a better showing in the Peachtree, and had actually made a friendly wager with Andy Phillips at work for lunch to the winner. The tale of the tape was as follows:

BIB # Name Chip Time Overall Place Gender Group Age Group
11274 Mike Schubert 59:50 11891 8530 1189
12701 Andy Phillips 59:24 11369 8201 778

In all, it was a great day and a great race. Interestingly, Andy and I started from roughly the same spot among the 60,000 runners. We were right at the front of time group C – he as on the right side and I on the left. We never saw each other though.

With that said, my training is cranking back up. I don’t like to lose!

Also of note, I have moved to a new provider – WordPress. I am tired of keeping up with updates for my software, dealing with a hosting provider, and only having a limited number of templates (most of the WordPress imitators anyway) to choose from. So I bit the bullet and came over here to the land of dominance. We’ll see how it goes. The biggest benefit is that all of my posts dating back to 2004 are now reunited in one location.

2010 Possum Trot Race Report

Today marked my 3rd or 4th running of the Possum Trot along the Chattahoochee River in Roswell, Ga. The course is fairly flat and fairly fast, and is a qualifier for the annual Peachtree Road Race. This combination makes for a large turnout for the charity race that supports the Chattahoochee Nature Center. My day started with crappy sleep overnight. Guess I have a lot of stress going on right now and that affected me. When I woke up I wasn’t really hungry either, but choked down a peanut butter bagel to get some energy flowing. A large americano from Starbucks about an hour later really awakened me and got me ready to run.

This was the 32nd running, and included chip timing for all participants. The d-tag system makes chip timing easy and affordable for race directors and gives everyone a finish time as if they ran a personal time trial. Many events use “gun time” which stinks if there are 1000 people and it takes you several minutes to even see the start line after the gun goes off. This makes this race even more attractive. There seemed to be some logistical issues with the placement of the mats. There was a fun run before the 10k and I think some 10k folks were too close to the finish mats and tripped the timing. We also had to avoid the finish mats in the first 1/4 mile of the race – leading to a bottleneck of runners as 2 lanes were reduced to 1. These are things that should be easy to iron out for next year though.

I can speak for the last 5 years and say the course has remained unchanged. I’ve included the map and elevation profile below and it is the same route that I’ve seen run since 2006. As I mentioned before, the course is fairly flat. When you turn onto azalea drive and pass the 1.5 mile mark, the sun hits you in the eyes and on a warm, humid day like today can really wear you down. I pushed through this section and was averaging 8:15 miles through the first 3 miles. I walked the 2 water stops that were out there to hydrate and turned in an overall time of 54:02. This is good enough to get me in the time group 1B section of Peachtree if I do no other qualifiers before next year’s registration (unlikely as that may be).

In all it was a great day. Not a PR for me but probably the best 10k I have run since starting to work at McKesson. My weight is back to where it was when I interviewed there, and I think I have finally found a balance that lets me get in ~10 hours a week of training while still taking over the world. The next 2 months will be the test as I prepare for several big races on my Fall schedule.

Thanks for stopping by!

Update 6/20/2010: Official results are found here. They have me at 54 minutes even. Makes sense – I can’t start and stop my watch exactly on the timing mats. I was 30/62 in my age group. I’m pretty happy with that considering I had a couple of gears left in me that I didn’t use.

2010 Possum Trot Course Profile

2010 Country Music Marathon Race Report

The 10 days leading up to this race had been somewhat anxious for me as the weather forecast consistently had a strong chance of thunderstorms. One of the few things out of your control on race day is the weather. All you can do is prepare for it both in your mental state and wardrobe choices. I did that.


2010 Country Music Marathon Packet Pickup
Originally uploaded by Iron Mike Schubert

The day before the race I picked up my race packet and officials described a contingency plan that had been developed in case of

bad weather. The weather forecasters had predicted a high chance for severe weather, including tornadoes, for race day and they wanted to have a plan in place to keep everyone safe. This plan basically revised the target marathon course closure for 4 hours 30 minutes. If you weren’t past the point where the h

alf marathon course split off (mile 11.2) at a 10 minute 20 second pace or faster, you would be diverted to run the half. There was no other update regarding contingency plans at the expo or on the website. I went to bed knowing these facts as truths.

I headed to the stadium in top secret fashion around 5:30 and was on a shuttle bus by 5:45. I saw massive amounts of traffic on I-24 but did not experience it. Upon arr

iving at Centennial Park, I headed to the port a johns and stood in line.

At around 6am, they started playing this looped statement that said “Attention runners, it’s almost time for the start of the race. Runners in corrals 1-15 should be in place by 6:45am. Runners in corrals 16-35 should be in place by 7 a.m.”. They played this OVER and OVER. It was maddening.

As it turns out – what the man on the tape was trying to say was “Attention Runners – The start time of the race HAS CHANGED FROM 7:00 AM TO 6:45 AM TO ACCOUNT FOR UNCERTAIN WEATHER. GET YOUR ASSES TO THE STARTING LINE IN TIME!!!” Furthermore – they sent out a twitter update.. at 6:41 AM central time saying that the race would begin 15 minutes early. That’s right – a Twitter update 4 minutes before the damn thing started. Of course, based on the looped statement I thought they were just trying to herd 32,000 runners (many of them newbies) into place to have an orderly start – so I went about my business.

 So at 6:45 I’m standing in line at a port a john by the start. I hear them announce “when the gun goes off, it’s to start corral #1 only”. Keep in mind – I knew nothing of the change in start time. According to the race plans, the wheelchair division was to start at 6:45 am. No big deal. Until corral #2 starts, and then #3. I’m still standing in line when the 4 hour corral #8 (my corral) starts. Oh – and this one was out of TP too. Fortunately, one right next to it had a couple of squares. Yeah – this is probably too much information, but I don’t care and you’re still reading.



Start of 2010 Country Music Marathon
Originally uploaded by Iron Mike Schubert

So I jump into corral 18 and start a little after 7 a.m. Keep in mind that I was ready according to the announced schedule, even with my TP emergency. I never thought I’d have that kind of emergency, but I plan in some buffer time for whatever crops up.

I’ve captured what things look like at the starting line. The sky is kinda gray, but the sun was peeking out behind me. I figured I’d finish around the 4 hour 30 minute mark and be safely back in my room before the sky opens. The start is VERY orderly. It wasn’t the cluster that the ING Georgia race start always is. I think this is because they stagger the start of the corrals by a minute or two. This made it so there was a lot less weaving to do to get around slower people. Also – it seemed that people honored their starting corral seeding. There weren’t nearly the number of walkers in front of me as in other races.

The early miles of the race ticked away. I was doing 9:45 miles and then walking through the water stops, so through mile 15 I was right on a 10 minute pace. The scenery was pretty cool running down broadway, through the recording labels, etc. The bands and volunteers on the course were good, too. Everything was going just fine.

Then mile 18 approached with a long uphill. I slowed to a

walk and powered up it. I knew the last 10k was pretty flat, so if I could save my legs here, I would be in good position for a solid all-around race. As I crested the hill, I noticed the clouds darkening and the wind picked up. Police offers that were once in standing in intersections were now seated in their cars and a series of buses were lined up going the other way around the 12 mile mark.


Mile 19 in the Rain
Originally uploaded by Iron Mike Schubert

Around 18.5, officers began to announce “There is a fast moving storm approaching. We are not closing the course but advise that you seek shelter immediately.” I looked around and only saw a Rite-Aid. I pressed on. It began to rain and I snapped a few photos of me and the course around mile 19.5. It wasn’t nearly as bad as the rain at Ironman Lake Placid, so I was still in good spirits ready to turn in a good run.

Mile 20 was downhill across the Cumberland River bridge. The half marathon people rejoined the marathoners on the course as they prepared to turn right into LP Field and finish. I couldn’t believe that there were still people running (crawling?) the half when I was at mile 20. I made 2 right turns and suddenly it dawned on me that something was amiss. I didn’t memorize the course, but I knew that I had to run past the stadium to do the last 10k, but they just had me do a haripin turn that would have me going on the wrong side of the stadium. I asked someone and they said that they had closed the marathon course.

I was livid. There were a total of 3 claps of thunder while we were out there, and the rain had actually stopped by the time I got to the finish. I was really still confused because the plan presented was that they would close the course based on a 4 hour 30 minute finish time. I was ahead of that. I asked an official when they decided to divert people right there and he said “oh, 45 minutes ago or so.”

So there you have it. A great day wasted. I was handed a finisher medal that I didn’t earn and was walking on legs that were trashed for what amounted to a training run. 20.5 miles in 3 hours, 34 minutes. Someone owes me a 10k. 

The real kick in the pants was that finish line was still in full swing. If there was truly a weather issue, the souvenir tent should have closed and packed up. The beer sales, masseuses, photographers, and all the other Competitor, Inc. Rock N Roll marathon bastions of capitalism should have ceased to operate and instead worked to move people to safety. Based on their actions, there was clearly no danger.

As with some of the reports of pre-race traffic issues I have seen, there were major post-race traffic issues that resulted in huge traffic jams leaving the stadium area. Again – if there was truly a weather issue, these people just became thousands of sitting ducks in their cars. If people had finished in a normal and orderly fashion, you would not have had a massive number of people leaving at the same time.

Skyline After (During) Race
Originally uploaded by Iron Mike Schubert

Fortunately, my top secret way in worked equally well on the way out. Here’s a picture of the skyline shortly after I was told to stop running. Looks kinda nasty, I guess. Nothing severe, though.

gt; Now for the ratings. These are on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the best:
Course: 5 — Scenic. Challenging. I think I could train to PR here fairly easily.
Spectators: 3 — They are ever-presented on the half marathon course, but virtually non-existent on the marathon only sections.
Organization: 2 — This was the 11th running and the organizers clearly never asked themselves “What if?”. It does not seem like they reached out to their fellow race directors for advice, either.

Overall: That’s a 3 friends. Will I run this race again? Maybe. It’s expensive, and focused almost entirely on people in the half-marathon. But there aren’t many opportunities to do 26.2 in Tennessee, and the post race night life is a definite plus. We’ll have to wait and see.