If you have been running as long as I have, since 7th grade, roughly 20 years then you will experience failures along the way with races. I’ve had my share of them over the course of my running career with over 200 races in my life that I ran. I’ve even heard the chatters and haters say throughout my career, maybe he needs to see a sports physicist, or maybe your not that good. Now like I said I have had some failures throughout my career, and I don’t remember every little failure, but I have become a better runner, and person overall. It makes winning taste that much sweeter too. So below is my top 10 race failures.
1) 2004 High School State Track meet- 3200 meter race. To this day this race is vivid in my mind. Overall I finished 10th in the finals out of 16 runners. I moved up throughout the race. 4 spots from hitting All-state in track. I know if I had that race back I would of been a little slower first two laps for a better kick in the 80 degree Missouri weather.
2) 2008 NAIA TRACK nationals- Marathon event. I was in top notch shape my senior year in college, hitting great times in workouts and meets. Nationals were held in St. Louis area that year and it turned out to be a humid and hilly day. That day my legs just cramped up later on. Finishing in 2:56 was not my plan, but that’s all I had. A terrible way to end my college career. It took me a while to do another marathon 9 months to be exact, just because how this race turned out.
3) 2010 Xenia Marathon Xenia, Oh I came into the marathon thinking I could win this race. Early on it looked like it would be a nice battle I was with the leaders then about 12 miles the wheels feel off. I cramped up (not sure if it was due to juice I had at breakfast or a gel) it was so bad I ending up walking/running most of the way back with my head down in disappointment. Hurts really bad considering the winner was 2:52. To this date it is my slowest marathon that I wasn’t a pacer. I ended up with a 3:22 (OUCH).
4) 2011 Maple Leaf indoor marathon Goshen, IN- I had a battle with a fellow runner Gary. Eventually I took the lead while we struggled with cramps. I had probably a 2 minute lead on him. Then he took a drink of some Coke and magically gained it back, meanwhile I dealt with some cramps in the hot building and he passed me and got the win. I got 2nd.
5) 2013 Run for the Troops marathon Dyersville, Iowa- Nothing more annoying then waiting around for a race to start. We had to wait an extra 90 minutes due to a rain storm. Granted I had a great early part of the race, felt decent on the gravel rail trail. My pace wasn’t slipping much in the humid conditions, but all of a sudden at mile 22 a guy flew by me. I was defended at that point and slowed down the last few miles. He ended up winning, I got 2nd.
6) 2014 Girls on the run 5k Buffalo, NY. Since my wife did a race on Saturday in PA, I thought it would neat to hit a race on Sunday on our way back. It’s not like I had a bad race 16:43. It was the fact I got out kicked the last mile. I ended up 2nd. The winner shredded the last mile and beat me by like 20 seconds. At least my son cheered me up.
7) 2014 ONU indoor marathon- Ada, Oh. I was again battled a guy in the lead. Legs felt good early on. Then I got a stomach cramp, I think due to the red Gatorade. I came in with a 3:08 and in 2nd. Way slower then what I was planning on.
8) 2014 Potato Creek Marathon- North Liberty, IN. Trail running is a different beast. One moment you could be climbing muddy hills, or twisting back and forth on switchbacks. I had a huge lead early on in the race. I was familiar with the course since I have done in the past. I still had a lead with 6.5 miles to go. Hitting the mountain bike trails again took its tool on me. My hip flexors tighten up and I eventually got passed with 4 miles to go. 2nd was tough especially since I had a decent lead.
9) 2017 Boston Marathon Boston, MA. I am still upset with how Boston turned out. I trained my butt off to prepare. Sometimes the elements of mother nature ruins your plans. Having 72 degrees at race start was not ideal weather. I was running smart, then got a nasty Charlie horse on my hamstrings around mile 18. Only good thing at least I got a sub 3.
10) 2017 Morgan Valley marathon Morgan, Utah. I knew the race would be a little challenge with elevation 6,000 feet at start, and hills to contend with. I was running very well early on and got the lead at mile 5. Was cruising along hitting great splits. At 20 I was getting a little tired maybe due to sweating, and elevation. I started to slow a little bit. That cost me, at mile 24 I got passed. At least I came in 2nd got a sub 3 and still got some prize money, and gift card for shoes.