Marathon #93 – Bass Pro Shops Marathon Recap
During the summer when my wife and I were mapping out marathon options for the Fall races I had an idea of us doing Bass Pro Shops marathon in Springfield, MO. I needed to get a a sub 3 hour marathon in Missouri since my other two attempts about 8-9 years ago I came up short. My parents could meet us in Springfield, MO watch our kids and we could celebrate my Step-Dad’s 60th birthday. When we did something similar 2 years ago when I ran Bowling Green, KY the kids loved having a birthday party for Papa. My Mom thought it would be a cool idea so we made plans for it. I quickly booked two rooms at the Angler’s Inn which is right across from Bass Pro Shops and is a hotel maintained by Bass Pro. If you do Bass Pro stay at this hotel the start and finish line are right across the road, staff were welcoming for runners and gave late check-outs. Very convenient!
My wife, kids and I left Friday when I got home from work and drove around 300 miles and stayed at a hotel in Springfield Illinois. We got there about 7:15 pm central time. That was a great plan so that we could get a good night’s rest and it split the trip in half since Springfield MO is just over a 600 mile drive for us. Saturday morning after we both got a little run in we were on our way to Springfield MO. We ended up arriving in Springfield MO at 3 pm for the packet pick- up.
Pack pick-up was in one of the buildings that are connected with Bass Pro Shops. It was very simple process and they had various vendors. You got your number and clear bag with some goodies in it. Then they had you go through the banquet hall and walk around the vendors to get to your race shirt. Shirt was a nice ¾ zip with thumb holes, perfect to use on future runs. After the expo we went into Bass Pro shops for a little bit and looked around. Definitely would like to go to the aquarium sometime in the future that they have there.
Race day weather was pretty good, there was some wind, but all the rain moved through during the night and it wasn’t as windy as it was the night before. Going into Bass Pro I knew it had a few hills, I grew up in Missouri so I know there are plenty of hills. I found some great advice from the good folks at Fleet Feet Springfield from Youtube the week of the race as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhVDm_ucyB0 The plan was to stay really relaxed the first 7-8 miles since we had some hills. After the first mile I would know who was running the marathon or half marathon since marathoners turned right and half marathoners went straight at that point. I ran my first few miles 6:19,6:14,6:10,6:19, while dealing with some early hills, I was sitting at 6th place at this time, and then I took my first Honey Stinger gel at mile 6.
At around mile 9 the course flattens out some, and I start picking it up some for the next few miles and moved up into 5th place. I really liked miles 11-14 I really moved very well. Mile 11 was 6:06, 12, 6:08, 13, 6:11,14, 6:09,We ran right by Missouri State University and had some great straight sections after running with some turns the first 7 miles some straight stretch running was nice. I took my 2nd Honey Stinger gel at 13, since I knew next aid station was mile 14. For most part aid stations were every 2 miles, with some closer towards end of the marathon. Then we went through a pretty cool section through downtown Springfield from miles 18-19. At this point the marathon runners joined back up with the half marathon course the rest of the way. Just after 19 we had a decent hill coming out of downtown, I took my 3rd gel right after that hill. We had a nice slight downhill that took us through mile 20. We went through another neighborhood around mile 21 and I hit a 6:07. I did a quick watch check and knew I was on pace for 2:45 as long as I don’t slow down the last 5 miles. I knew we had some decent hills the last 2 miles of the race. A section on mile 23 I didn’t really like and neither did my wife. You had to go thru this little short tunnel under the road and to me it felt like I was almost about to hit my head and it was a little muddy from the rain the night before. I think my paced slowed there just because I was ducking my head 6:22 on that mile. Time to get back into it I thought to myself. I saw up ahead and it looked like a marathon runner was within striking distance. I caught up to him around mile 23.5. Now I’m in 4th place. I knew the next 2 miles would be a challenge with the hills coming up. Mile 25 was 6:18 as I am passing some half marathon runners. Mile 26, 6:11. The last .2 your going straight downhill to the finish line. 2:45:27 was my finish time and 4th male finisher and a sub 3. Funny thing is this is my 4th 2:45 marathon in 2018. Overall if you want to a race in Missouri I would recommend Bass Pro Shops races. Yes there are some hills, but I wouldn’t say it was a hilly race. Enough rolling to keep you patient and to make things interesting. My wife ended up 2nd female with a 3:15 and scored $500 cash for that. She got some bragging rights since I was one position away from getting money.