The 3 hour Marathon

The sub-3 hour marathon. I have been chasing this monster since my very first marathon back in 1996. I thought I would be taming the beast then, only to realize it tamed me. My first marathon was Boston. I was lucky to be a lottery winner and couldn’t wait to prove I belonged. A qualifying time was 3:15:00 and my immediate goal was to prove I deserved to be there but my ultimate goal was to break the 3 hour mark. I knew very little about running a marathon at the time. I had a friend tell me not to take anything from strangers along the course and just drink water. I listened to his advice and assumed he knew best having run numerous marathons himself. I didn’t ask enough questions. I should have read more books on how to prepare for a marathon, but I was cocky and didn’t think I needed it.

As it turned out, my race strategy was a mess. I went out at a 6:30 pace, drank only water at the aid stations, took zero energy supplements and hit the biggest wall of my life at around mile 20. I never stopped running and was determined not to stop. I finally crossed the finish line in 3:23:00 (not sure of the seconds) telling myself I will never do this again. Since that glorious day, I have run 6 more marathons. Boston qualifiers in 5 of them, but never reaching my goal of sub 3 hours.
Mike Haedrich
Mike Haedrich

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