Erie Marathon, we meet again! This was my 17th marathon, and the 5th time I’ve run Erie. It started out great in 2014 & 2015. I ran a 3:53 each time and qualified for Boston! In 2016 I finished right at 4:00:00. Who does that?? A bit disappointing to not get a sub 4 hr by 1 second. I returned in 2019 and the humidity got me – finished in 4:14. Since my husband had decided to run it this year I decided to join him. And, the race was a Boston qualifier for both 2023 and 2024 due to the date of the race. I knew the 2023 time was out of my reach but 2024 was a good shot because my time decreased to 4:05 due to a new age group.

The race packet pickup is pretty legit – we had to get our pictures taken with our bib to insure we were really the correct person running the race. Erie marathon consists of two laps around Presque Isle, which is where we picked up our race swag. We got a hat, soft long sleeve shirt and a canvas bag. Nice stuff!

We carb loaded for dinner at a local restaurant Valerios.

Then we checked out downtown Erie (Pennsylvania). It was a pretty night!

We stayed at the Red Roof Inn Plus, which was downtown but only 15 mins away from the race parking. The hotel was newly renovated, which was nice, but I didn’t sleep well with the air conditioner blowing on me. No matter, I woke at 4:50 am before my alarm went off. We left the hotel by 5:45 and arrived in the parking area at 6:00 am. The race parking was a .6 mile walk from the start line, so we used the flashlights they gave us so we wouldn’t trip along the way. We got to the start area with plenty of time to use the porta potties, check a bag, warm up and talk to our friend who was pacing.

The temperature was 67, which was a little warmer than I had hoped, but it was drizzly. The rain actually felt really good and I’m glad it rained the whole time! I selected a race outfit that was a little out of my fashion comfort zone (cropped top!) but I was happy to see so many woman wearing a similar style. You’ve got to dress for the weather!

I still didn’t have a clear plan on my race strategy so I lined up close to the 4 hour pace group. I need better than a 4:05 to BQ, but I also know I don’t get faster in the second half of the marathon. When the gun went off I ended up running with the 3:55 group in my sight. After a few miles I was part of the 3:55 pace group and the current pace felt comfortable. The group got messed up a little when the pacer had to use the bathroom, and I fell behind their group a bit. I crossed the half way point at 1:57. I was feeling very happy with this pace. Mile splits were: 8:48, 8:55, 8:46, 8:54, 8:43, 8:47, 8:44, 8:57, 8:49, 8:50, 9:00, 9:01, 9:01. My mile alert was clicking off before the markers and I wondered if the pacer was running fast because her sign said 8:57 was her goal pace.

After the half my pace started to slow, but no worries, I had time banked. According to my calculations I needed a 9:06 pace for a 4 hour marathon and 9:16 avg pace to get 4:04:50. I hadn’t seen the 4 hour pacer yet and my average pace was around 9:00 still. Splits from miles 13-20: 9:13, 9:14, 9:25, 9:26, 9:26, 9:38, 9:49. My long training runs had been around 9:25 and I figured I could probably run 9:25 for the second half of the race and still get my BQ. Race math, right? I think it was right.

Just before mile 19 I saw my husband walking on the course! UH OH. I really wanted to walk with him, but I told him I couldn’t. He later told me he for sure thought I was going to BQ because the 4 hour pacer was still behind me. And at that point, so did I! Mile 20 brought a small overpass (very small!) but I took the opportunity to walk up it and take another GU. My quads were now screaming at me! I did the math and figured I would still BQ if I could keep each mile faster than 10 mins. No problem! Well, actually it was a big problem. Try as I might, my pace was slowing down. Soon, the 4 hour pace group passed me. I couldn’t hang with them. Mile 20-22 splits: 10:20, 10:09, 10:29. Ugh. But then I thought, well somehow the 4:05 pace group hasn’t passed yet. I still have hope!

I did take a few more walk breaks. My quads were on fire. The rain felt great but it was making the road have unavoidable puddles now. I kept telling myself, I’ve still got this if I can only get a 10 min mile for these last miles…. Mile splits: 10:40, 10:23, 11:26 (!!!). Wow, my legs were just not cooperating. As I went down the finish chute I could see the clock. Maybe there was still hope for something under 4:10! I “sprinted” in with a 10:58 pace. Whomp whomp, finish time was 4:10:06, avg pace 9:33. 25th out of 31 in my age group. This is a competitive race! (Note my blue lips in this picture. Nope not cold, just exhaustion I think!)

I made my way back over to the race course to watch Alan finish. He was having a rough day. He pulled a muscle back at mile 10 and had been run/walking (but mostly walking!) the rest of the course. He finished in 4:33. He was in a lot of pain.

Funny thing – I later realized there was no 4:05 pace group! I do wonder if my Endorphin Pros cause my quads to hurt more than other shoes do. It was a very flat course and my quads are quite sore. Am I disappointed in my race? Not really. I wish it would have been faster, but I really did try my best. I am happy to have only sore quads and no injuries (that I can feel right now!). I didn’t even have any blisters or chafing from all of that rain. That’s a big win!

Remember that .6 mile walk from the parking area? Oh hey, the walk back after the race felt extra long on sore legs, and it was uphill and raining (no joke!!). Now to rest a bit, and figure out what’s next in my racing!

I’m joining Kim (Kooky Runner) and Zenaida’s link-up, Tuesday Topics.

33 thoughts on “Erie Marathon 2022 – race recap”
  1. Amazing work and I love that medal (I’m assuming a v competitive race like that has a cut-off I couldn’t manage which is a real shame as bird medal!!). Alan did amazingly, too, that’s a very hard thing to do. And no chafing from a run wholly in the rain!

    1. Competitive because the majority of the people were there in hopes of qualifying for Boston, so a lot of faster runners! Interesting to note that the medal doesn’t have the year on the front. That has to do with their cancelled 2020 order. The race organization wanted to save resources and make sure a bunch of medals didn’t go in the landfill when they preordered them so they just put stickers on the back with the date! Smart idea. It’s a small race.

  2. Dang! 25th out of 31 with that finish time??? That is crazy competitive! Your finish, although not what you’d hoped for, is still a decent finish time. Like you said, you did your best (and the race day conditions weren’t exactly perfect), so you finished knowing you didn’t give up. And, minimal post-race DOMS is pretty sweet

  3. Congratulations!!! This is a solid marathon time, despite not being what you initially wanted. I feel bad for your husband (is he okay?). I have to laugh at your 2016 result- 4:00:00- yes, I would be a little frustrated with that! I guess it’s good you didn’t come in at 4:05:00 this year. Anyway, I hope you’re both feeling good and recovering well!

    1. Oh heck yeah, I would have been kicking myself for sure if I had a 4:05:00 finish!! My husband thinks he will be feeling all better within a week. I hope he is right! He did get the job of driving home (3 1/2 hours) because he was the one with the more functional legs after the race 🙂

  4. Congratulations! Wow that is a competitive AG for sure! I can totally relate to how you were doing that pace math. That’s so me! Haha! Hope your hubby is ok!

    1. I really did think there was a chance! I don’t want to run the numbers to see if I really was correct. I think it’s funny I was trying to stay ahead of a pace group which wasn’t ever going to pass me!

  5. Congrats on your race! I got to spend a few hours in Presque Isle a while back and it is a gorgeous place.

    I don’t think I knew about the exact 4:00:00 finish! There may not be an award for it, but hitting an exact time should count for bragging rights if nothing else.

    1. Presque Isle really is pretty! They had the park closed to bikes and cars for most of the race, but I think the traffic started back up around 10:30, so right about the time I had that last hour to go. That was a bit annoying.
      The redeeming factor for the 4:00:00 finish was that my husband paced me and he got 4:00:01. LOL! But still, it would have been ideal to go maybe 2 seconds faster throughout that whole race… ugh.

  6. What an exciting read. I was rooting for you the whole time…

    Sorry you didn’t BQ. And you were soooo close!!! But you really gave it your all. And at least you didn’t end up injured.

    Congrats on a great effort!

  7. Goodness, what a competitive age group you were in!!! I loved how who wrote this recap – I felt I was right there and for a moment, I thought that 4:05 time was well on track! But so glad you’re not disappointed – I think when you know you’ve given your best, it makes such a difference, as there are no regrets. Well done to hubby as well. Getting injured mid-race is not fun and he did well to finish as strong as he could!

    1. It really could have been on track… but then the darn reality of my slowing pace put an end to that! I’m pretty sure at least 75% of the people there were trying to qualify. It’s a fast course!

  8. You did great, Lisa!
    Even if this wasn’t the BQ you were hoping for, 4:10 is a great finishing time!
    If you’re in a new age group for Boston 2024, wouldn’t that get you in?

    I’ve never heard of having to get your picture taken with the bib for the race, but it makes total sense! There must be a few people out there who “hire” runners for them, ha!

    1. 4:05 is the time for 55 and older, which I will be on race day for 2024. My birthday is April 20th, which usually happens right after Boston so I have to wait a whole year after that! My qualifying time for 2023 is 3:55… which it has been for 10 years now. I’m not getting any faster so a bump in time is my best shot!
      Yes – This race is a big qualifying race so they started taking pictures of runners a few years back to make sure no cheating happens. It does have a few places you could cut the course (but there are marshals…). It’s legit!!

  9. Wow that’s a really competitive field!

    I know it wasn’t the time that you hope for, but congratulations to both you and your husband for finishing the marathon!

  10. Quad pain is a for real killer!!! That sounded a lot like my recent marathon. I was doing great until my quads just couldn’t take it any more. Maybe it IS the shoes?!?! I use the Endorphin Pros too. I blamed my quad pain on some unexpected hills, but now I’m curious…

    Congratulations on another marathon finish! I love your enthusiasm for chasing goals, but also your willingness to let it go and still celebrate even if things don’t turn out how you planned. Well done!

    1. I really do have my suspicions about the Pros. The same thing happened at Glass City when I wore them. I tried to get more long run miles in them during my training cycle this time around, but I did want to save the speediness for race day. Who knows!

  11. I’m so sorry it wasn’t the race you hoped for. 67 at the start is pretty warm (even with the rain). No chafing is definitely winning, I can chafe on little 3 mile runs sometimes LOL!

    I love that you’re ok with it though. All we can do is our best on any given day — you’re totally right!

    1. I think it would have been miserable if it wasn’t raining. It was a bit of a miracle that I didn’t have bad chaffing! I did have one little spot due to a string or something poking me in my sports bra.

  12. That’s a tough way to run 26.2–in the rain! What advice did a friend give me once? The first 20 are a warm up and the race happens in the last 10k? Well, that never worked out for me, lol. Sound like you gave it your all and you can be proud of your finish time! I didn’t realize that it was such a small race and yes, very competitive. Nice job Lisa!

    1. For sure, the race really begins at mile 20! I knew the 2nd half was going to be rougher.
      Luckily the race really went by fast. I actually found myself saying “oh, only 10 more miles to go!” and so forth. I tried to keep a positive attitude.

  13. Great recap. I can’t believe you’ve run the same race so many times! It must be a good one! I don’t think I’ve even run the Twin Cities Marathon that many and its one of my favorites of all time….

    You look so strong and were well trained for this for sure, but that last 10k is always a bugger. Sorry to hear about your husband’s injury, hope he’s on the mend.

    Congratulations on another marathon finish! Always something to be proud of.

    1. That last 10K is usually make or break time. The Erie marathon really is a solid qualifier for a lot of people. Despite my current love/hate relationship with it, it’s probably still my favorite race 🙂

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