Bradley Harris

Race Report - Quebec City Marathon

  • Goal: < 3:09:59
  • Result: 3:14:50

At the Las Vegas Marathon in December 2011, I finished with a 3:10:36. Just 37 seconds too slow for a Boston qualifier for 2013. After the race I decided to let it ride with just one more shot before registration for Boston 2013 opened. At the Quebec City Marathon I fell short. The Quebec City Marathon (or more properly, Marathon des Deux Rives) is in late August. According to the marathon website the average starting temperature is 60F and the average afternoon temperature is 68F. This year the starting temperature was 70F and it was in the high 80s by the afternoon. As I boarded the bus to the start at 6:45, I was not overly concerned about the heat. I had done plenty of training runs during the summer in the hottest part of the day to prepare for the possibility of a hot day. I would have loved the cooler weather but I planned to head out at goal pace anyway.

The first several miles are on streets and slightly downhill. There was little shade but I adjusted well and hit splits between 6:45 and 7:00. At around mile 4 the course veers onto a bike path and there is some intermittent shade. I was able to settle in very well and the pace continued to come easily. At mile 15 is the steep climb away from the river before crossing the bridge from Levis to Quebec. I slowed but felt good starting the initial climb. Over the next three miles, fatigue was surely getting to me but I relaxed and looked forward to the flat terrain on the other side of the river.

Mile 19 was downhill as we came down from the bridge I pulled out a 6:59 and found a serious stash of overconfidence. After leaving the bridge behind I soon realized what was in front of me: 7 miles of 2 lane blacktop, the sun directly in my face, and temperatures climbing into the mid 80s. At 5K to go I was pretty much toast. I decided not to torture myself and walked about half of the final 3 miles.