Just barely outside of my prerace range of 2:45-2:50. I think mostly that I'm just unprepared to run a marathon. That doesn't bother me much, because I haven't gotten my mileage back up to where it needs to be. My plan was to roll on the downhills and take it very easy on the uphills. This plan may have worked if not for the fact that I'm woefully out of shape.
The mile markers where all over the place, so the times don't add up properly:
For the first three miles, I ran with a large group of Chad, Tony, Garrett Jones, Trevor and Taylor Monson (defending champ). 6:06,6:03,6:09 These were quite aided and felt really slow even though they were faster than I would have liked. I mostly wanted to stay with the group because it was cold and windy.
The next section was rolling hills culminating with a about a two mile long climb. In this section, Garrett and initially got dropped, caught back up and then were dropped again. Going up the big hill, Garrett pulled away from me and we both passed Chad and Tony (who went to the bathroom). Taylor and Trevor started put a lot of distance on me here. I felt really cold and slow. (6:25,6:34,7:27).
In the seventh mile (6:22), we crested the hill and I could see that the three ahead of me were not getting further away, but were probably about 30-40 seconds ahead. The course started going down again and I knew that if I wanted to catch back up I had to do it then. I did want to catch back up so mile 8 was 5:41, 9 was not quite so down, but I still ran 5:53.
I caught up and we were a group of four again, but now I had a head of steam. I was now feeling warmer and fast and my stride felt easy. Also, it seemed like maybe I was breathing less hard than Trevor and Taylor. I had little confidence that I could hold it together for the rest of the race so I just decided to run and see what happened.
10-13 were 5:52 (still down) 6:18(flat), 6:08,6:08. I think I had the lead when we crossed halfway. I had felt great during that stretch and very much in control of the race, but this feeling quickly evaporated. My legs started to lock down like it was mile 21, right at mile 13.
I backed off a little, but the others did not, mile 14 and 15 are basically flat (6:30,6:33) and I was dropped for a third time. I told myself that if I just kept my pace respectable than I might catch up on the next downhill. Unfortunately, the next downhill was pretty short and steep I sped up to a 6:12 for mile 16, but then we turned into a slight uphill with a terrible headwind. I could still see all three leaders here, but it looked like they were getting further away. Mile 17 was 7:05, including a steep hill. As I crested the hill I caught my last glimpse of Garrett and Taylor turning the next corner (Trevor was already gone), but they must have been half a mile ahead at this point.
I got to the same corner and finally turned out of the terrible wind I looked back to see Tony was closing in on me. A bit more downhill running 6:42,6:29 then one final climb in mile 20 (7:02). Mile 21-24 is all downhill so I was hoping to be able to roll, but my legs were really fried: 6:48,6:32,6:43,6:46. Allie joined me at about mile 22, which helped me a little. In the 25th mile (7:05) Tony passed me, but there was nothing I could do. I picked it up a little bit at the end to finish the last 1.2 at 6:49 pace.
Overall, it seemed like my legs betrayed me more than anything. After about mile 7, I never felt stressed aerobically. Hopefully, it's just a matter of getting more miles in.