Twin Cities Marathon Race Report


I ran the Twin Cities Marathon this past weekend. I originally signed up for this race back in January. At that time a lot of people I know were signing up to run the Chicago Marathon, which is next weekend. I almost pulled the trigger on Chicago, but didn’t really want to deal with the logistics of being out there with 45,000 other people. I still kind of like the smaller marathons (if Twin Cities counts as smaller, with 8200+ finishers), and am SO glad I chose this race.I flew in on Saturday and stayed at a hotel that was a couple of hundred yards from the finish line in St. Paul. The course is a point to point which starts at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. The buses to the start line conveniently left from my hotel in the morning, so this race could not have been any easier to run. I stayed in the Metrodome (home of the Vikings) until about 10 minutes before the start, which was both a blessing and a curse. Blessing, since the near perfect temperature of 38 degrees made it a little cool to be hanging outside in a singlet and shorts. Curse, since by the time I got outside, it was very hard to get very far in the starting corrals.I lined up somewhere behind the 5 hour pace groups and couldn’t get any further. Since my goal was to come in under 4 hours, this was kind of a drag but I figured I would make it up pretty easily in the first couple of miles. The race was a lot more crowded than I thought it would be however. It was pretty congested for the first several miles, and it wasn’t until around mile 8 that I was able to get past the 4:15 pace group and get into a more aggressive 4hr pace.

I can’t say enough good things about this race. The weather was perfect for running – stayed around the 40’s and not a cloud in the sky. There were people lining the entire course and they were loud and enthusiastic. Alan Page stands atop mile 3 playing his tuba. Somewhere around mile 24 I saw Senator and SNL alum Al Franken on the sidelines cheering people. The course passes many of the MN lakes and provides beautiful scenery, but in honesty I was so dead set on hitting my goal I know I didn’t take advantage of the landscape enough.

I ended up finishing in 3:57:43 which is my first sub-4 after numerous attempts. This is the first marathon that I’ve been able to run negative splits (aided in a big part to being held up in the first half for sure). I heard a lot about this hills going into this race, but I thought it was gently rolling which I think actually helped me. I felt like I still had some left in the tank though and I’m thinking I can do a little better at the Philadelphia Marathon next month. My mile splits are below:

Mile 1 – 9:12

Mile 2 – 9:25
Mile 3 – 9:38 (slowest mile)
Mile 4 – 9:27
Mile 5 – 9:18
Mile 6 – 9:16
Mile 7 – 9:10
Mile 8 – 9:14 (ugh, finally a break in the crowd)
Mile 9 – 9:04
Mile 10 – 8:57
Mile 11 – 8:52
Mile 12 – 9:01
Mile 13 – 8:36 (trying to hit a decent half split)
13.1 split = 2:02 hrs
Mile 14 – 8:56
Mile 15 – 8:47
Mile 16 – 8:56
Mile 17 – 8:44
Mile 18 – 8:47
Mile 19 – 8:37 (lots of people starting to walk)
Mile 20 – 8:45
Mile 21 – 8:49
Mile 22 – 9:01 (the worst of the hills here)
Mile 23 – 8:53
Mile 24 – 8:47
Mile 25 – 8:28 (fastest mile, sweet)
Mile 26 – 8:37
Mile .2 – 7:29

Loving that Finish Line

Capital Complex outside the Finish Line

Cathedral of St. Paul (bad picture but it was beautiful to run by!)

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8 Responses to Twin Cities Marathon Race Report

  1. Darrell says:

    I’d forgetten that you were gonna be there, too. I did see only a couple of other Marathon Maniacs there, so I may have actually seen you and didn’t know it. I was wearing my corporate singlet rather than my Maniac singlet. Congrats on the first sub 4:00, it is a great accomplishment. I’d like to be able to work my way back to that agian. Good luck in Philly.

  2. Denise says:

    congrats! so happy for you that you got that sub 4!! maybe i’ll see you at philly. you’re running w/ colleen, right?

  3. Ted says:

    Bastard !!! Just TOTALLY kidding ! I envy you. I have been trying to do a sub 4 and you beat me to the pulp. Hmmm… maybe I should ask you to be my pace bunny for Philadelphia marathon. Deal ?

  4. Congratulations, Paul!! What a HUGE milestone. Now that you’ve been there done that, it’s going to be easier to keep moving up (or down, as the case may be). Great job!

  5. Lisa says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Lisa says:

    I’ve read you blog for a while, but finally decided to post. Congrats on your first sub-4! I’ve been awaiting your post on the TC marathon with baited breath.

    I live in Minneapolis and Sunday was my first marathon. I agree with you- I can’t say enough good things about this race! The course is beautiful (coming in at 5 hours, I had a little more time than you to enjoy the view!), the crowd is amazing and that view down the hill to the Capitol and the finish line was just incredible. I couldn’t have asked for a more positive first marathon experience- so much so that it’s inspired me to try and join the 50 state club (Fargo and Chicago in 2011).

    Anyway, glad to hear you had such a good time in my little city(cities)!

  7. shannon says:

    Congrats on the sub-4 at the TCM! I ran TC10, we started at 7:00am, and I’ll agree that this was just a great race. Such a beautiful course. I loved the view of the capital as we approached the finish. Nice crowd support too.

  8. ExSoccerGuy says:

    Way to get that sub-4:00, and with a negative split, to boot. An important stepping stone on your road to Boston.

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