Marathon Date: 10/24/04
My Age: 68
My Finish Time: 5:03
My Marathon Rating: Worst start of race – I tripped at the start
Memorable Moment: Trip to Gstaad
Show respect for other runners in the race. Do not drop clothing or other articles along the race route where people are running. Drop the articles on the side of the route away from the runners so that the they do not trip on them and get hurt.
Marathon selection and registration:
I selected the Lausanne, Switzerland marathon as my 6th worldwide marathon after receiving a recommendation to run the marathon from runners that I met at the Budapest, Hungary marathon. I had traveled to Zurich Switzerland a number of years ago and was very impressed with the people and the country so it was very easy for me to select Lausanne as my next marathon. I registered on-line for the marathon on 04/17/04 and received my race number [#1498] along with a brochure with all of the marathon information 2 weeks after I registered.
Marathon Training Program:
My Lausanne marathon-training program consisted of an 18-week 750 mile training program as well as participating in 3 races for my charity. I ran a ½ marathon in January and the Boston marathon in April 6 months before the Lausanne marathon. I qualified for the 2004 Boston marathon in 2003 when I finished the NAPA Marathon in a time of 4:09 – I beat my required Boston qualify time of 4:35 by 30 minutes. With The results of the ½ and marathons that I finished I felt very confident of finishing the Lausanne marathon in a very good time for my age group. I considered myself very fortunate not to injure myself during the aggressive 18-week training program and the 3 races that I completed.
12/30/03 5k race – finish time = 24:15 * 1st in age group
01/18/04 Carlsbad, CA ½ marathon – finish time = 1:49 *2nd in age group
04/19/04 Boston, MA marathon – finish time = 4:41
I flew out of San Diego on 10/19/04 for Newark, New Jersey and then on to Geneva, Switzerland – my flight to Geneva was late because we had to wait for the pilot who was stuck in a traffic jam on the way to the airport. The 7-hour flight to Geneva was a smooth flight with little or no turbulence. After passing through customs I bought a train ticket to Lausanne at the train station, which was close to the airport. The train ride only lasted for an hour and it was a very smooth and comfortable ride and then a 15-minute taxi ride to my hotel. I checked into the Hotel De La Paix at 12:00pm. The hotel was centrally located and was only about 15 minutes from the start of the Marathon. After I unpacked I went out for a walk and while walking I met a woman who was originally from New York and was now living in Lausanne. She told me that her 2 sons were visiting her from La Jolla, California and they lived just up the street from my apartment in La Jolla – it really is a small world. Prior to, and after the marathon, I took the train and visited the cities of Geneva, Bern, Gstaad, and Ouchy. I also spent time walking around the city of Lausanne and the waterfront as well as visiting the Olympic Museum.
On 10/24/04 I took the Tram to Montrond and walked to Place de Milan, a very nice park, where the start of the marathon will take place. I arrived 45 minutes before the start of the marathon and already there were many runners waiting for the start of the race. I met a number of runners from the US while waiting for the start of the race.
The weather was perfect for the marathon cool with a slight mist of rain. The race route would go out for 13 miles and return along the same rout although the route back would be a challenge as we would be going along a road with many hills. The route would be very scenic as we would go through small towns with cobble stone streets – the route took us along Lake Geneva with the French Alps in the background.
My “worst nightmare” for my worldwide marathons for kidney cancer research is that I get hurt during the race and would not be able to finish the race. My “worst nightmare” almost came true when the gun went off for the start of the race, and as I was setting my watch while on my way over to the start line, a runner in front of me threw a plastic bag (that he was wearing to keep warm) in the air, and when it came down it somehow got wrapped around both of my feet. At the time that this happened, I was moving pretty fast to keep up with the group in front of me I went flying in the air and did not have time to break my fall with my hands. I landed very painfully on my left shoulder, hip, elbow and knee and I had to lie there as all of the runners either jumped over me or ran around me.
It felt like I was lying there for about 10 minutes before most of the runners had passed me. I felt like the woman in the commercial – “I’ve fallen down and I can’t get up”. When I finally had a chance to get up my left shoulder, elbow and knee were very sore and scraped. I went to the side of the road to get out of the way of the remaining runners who were just going over the start line. My shoulder, hip, elbow and knee were pretty scraped up but were okay but my left hip was the most serious and painful of my injuries. As I do not have the option to drop out of any of my worldwide marathons I moved onto the race route at a slow pace to finish the race. I figured I had lost between 10 to 15 minutes due to my tripping at the start and felt with the injuries, especially the hip, that I would not come close to my finish time goal of 4:10. I started running again but at a much slower pace than my planned marathon pace of 9:45 min/mile for the next 3 miles.
At mile 4 I was now running at my marathon pace goal and everything seemed to be okay – hurt a lot but not bad enough for me to stop running. At miles 5 to 10 I picked up my pace to around a 9:30/mile pace trying to make up the lost time I lost at the start of the race. Miles 11 to 13 I again increased my pace and when I reached the halfway point [mile 13] my half marathon time was 2:20, which at that pace would give me a 4:40 marathon. At mile 20 my hopes for a decent finish time were over as my injured left hip locked up and it was very painful for me to lift and move my left leg. Mile 21 found me doing a very slow jog to ensure that I would meet my commitment to my donors that I would finish the marathon.
I finally crossed the finish line in a time of 5:03 – I was not a very happy “Camper” when I finished the race. Because of an inconsiderate runner who would not take a few seconds to go to the side of the road to drop his plastic bag I got injured and was not able to meet my marathon goal which I had trained so hard for 18 weeks. After getting my medal and getting something to eat I took the Tram back to my hotel and got some ice and iced down all of my injuries – stayed in that night and kept icing my left hip – painful sleeping. The next morning I took the train to Gstaad [famous ski resort for the rich and famous]. The train that I took was a small train and the ride was fantastic – the route wound up through the mountains with beautiful and scenic views all the way to Gstaad. When I arrived at Gstaad I walked [actually limped] around the small town of Gstaad. I returned to my hotel on the last train out of Gstaad – it was a great day after a miserable marathon day. That night I packed for my return back to San Diego.