My second marathon was a much bigger success for me. In the beginning I was going to run the Grandmas Marathon again, but I decided to teach summer school which kept me in town. The Mayors Midnight Sun Marathon was perfect because it fell on the same weekend anyways. I basically kept the same Dick Beardsley Marathon training program, but did a much better job following it and getting my long runs in. I was feeling pretty good, but still didn't know what to expect as far as time. My goal was to run a sub 3 hr. marathon. I ran the Curtis Menard 5K four weeks before Mayors in a PR of 16:48 almost a minute faster than my previous record. Plus, I did that with strictly marathon training and no taper. The next day I ran with Jerry Ross, Casey Miller, John Clark, and Jens Beck. All four of these guys were top runners in Anchorage and I wanted to gain some knowledge from them. They took me on the mayors marathon course up to mile 16 and gave me some pointers. The run felt really easy for me and I finished the run having run 22 miles. If I would've just finished the marathon course that day I would have been right around 3 hrs. So, this gave me some huge confidence that I was ready.
I had a plan on race day to go out conservative and if I felt good to pick it up. I really wanted to break 3 hrs. so I also printed out a pace band for 3 hrs. to follow if I needed. I also found Esther Jurasek who is a great female marathoner in Anchorage who always runs around 3 hrs. and I knew that her goal was to break it too. She had no idea who I was, but I followed her for the first 9 miles. We were just under 3 hr. pace. I was feeling really good so I decided to leave my comfort zone and pick it up a little. I took a Gu every 5 miles and a couple times I took a defizzed Coke. The extra caffiene really did give me a quick perk when I was feeling tired. My good friend Kristi Waythomas was the one who taught me that trick and she was on the course handing them to me a certain spots as well. I was definetly flying pretty good the 2nd half, but was getting tired. I finished in 2hrs. 53min. 16 sec. I was very happy. My first half was in 1hr. 27min. and the second half was 1 hr. 25 min. So I had a negative split. My father and kids were their when I finished and I felt great. Couldn't walk, but felt great!