Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Saga of the Maraþon: Reykjavikur Maraþon (8/18/12)

(at the start)

Race: Reykjavik Marathon
Location: Reykjavik, Iceland
Goal Time: 3:10:00
Actual Time: 3:18:50

In the 30th year of the reign of Olaf Folkekongen – King of Norway – Jesse Spencerson went with his family to move his homestead from Atlanta in the south of Vinland to Boston in the North.  From then he set a goal to run the Marathon of Boston one day.

By the 40th year in the reign of Margrethe II – Queen of Denmark – the qualifying time for Jesse Spencerson was 3 hours and 10 minutes.  In his first battle of the year – at Providence – this goal he failed to achieve.  And thus it left like Nevsky’s Battle on the Ice – the Marathon of Reykjavik.

The day of battle dawned, and with his forces for marathon and half and 10K, Jesse made his way down the Wash Road toward the start of the race.   Under the Red Awnings brought by the Islandsbank, Jesse of Somerville and the rest of the forces awaited the start.  As the gun was fired he spoke this verse:

  1. Upon the sound of the starting shot
The surge of Hoenir’s human cohort
Took by winged foot the tölt toward
Thor the Thunderer’s blessed forty-two.
And past the councils of Man and the Geese’s pond,
The thousands in the cohort thinned in pace
And spread in gait into the capital seaport’s gate,
As I began the road to Boston’s qualifying place.

With a couple of easy miles to warm the legs and face the challenge of running 24.2 more at a pace set to qualify for the Boston time.  At 5km in there was a band of troubadours playing one of his favorite songs – “The Final Countdown” – and thus Jesse knew this was his day.

(longboat sculpture, Reykjavik)

The race turned toward the harbor - shops once placed as a poor country’s entrepôt – and ran about the old village’s kitchens and shops.  Then past the sculpture of the longship, Jesse said:

  1. The wrought relic raises its iconic mast
And glints against the outline of Ejsa
Harkening back to the water-walkers ridden
By the founders of the City and Commonweal.
Along the coast I run
Hearing the call of Siegfried’s music horn
Following the words of Egil’s mead of Odin.
It carrys my feet at a quick gate
It carries my kilometers ever faster.

Down from the first great hill, he ran with allies found along the way.  These five men pitched into the wind hid about the long road into the city.  But upon 18K, those battling the full marathon went left and those battling only half stayed straight.   Jesse Spencerson was the only of the five to go left.  And up the second mighty hill he ran toward the hills of the sports halls and stadia.  Alone. 

At 20K words of encouragement and greetings of support came from Brian as Jesse Spencerson passed.  At half way through (21.1) the time was but 45 seconds off, enough for him to close and still qualify.
(Hamming it up for the Camera)

Winding through the park atop the hill Jesse ran through the zoo and past the hockey rink.  He was passed quickly by the relay men in green and then soon by Brian of the Three Musketeers relay.  Jesse told him of the position of the men in green. 

Out of the park and tired Jesse entered the bike path that ran along the south and against the old National Airport.  Of course there was yet another pretty (yet small) foss along the way.

30K struck and Jesse was hit with a moment of truth, 45 seconds slower than his wanted pace.  Thus, he spake:

  1. Alas another 45 I need to make
If I am to Shawmut be in 2013.
Oh the speed is not fleet of feet
And the lead to qualify flees from me
Perhaps with another 2000 meters along the sea –
As long as I see no tricks from Loki –
If I can but save this race for me.

But at 32K, alas, he was not faster but 5 seconds slower.  Thus, Jesse with no chance to reach his goal accepted this minor defeat and as not to injure himself for another week, with hiking and biking in Iceland to see, slowed to 8 and 9 minute miles.  He dropped in 9K from 40th to 63rd as those many in the middle passed him.  At 1 mile to go (right before 41K), he made a last desperate charge.  First passing an Albanian and then 5 others.  His last 8 minute mile brought him in to break 3:19 and place him in 57th!

(First place team award, finisher medal and BIB)

  1. Though city streets
Over central Olmsteadian like ponds
Along seaside boulevards
Upon the hills of suburban avenues
Down into dells on parkland paths
Through fog engulfing dunes
            With reeds two meters high
Now I make my way around
To the big finish to cheers of friends.
Hooray! Hooray!
Marathon number 4 complete.


-          Mariah took second overall and second in her age group
-          SoRad, Korynn, Brian T and Laurie all had PR’s!
-          Shark Tank also qualified for Boston (on her “goddamn Birthday!”)
-          The Three Musketeers (Andy and Brian K.) took second in the relay
-          SRR – En Fuego (Mariah, Brian T and myself) won the team competition
-          SRR – AV Club (SoRad, Korynn and Victor) took third in the team competition

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