McKenzie Merlander: Time: 3:01:57. "Yeah, overall I’m happy with my race. I wanted to run around 3 hours. Obviously breaking that 3 hour mark would have been a little bit better but I’ll take it for my first marathon. I think the hardest part was anticipating what I was going to feel like those last few miles of the race. I knew the first part would feel easy so I tried to be a little more conservative early on, that’s why I had negative splits. After mile 22, I definitely had to start digging.
"One of the things I will remember is seeing my high school CC team handing out water. I remember working the marathon as a high schooler, watching all the runners and wondering when I would run my first marathon.
"I think I was pretty conservative with my training, so next time around I might try and adding a few more longer tempos or incorporating some harder pacing in my long runs. Glad to say I have one under my belt now. I know I will do another one, but I need to let the soreness of this one wear off first :)"
A little sore now and quite tired, but overall a great first marathon experience. Look forward to doing another one (or many!) in the future."
"Those last six miles were rough. My mom and I ran the first 23 miles together. It was amazing to run with my mom! That lady is TOUGH! I definitely didn't realize how much it was going to hurt at the end..... All in all, I would say it was a character-building experience. I'm glad to have experienced the Twin Cities in this way and feel so grateful to have gotten to do this with my mom even if she did kick my ass in the end :) "