Our first marathon experience, Eric's and mine, was the 2011 Bangkok Marathon. We finished it in 5hrs 17mins. I won't rehash that experience here, but I will say that this time was much better ;)
The race itself started at 3:00 AM which had us waking up at midnight and in a taxi by 1:30 AM to get to the starting line in time for a toilet break and some electrolytes. This went off without a hitch and we were exactly an hour early for the race. Pre-race was a little pacing around, visiting the toilets and quickly saying hello to a local group of runners "Bangkok Runners" who I have trained with on occasion. I also talked to a couple Kenyan marathoners in the toilet queue who insisted that I needed to go train with Ryan Hall (American marathoner) in Colorado ;) Just some small chit chat between runners to cut through the tension and ease some of the pre-race anxiety.
Pattaya and finished right behind in Pattaya who I noticed again at the start of the marathon. He was wearing another body suit but this time his suit had silver striping criss-crossing his butt, so I nicknamed him "Shiny Bottom", or something less appropriate if memory serves me ;) So anyway, I knew Shiny Bottom was fast based on his previous marathon times that I had dug up online. He's a sub 3:30 marathoner, meaning that Pattaya where he ran just one second faster than my 3:48:50 was a bad day for him (darn hills). So I see this guy right in front of me for the first 10 kilometers and I stay with him, his shiny spandex no more than 5 meters in front of me for the first 45 minutes of the run. But every time I pass a kilometer marker I looked at my watch and saw that I was going way too fast. Shiny Bottom eventually started pulling away near the 15 kilometer turn around point and would go on to finish at 3:26 on the day.
My short term goal on the day was to pass the 15km turnaround point at a time of 1:15 which is 5 minute kilometers., I arrived and turned at 1:10 and tried to slow it down as I was 5 minutes too fast. Another goal was to cross the Rama 8 Bridge in the dark. Last year's race we were walking at the 30km point, where the bridge is located and it was already getting light out, so this year I wanted to get over the bridge while the sun was still below the horizon and in the dark, therefore getting the "poor" photos on the bridge.
Eric, unlike me, never really hit the wall this marathon. He intentionally started out slowly and worked his way into his pace. I was looking at his times at the checkpoints and he just killed the last 8km!! The last 8km is where people slow usually from running out of energy or just from being tired. Eric ran a negative split for that final tough part of the race, 44 minutes or 5:23/km! I ran them in 51 minutes or 6:17/km!
Overall time 3:42:45 (PR)
Overall place 84 of 1,152 marathoners
40-49 year old 26 of 367 marathoners
Overall time 3:57:58 (PR)
Overall place 145 of 1,152 marathoners
30-39 year old 31 of 224 marathoners
Full marathon 1,152 runners
Half marathon 1,656 runners
Other distances Reported at over 35,000 runners for 10.5K and 4.5K runs
Total runners 40,000 runners