Duke City Marathon

Posted on 10/17/2022

One thing I've had on my running bucket list for a while (I only have what, 10 more years to do this?) has been to win my hometown marathon, and I was finally able to accomplish it this past weekend, in 2:37:48!

I've been putting in a lot of high-effort long runs on Sundays -- 24@6:05, 23@6:20, 20@6:01 -- and I thought a long run of this type of effort might be enough to win the Duke City Marathon in a down year. I knew it would be a bit of a crapshoot. In the decade since I started paying attention to the Duke City Marathon, I think I've seen winning times as fast as 2:24 and as slow as 2:50. The real focus of my season is the New York City Marathon on November 6, so I wanted to be able to win without really needing a monumental, above-and-beyond effort. If someone showed up and wanted to run 2:25, I would have to concede and try again another year.

I had some company from my friend Derrick for the first four or five miles, and then it was a moderate-to-hard solo effort from that point on. It was 50 degrees and cloudy, with a little bit of rain and wind in the middle miles, which was actually perfect for a marathon. I'll absolutely take 50 and cloudy over 55 and sunny. Even when it's cool out, the Albuquerque sun really beats down on you when you're out for over two and a half hours (I did wear sunscreen just in case, though).

Time and time again, I'm struck by the friendliness and camaraderie between the competitors in the marathon. There isn't a hint of toxicity or shadenfreude. Everyone wants everyone to perform their best, and this was on full display at the Duke City Marathon.

On another note, I think the city and the running community here in Albuquerque (myself included) need to re-double their efforts to make the Duke City Marathon a great experience. The bosque is beautiful in the fall, and the early morning October weather is rarely not excellent for a marathon. While I am grateful that I was able to shine on my home stage, there should be no reason that I can win the premier marathon of a large city like Albuquerque in an easy 2:37. A little enthusiasm and some more funding could go a long way.

Now, I go back to focusing on New York, and hopefully I'll have another great race report in three weeks!