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Hamptons Marathon - Results

"Tim and I. If you don't know who is who, our names are on our shirts”

This past Saturday, September 27, Patti’s uncle Tim and I ran the Hamptons Marathon in East Hampton, NY. This was Tim’s 7th marathon, my second. Summary of the week and the race.

Base Camp

Tim and Deb, Patti’s aunt and uncle, flew out from Minnesota on Thursday, I picked them up at JFK, and we headed to my wife’s parent’s house in Hampton Bays. The in-laws house was Base Camp for all of us. I worked from their home on Thur and Friday, and Patti came down with the kids on Thursday night. In all, we had 6 adults and 3 kids all staying with Jim and Pat. They were great hosts, as usual.

The Course

Thursday afternoon we drove the course, which was really pretty...

PS. Read Tim's blog entry here

Thursday afternoon we drove the course, which was really pretty. It had rolling hills on narrow roads through the woods, went along the beach, and across some really beautiful areas of the east end of Long Island. For those who have never been to the east end, Long Island is a beautiful place. East Hampton and Bridgehampton are two of the most exclusive places to live in the country.

The course wasn’t flat though. Not terrible hills, but a lot of gently rolling hills that went up and down gradually over the 26 miles. It also had a patch for a couple of miles that was a dirt road, which will mean something when I describe the weather.


Friday we picked up our packets, I took some calls, and we had an early pasta dinner that could have fed another 12 people. Pat, Patti’s mom, is a wonderful cook and made our pre-game meal really nice. I got to bed early, and was ready.

Saturday morning Jim drove us the 45 minutes to the race staging area. The rest of the family would head out later to cheer us on.


The weather, oh, the terrible weather. Ugh. There was a Nor’easter heading to our area during the week and it hit Thursday night. So for the day and a half leading up to the race, we had heavy winds, a ton of rain, and overall pretty miserable weather. Unfortunately it did not pass by the time the marathon was to take place.

The rain stopped late Friday night and was not raining early Saturday morning. But the humidity was 95% and with the race starting at 8AM, the rain of course started again at 7:30AM. When the starting gun went off at 8, I was soaked by 8:10. The rain stopped around 8:30, and over the next 5 hours we went from light drizzle, to heavy drizzle, to torrential downpour where you could not see more than a few hundred yards, to cold driving rain off the water that felt like it was hitting me head on coming sideways. At mile 16, I changed my socks and got a new hat, and they were soaked within a mile. Overall, the weather could not have been worse. Tim said it didn’t bother him, but I wouldn’t have stood in that weather to watch a football game, let alone run for 5 hours.

The rain didn’t kill me as much as the humidity. When it is dry, I run well. When it is humid, I do not. It’s that simple.

And that dirt road, it was mud.

The Race

To put this marathon in perspective, there were roughly 300 people who ran the full marathon. Last year, at the Marine Corp Marathon, there were roughly 30,000 who signed up, and I think 25,000 ran it. With the Hamptons Marathon, there were probably a couple of hundred spectators. With the Marine Corp Marathon, there were probably over 100,000. So when Tim and I got to the starting area, it was small and very manageable, not overwhelming to me like the MCM in DC.

The streets the race was on were fairly narrow, with not a lot of long straight stretches, which was kind of nice. When you are on a long straight road with nothing on either side, it seems so long. When the road twists and turns, I can’t see how far the next mile marker is so it seems less daunting.

Tim and I crossed the halfway point, mile 13.1, at the same time. We met up around mile 12 and did the half at 2 hours 15 minutes. But shortly after, things turned bad for me. I had a tough training schedule this summer since I traveled every week leading up to the race. I wasn’t able to get my long runs in as much as I would like to have, and I started to feel it around mile 14. By mile 16 I was in trouble. I knew I would not be able to run the entire race, but knew I could finish if I stopped and walked, which I did. Tim ran the entire thing and finished in his second best time ever, at 4:41. Since I walked and even when running went fairly slow, I finished in over 5 hours at 5:07. But hey, I finished.

Our Support Group

Patti, her parents, and Deb, with our three kids, made up our great cheering section. They were at a point in the race where we saw them at mile 9 and then again at mile 16. They held signs and met us for a quick high-five. At the 16 mile point, I changed socks and a hat, and Tim changed his shirt. Since it rained pretty much the entire time, our family did a great job at sticking with it. They had ponchos, but it was pretty miserable, and they were troopers.

When I saw them at the finish line, in the POURING rain, it was wonderful. The kids were really great. Nice to have them.

Team Garry

I forgot what mile point it was, but it was early in the race, around mile 4, I saw a guy about my age and height/build, running with a shirt that had his name on it, Gary. When I ran last year, and again this year, Patti screen printed “Dave” on my shirt, so I knew what he was doing. What I didn’t know was that Gary was a celebrity. I turned a corner with him a few feet in front of me, and at the bottom of a hill was a large black SUV with tinted windows, and about 8 people who piled out and put up a professionally made sign that said “Team Gary”. They cheered and cheered, it was like Obama was running and Biden was driving the Suburban.

So later on, about a mile up, they were there again. Screaming and cheering Gary on. They got in their truck and raced ahead of him.

Around mile 15 I ran with Gary for a few hundred feet. We chatted, both of us pretty miserable, and he pulled away. Well, the next time I came across his support team, they saw my name on my shirt and gave me the same treatment they gave to Gary. I was Obama Junior.

That started a great time between me and his support team. After a while, I started yelling at them that I was going to catch Gary, which I eventually did. Then I heard them cheering for him to catch me. And every time they drove by me, they yelled out the window more support. I honestly think that, even with my awful finish time, this group of people got me through the last 10 miles or so. Some of the nicest people you could come across during a race who treated me like Gary. I told them I would buy each one of them a beer for helping me out, which unfortunately I did not do after the race. Speaking of, when I finished, I hugged everyone, Tim, who came back and ran the last couple of hundred yard with me, took pictures with our medals, and then I went to look for Gary and the black SUV. If I could not buy them a beer right then, I wanted to shake every person’s hand.

When looking at the race results, I found out his name is Gary Cooper, from East Hampton. I’ll find him someway to buy that beer.

After the Race

After the race we went back to the cars, changed into dry clothes, and headed home. Had a nice afternoon recuperating, and had local pizza for dinner. At first I was disappointed with my time, but at the end of the day I finished with my head held high. I spent some quality time with my friend Tim, and got to do something that most people have never done, finish a marathon. When I finished the Marine Corp Marathon last year in 4:48, I didn’t want to run for a month and felt like taking it easy for a while. But after the race this past Saturday, it was completely different. I can’t wait to get back out there, start to train harder, get to the point where I can do 13 miles like its nothing, train for 26, and run another marathon. I need to prove to myself that with proper training, I can run a respectable time.

As for Tim, he is doing a half in January, and will probably do another full next spring. That will make 3 marathons for him in about an 8 month period. Pretty impressive.


The thing about this race that was different than last year, was I had much more fun. In the back of the pack, especially the last 10 miles, I made some friends. Team of the Miserable, I called it. Since my name was on my shirt, everyone said hello to me. Gary’s crew made me well known to everyone around me. And I had one woman even say she was sticking with me since it seemed like I knew what I was doing. The last 45 minutes I stayed with a lady in her 40s who has three kids, and we talked the entire time. She kept my head up and made me realize that running is part fitness, part mental, and part social. People who run things like this are generally good people, even if they are as slow as me. And while I might not have made my mark on running history, at least I finished and have another metal to keep in my drawer.

Next year, it’s another marathon, and this time I’ll be ready.

Some pictures…

"Mile 9”

First spot Tim and I saw our cheering team. Kids were holding signs.

"I was pretty beat, and still had 10 more miles”

This was the same spot as mile 9, but now its mile 16, after a few miles of running into cold wind and driving rain from the ocean.

"Team Marathon”

Everyone who was out for the marathon, including Patti’s parents, Patti’s aunt and uncle, and our kids.


See the rain? It was like that off and on for the entire race. But it kept things cool, I guess, and wet.

"Another couple of feet, another couple of feet…”

Me finishing up.

"The kids having something to eat”

Our cheering group were great, because the weather wasn’t nice. The kids did well. This is them with Patti’s father Jim.

"Uncle Tim”

This is Tim at the mile 9 viewing spot. He has run 7 marathons, and will do 3 in 8 months.

"A couple of winners”

Tim and I at the end. I’m the one with the ‘Dave’ shirt, and Tim is wearing the black and white hat.

PS. Read Tim's blog entry here


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