CITY AUDITOR RUNS THE NUMBERS THAT QUALIFY HER FOR BOSTON MARATHONBy Dave Wielenga
City Auditor Laura Doud qualified for the Boston Marathon today, lopping 32 minutes off her personal best to finish the Phoenix Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon—that’s 26 miles, 385 yards—in 3 hours and 50 minutes.
“It was just one of those days where everything lined up perfectly,” marveled Doud, 44, during a telephone interview from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, just before boarding a flight back to Long Beach. “It was beautiful weather, a flat course and I felt really strong the whole way—so I just went for it.”
Doud’s previous best was 4 hours and 22 minutes, which she achieved last Oct. 17 in the Long Beach Marathon. That’s an average of 10 minutes per mile.
While mindful that meeting Boston’s qualifying time—4 hours, even, for women in her age group—would require her to reduce her per-mile average by a rather unlikely 50-plus seconds (9 minutes, 9.6 seconds), Doud arrived at the starting line this morning determined to give it a try.
“I had decided to go out at a 9-minute pace,” she said, and set off with running partner Misty Comeau of Long Beach.
Encouragingly, as Doud passed the halfway point of 13.1 miles, she was still on that pace—“A little under, actually,” she noted—and more importantly, she was feeling good.
“I was feeling so good that I decided to try going faster,” she said, “and at mile 18, I picked it up even more.”
By mile 25, Doud’s pace could have been extrapolated into certain qualification for the Boston Marathon … except for one essential statistic—she still had 1 mile and 385 yards to go. And she wasn’t feeling so good, anymore.
“I was really feeling the effects of it all,” Doud acknowledged. “But I told myself I had come this far, this fast, and I owed it to myself to hold on.”
When she crossed he finish line, Doud had averaged 8 minutes and 47 minutes per mile—1 minute and 13 seconds per-mile faster than just three months ago.