"By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail"

Ft Worth Cowtown Marathon

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Member Since:

Feb 02, 2009



Goal Type:

Age Division Winner

Running Accomplishments:


  • First marathon - White Rock, Dallas, December 2005 (4:01)
  • First BQ - St George, 2007 (3:20)
  • First Boston - 2008 (3:30)
  • 1st Place Clydesdale - Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon - 4/2007
  • 1st Place Ultracentric 6-Hour Champ 2007 - 38.75 miles
  • 1st Time Leading Pace Group, Cowtown '09 (3:39:41)
  • 1st Place Overall, Porcupine Promenade 5K (20:10) - 4/2011
  • 1st Trail Race. Grasslands Half Marathon. 1st Overall Masters (1:53) - 3/2013
  • Leadville LT100 MTB '16 - on a mountain bike, but the toughest challenge, so far!

Marathons Run (27):

  • Dallas White Rock ('05, '07,'09,'14)
  • Chicago ('06, '08)
  • OK City Memorial ('07)
  • St George ('07,'09,'11)
  • Waco Miracle Match ('07)
  • Ft Worth, Cowtown ('08, '09,'10,'11,'12,'13,'15**)
  • Boston ('08 '09*, '10, '13)
  • Park City ('08)
  • San Antonio Rock 'n Roll ('08)
  • Steamboat ('09)
  • Utah Valley ('10)
  • Houston ('12)
  • * - PR

Ultras (3):

  • Ultracentric 6-Hours ('07 - 38.75 mi)
  • El Scorcho 50K, Ft Worth (('08, '09)


  • 5K - 19:27 (6/2008)
  • 10K - 41:49 (5/2008)
  • 15K - 1:04:14 (9/2011)
  • Half Marathon - 1:33:12 (1/2011)
  • Marathon - 3:19:47 (Boston 4/2009)
  • 50K - 4:35:53 (7/2008)

Short-Term Running Goals:

Keep injury-free.

2016 Races

Ft Worth Cowtown Half Marathon

Long-Term Running Goals:

Be age-group competitive for many years!

Have fun running!

Make some great friends along the way!


Married to the same wonderful woman since March 1988. 3 adorable kids.

Look for me at www.facebook.com (I'll be your friend)

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 0.00
Asic Nimbus 8 Lifetime Miles: 502.00
VFF Trek Lifetime Miles: 98.10
Kohls Asics Lifetime Miles: 234.74
Asic Trailshoes Lifetime Miles: 82.36
Nike Air Lifetime Miles: 10.00
Saucony Lifetime Miles: 508.16
Brooks Ravena Lifetime Miles: 117.75
Asic (orange) Lifetime Miles: 83.75
Race: Ft Worth Cowtown Marathon (26.2 Miles) 03:39:41, Place overall: 135, Place in age division: 21
Slow milesFast milesTotal Distance

Cowtown Marathon - 3:40 Pace Group Leader.

That was a blast!!!! I was so worried about the weather, and I guess I must have prepared for it and managed to hit my splits fairly closely. At the expo yesterday I bought an optic yellow/green sleeveless windbreaker..I was thinking wind break, and maximum visibility for the pace group to find me. It turned out to be just what I needed. I also bought a new headband / ear covers...wow, they were perfect for today (I usually wear a stocking hat or stay inside when it is cold outside). Not sure why I've never gotten one of those before. They're great.

Up at 5:00. In downtown Ft Worth by 6:15 (7:30 start time). The owner of Pizzeria Uno (yum) is a local ultramarathoner and opens the restaurant up to the local running club...can you say "flush toilet?" (sweet). I felt like I was in the elite tent or something :-)

Mosied a block down to the starting line at about 7:15, and stood in a freezing wind tunner for what seemed like an eternity. While there a local newspaper reporter took my picture and asked me a bunch of questions, so maybe I'll make it into the Startelegram tomorrow.

I was a bit nervous as the wind was at a constant 20+ MPH directly into our faces at the start.

The race started about on time at 7:30 and we were off. I kept telling myself not to do my usual take off too fast routine. My first split was a bit slow...so I made up for it in the next couple miles.

The miles just flew by. A few people were talkative, which really helped. A few people were going for Boston qualifiers, one guy was running his first marathon. I have no idea how many people were in my group until the half marathoners split off from the marathon route at about Mile 8.  I looked back to see a pack of about 20 runners. It stayed that way until we hit a gradual uphill section around mile 14, when I noticed we had lost a few. At about mile 16 we headed back into the wind and up some hills, and then they started dropping like flies. I did my best to keep and "even effort" -- going slower up the hills, and a little faster when the wind was behind us.

At the halfway point we had about a 2 minute cushion built up. This isn't much..but I knew we would almost all of it. With 5 miles to go I remember calculating that we would have to run 8:40/mi for each mile on the way back. By mile 23, my pack dwindled to 3 other runners. With 1.2 to go, it was me and one other guy. By the finish, I was all alone (the one guy with me ran up ahead a little -- I guess he didn't want me in his finisher photo :-).

When I saw the finish line with .2 miles to go I was about 2 minutes under 3:40. That's the first time I was sure I was going to hit my mark (or close to it). I finished in 3:39:39 (according to my watch...official results aren't out, yet).

The woman I lost w/ 1.2 miles to go finished about a minute behind. She still BQ'd! ..and the guy who stuck with me the whole way and ran ahead at the finish, it was his first-ever marathon.

It also turns out that the man and woman who finished directly in front of me were using me as motivation. The woman thanked me for not passing her :-). I think some people think of pace group leaders as The Grim Reaper or something and the "3:40" sign I was carrying was some sort of sickle!! :-)


Overall, this was a very satisfying day on so many levels. I managed to stay healthy all week even though I had a sore throat almost every morning and evening (no coughing..could be allergies). I met my goal pace (OK, I was 20 seconds fast...but what's that over 26.2 miles??) I had a blast and met some very nice people. I would highly recommend running a marathon as a pace leader, if ever the chance arises. My PR is 3:20:02 (SGM '07), and I found the 3:40 pace quite comfortable to maintain. So, if you pace a group you might want to pick a group that is 20-30 minutes slower than your current abilities.

Pace Report: 3:39:39

Weather: 35-45 degrees, Wind: 21 MPH NNW

Cowtown Marathon - Marc Elliott - 3:40 Pace Group leader

Date: 2/28/2009

Time: 3:39:39

Distance 26.27

Avg Pace 8:22

HR avg 152


Lap# Time Distance Tot Dist Pace HR Elapsed Time Projected
1 8:50 1.02 1.02 8:39 162 0:08:50 3:47:30
2 8:01 1 2.02 8:01 170 0:16:51 3:39:08
3 8:06 1 3.02 8:06 156 0:24:57 3:37:02
4 7:54 1 4.02 7:54 147 0:32:52 3:34:47
5 6:48 0.84 4.86 8:05 147 0:39:40 3:34:25
6 9:39 1.17 6.03 8:14 148 0:49:19 3:34:51
7 8:33 1.01 7.04 8:27 151 0:57:53 3:36:00
8 8:38 1.01 8.05 8:32 150 1:06:31 3:37:04
9 16:18 1.99 10.04 8:11 146 1:22:49 3:36:42
10 0:02 0.003788 10.04 8:48 147 1:22:51 3:36:42
11 8:03 1 11.04 8:03 148 1:30:54 3:36:13
12 8:07 0.98 12.02 8:16 145 1:39:01 3:36:20
13 8:36 1.05 13.07 8:11 146 1:47:37 3:36:14
14 8:25 1 14.07 8:25 148 1:56:02 3:36:35
15 8:10 0.99 15.06 8:14 149 2:04:12 3:36:36
16 8:13 1 16.06 8:13 151 2:12:25 3:36:33
17 8:43 1.01 17.07 8:37 150 2:21:08 3:37:09
18 16:58 2 19.07 8:29 153 2:38:07 3:37:46
19 0:06 0.011932 19.09 8:22 150 2:38:13 3:37:46
20 8:24 0.98 20.07 8:34 155 2:46:28 3:37:56
21 8:10 0.98 21.05 8:20 151 2:54:38 3:37:59
22 8:51 1.03 22.08 8:35 153 3:03:29 3:38:21
23 8:34 0.98 23.06 8:44 154 3:12:04 3:38:51
24 8:51 1.02 24.08 8:40 157 3:20:55 3:39:14
25 8:39 1 25.08 8:39 160 3:29:35 3:39:34
26 8:14 1 26.08 8:14 161 3:37:49 3:39:26
27 1:50 0.21 26.29 8:43 160 3:39:39 3:39:31

Asic Speedstar 3 Miles: 26.20
Weight: 198.00
From Burt on Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 22:39:44

That sounds cool. Any special incentive for being the pacer?

From Walter on Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 23:25:03

I got an offer to do a pace group for the Carlsbad marathon in January. I think your right! It would be a challenge to be consistent every mile. Good luck, Ill be watching your blog.

From Teena on Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 23:55:38

Marc!!!!!!!! (how do I insert smiley faces, here?)

That is an AWESOME pic!! So glad you are on this blog. You will LOVE being able to track everything on here. It is great!!

Can't wait to check on you every day!

Welcome to the blog!


From Teena on Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 00:21:53


Oh Marc ... your personal info made me laugh so stinkin' hard!! VERY NICE!!!

(one hundred smiley faces)

From Kathie on Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 12:34:18

Hey Marc so what do you really have to wear as the pace leader? I know we have joked about some options on the other forum but I was wondering if you are going to practice with the balloons or whatever it is?

From DonGardinero on Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 12:51:19

Marc, I couldn't figure out where my previous comment went and then I noticed you entered your race coming up on Feb 28th.

From huans32 on Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 15:35:32

MARC!!!!!! Welcome to the Blog bro. Glad you came over here.

From Smooth on Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 16:51:35

Marc, remember we want pictures, lotsa'vem. Can't wait to hear all about your pacing adventure. Are you working on jokes and stories to entertain the pacees?

From huans32 on Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 22:33:04

Oh I just realized now I will be able to see your training. LOL Maybe now I can keep up with you daily or at least see how much more you are kicking my trash:) Welcome again bro.

From MarcE on Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 22:46:14

Hi All, I'm not used to this blogging stuff, so I hope it doesn't become a full time job for me to keep up. I apologize in advance if it takes me a few days to respond. :-)

Hi Burt - Yep, they put out a call for pacer's in the Ft Worth Cowtown Marathon this year, and one of the incentives was free entry. So, I was already training for Boston, so why not? We'll see how it goes.

Gumpers - you always crack me up? Can't wait to meet you in Beantown.

Hi Kathie/UR - I really haven't heard anything about attire. I know they will be supplying a tech shirt with our pace printed on it. But that's all I know. I suppose I could dress as flamboyantly as I desire. I'm sure if I wore a cow suit, I'd get lots of pictures! :-)

MarkO and Dale - thanks for inviting me over. I'm going to post my mileage for the past few months when I get a chance. Or at least put in my past race reports. I'm sure this will cause quite a bit of confusion!! Is there anyway to post mileage, and keep it a secret? Looks like everything is out in the open. No secrets here!

From huans32 on Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 22:51:37

Well there is a option to keep it to yourself. And it will keep everything to just you. Hickgirl(Kimmie) does that. So you keep track of it yourself and no one sees it. Along with your races and all that. You get alot more daily feedback here on each run if you keep it open to the public. If you want it turned off though. In the blog option its at the very bottom.

From DonGardinero on Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 23:30:02

Marc, that's the good thing about this blog, everyone can see what your doing and it's great motivation for everyone else. I know since I joined this site, I've already knocked 3 minutes off my pace and I've increased my mileage immensely. Before coming here I had no idea how much people ran or even what kinds of workouts they did. I just thought everyone ran the same every day. I didn't even know people were doing speed work or hill training, etc., etc. We're really glad your here. No problem if you can't keep in touch with everyone's blogs, but I have tons of time to do it, so I'll usually leave a comment almost every day.

From Bec on Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 11:25:06


You get to pace? That is awesome. You have a very important role. My last race I put complete trust in my pacer. Because of his consistancy I was able to stay calm and not jump too far ahead of the pack until the end.

Good luck!!

From Rhett on Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 12:39:33

MarcE. I just found you here. Glad you have joined the blog. It is a great place to keep track of training and share training ideas and experiences. I am excited to finally meet you in person in Boston. I'll be there by myself at the Radisson. My wife decided not to come this year. Hope I can hang with you and Slick a bit.

From MarcE on Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 20:47:08

Hi Bec..I'm not taking this pacing thing too lightly. In most marathons I just have the inner competitiveness to keep me going. This will be a whole new incentive to dig deep when I feel like walking a little too much at the aid stations. I'm really looking forward to it, but there is a little added pressure...should be fun!

Hey Rhett, you can definitely hang out with Slick and the gang. Slick, Canyon, Smooth, Tim, and Neffo made it quite the experience. We've got another nice crowd this year. I know that you're a rich eye doctor, and all, but if you want to room with Slick and I and save some cash for sourvenirs, you're more than welcome!

From rhett on Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 11:20:18

Marc, I am an eye doctor, but unfortunately not rich. If I cancelled my room now I would lose my 1 night deposit and I'm only staying 2 nights, so I might as well keep it. If they won't let me have late check out on Monday, I may have to beg a shower off you guys in your room after the run though. I can't wait to hang with all the gang in Boston. It's going to be a blast.

From jtshad on Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 17:56:57

Welcome to the blog! Good luck in the pacing gig, it is fun and a different way to run a race. I paced the women's OTQ last year at the Shamrock Sportsfest and had a great time. Even splits is not necessarily the goal depending on the topography and fade expected, but motivation and planning is key to hitting your target. Good luck and have fun.

From MarcE on Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 23:17:54

Rhett - Sounds like a good plan. You're more than welcome to stash your stuff in our room on race day if they don't let you check out late.

Jtshad - Thanks for the welcome. I ran the Cowtown Marathon last year, so I'm pretty familiar with the topography. I'm going to go through my splits and scale it back to a 3:40 pace. Time to make a spreadsheet! (and hope for excellent weather) Stay warm there in Idaho...brrrrrr.

From RivertonPaul on Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 10:27:58

Hi Marc, its been fun getting to know you a bit better. Good luck Saturday.

From rhett on Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 13:56:58

Marc, so are you going to start logging your daily miles or are we just going to keep seeing this upcoming race every time we pull up your blog? I'd love to hear how the training is coming. Just one week till CowTown. Have you found out what you have to carry or wear or what?

From DonGardinero on Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 21:55:06

Hey Rhett, you have to go to the top and click on "Recent Entries" and then when that page loads, click on "Previous Entries."

From MarcE on Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 23:24:01

Rhett, sorry about that..I made a rookie mistake and put an entry in the future, which kind of trumps all other entries. After Feb 28th, you should easily see my daily entries.

From DonGardinero on Sat, Feb 28, 2009 at 16:33:09 from

Super Duper performance, Marc!!! I'm glad everything went well. Thanks for the fine, detailed report.

From Teena on Sat, Feb 28, 2009 at 16:40:40 from

How cool is that? I was wondering last night if you were asleep or wide awake unable to sleep. I am so so so happy for you. What an incredible experience for you and the others. A huge congratulations! You amaze me!!!

Next time you are a pace leader I want to run in your group. Seriously. So do it again!!


Just in case I failed to mention this earlier, I will say it: YOU ARE AWESOME!!

Hope the fire burns within you for a long long long time!!

Laters Marc!!

(a million smileys! -- plus one)

From Smooth on Sat, Feb 28, 2009 at 18:20:32 from

Marc!!! You're the MASTER of PACERS!!! What an INCREDIBLE job and performance you accomplished today! I hope the lady who BQ and the first time marathoner guy thanked you BIG TIME.

You were SO SO SO prepared, you even destroyed that 20+ mph headwind. Can't wait to see your picture with the "grim reaper" sign, yellow/green windbreaker, headband and all. :D

CONGRATS!!! THANK YOU for sharing your adventure with us. I love every word of your report. You're SO ready for Boston. What are your goals at Boston?

From RivertonPaul on Sat, Feb 28, 2009 at 18:48:10 from

Very nice run and report. You nailed it.

From rhett on Sat, Feb 28, 2009 at 20:37:38 from

Marc, You were amazing! You nailed that pace right on!!! Were you bummed that only one person was able to hang with you? Did they use you as a wind blocker? Was it annoying carrying the 3:40 sign the whole way? It must have felt great to be helping others the whole way like that. I am jealous of that fabulous opportunity you had. You da Man!!!!!!! See you in Boston.

From MarcE on Sun, Mar 01, 2009 at 15:13:22 from

Dale!! Thanks, man!

Teeeeeeenaaa! I'm glad you're still lurking out there. Thanks so much. I've been a little bummed with my showings at some races lately, and this was just what I needed to get the fire going again. I'd love to have you in my pace group. I'm not sure when that will be...I'll forward a "toned-down" version of my pace report to the guy in charge of the pacers at Cowtown, and maybe he'll invite me back next year. You're welcome to come run it next year with me..otherwise I might just have to come out to Utah!

Smooth..thanks. I did give the woman a hug when I saw her (she had just finished tossing her cookies...we didn't talk much :-) I shook the other guys hand and then I headed to the food tent! :-)

My Boston goals:

Happy: Just to be there with my good buddies

Very Happy: Beat last year's crash-n-burn..3:30:24

Very Very Happy: Run with Marcie to her first sub 3:30.

Ecstatic: BQ (3:20:59)

Super Ecstatic: PR (3:20:02)

Thanks, Paul. Yes I did nail it (I looked at several of the other pacers' finishing times, and I think I was the closest to nailing it..even though I wasn't competing for speed, I was secretly competing for "closest to goal time"

Thanks, Rhett. Not sure about amazing..but I'm definitely happy with how I did, and I feel a pretty good sense of accomplishment, and I'm really glad that I at least helped 1 or 2 people meet their goals. I insisted that everyone draft behind me, which they did for the most part. I was feeling great the whole way, the wind and the hills (nothing compared to Utah), were really not that noticeable. I enjoyed carrying the sign the whole way. It was very lightweight and let everyone know who we were and what we were planning to achieve. (we were instructed to drop the signs at Mile 2, but I decided to keep it for the whole thing..and it makes a nice addition to my running scrapbook) See you in Boston!

From jtshad on Sun, Mar 01, 2009 at 15:39:43 from

Great job on the pacing gig, hitting the mark right on is awesome. Good luck with your Boston training!

From MarcE on Sun, Mar 01, 2009 at 22:11:55 from

Thanks, jtshad. I appreciate it. I think I might have found my new calling to supplement my training between "run hard" races. I wonder if the Cliff Teams are looking for mid-pack pacers??

From huans32 on Mon, Mar 02, 2009 at 11:54:49 from

Dude you did awesome at that race. Hit is just that I thought you would. Right on the money. Your the type of guy you could set your watch too. Great report and great pacing.:)

From Kathie on Mon, Mar 02, 2009 at 14:15:09 from

Wow Mark you are the man for sure!!!! If you do St. George this year I should pay you to pace me! 3:40 would be a pr for me and a total BQ!!!!!! In all honesty 3:40 would kill me and I wouldn't want to have the fact that you killed me on your hands! :)

From MarcE on Mon, Mar 02, 2009 at 23:30:52 from

Hey Mark-O, thanks, man. It helps to have a Garmin and to know how to use it. :-)

Hey Kathie, nice to hear from you. I'm not so sure 3:40 would kill you..it might kill Kimmie trying to stick with you, but I think you've got it in you (OK, Kimmie you can respond if you want :-)) If I make it into SGM, I'm going for a selfish PR! (sorry)

From fly on the wall on Tue, Mar 03, 2009 at 18:44:59 from

I was just reminded what a 20+mph head wind feels like. Holy cow! You da man!

From fly on the wall on Tue, Mar 03, 2009 at 18:47:35 from

Marc, You need to update your running accomplishments. This big one is missing.

From MarcE on Tue, Mar 03, 2009 at 20:05:31 from

Fly, is that better?

From fly on the wall on Wed, Mar 04, 2009 at 15:31:38 from

muy bien.

From Kelli on Sun, Mar 08, 2009 at 18:37:53 from

Wow, that is very cool. Thanks for referring me to this entry! I am such a social runner. I enjoy talking and running with people far more than I care about my time (most of the time---sometimes I do have a goal, like a BQ). I think pacing would be rally fun, I just do not know if I could motivate people for 4+ hours to keep going. It sounds like you had some brutal wind to deal with, but a good pacing race! Fun stuff. I will practice my conversation skills with Smooth and see how good I can get at motivating!

From MarcE on Sun, Mar 08, 2009 at 23:02:20 from

Hi Kelli, Glad you liked it. There's never a shortage of conversation when you're with Smooth. She's such a sweetheart! (and never short on words)

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