Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Western grad Sarah Porter set to make marathon debut in New York Sunday...

Most runners go into race weekend with an anticipated time, strategy, and list of athletes against whom they plan to compete.

Western Washington graduate Sarah Porter (left/photo by Paul Merca) is running her marathon debut at the ING NYC Marathon, and says she’s idolized some of this field’s runners since she was 12, so she isn’t targeting a pace or another runner. This race is about her.

“It’s about going out and finding myself in this race,” she said at Wednesday’s media session. “At the end of the day … as long as I can cross the finish line and say I love that, I want to do this again, then I’ll be happy with my race.”

She’s fast, with a time of 32:57.15 in the 10,000 meters at the 2011 USA Track & Field Championships, and she's also the reigning NCAA Division II 10000-meter champ.

About Sunday’s marathon, Porter, who has moved to North Carolina & is training with the Zap Fitness group, says she’s not scared of the distance, and consults her mom, Laurie, a nationally ranked masters runner, on how to handle fluids, the feeling to resist going out too fast at the start, being patient. “It’s the marathon—any way that you break it up in your head, it’s not like a 10K or a 5K, and a lot of the intensity of the track race is missing … and for that reason I feel like I’ll use this as an experience. I would be happy with anything under 2:38.”

Porter ran the NYRR New York Mini 10K in June, so says she’s familiar with the last part of the route. She’s not nervous about the course, she says, but a little unsure of herself if she may need to use the bathroom. “I’ve been told by my mom to drink coffee the morning of, and to remember to be patient going out in the first half of the race … if I pee, I pee.”

NOTE: Kristine Smith of the New York Road Runners contributed to this story. will be on site for coverage of the ING NYC Marathon.

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