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Brian Falcone Wins Wisconsin Marathon!

JSR team member Brian Falcone wins the 2019 Wisconsin Marathon on May 4!

Our very own Brian Falcone WON this year's Wisconsin Marathon outright on a perfect weather day in Kenosha on May 4, 2019!
His 2:42:07 finish time, although not a PR, won the day. Here is Brian's personal race cap :

As my hometown race, I always look forward to the Wisconsin Marathon. I get to eat at the Italian American Club, sleep in my own bed, and get to the start line in 10 minutes from my home. The past few years, I’ve taken 2nd, 3rd, 2nd, and 3rd overall. I’ve had the goal to win this race for a while now. My 2018 ended with a 2:37 marathon PR, and 2019 started with a 2:36 PR. However, I fell into an injury cycle with my peroneal tendon becoming inflamed, which then lead to shin splints on the opposite leg. I had 3 down weeks of training with the ankle and then another 3 down weeks with the shin. My cardio fitness felt good, but the training volume just wasn’t there.

My 2:47 in Boston in April of this year proved this out, as my breathing was controlled the entire race, but leg fatigue hit me due to the lack of volume. Based on that, I entered Wisconsin with the belief that 6:10-6:15 pace would feel good, and if I had to respond to 6:00 pace, I should be able to as long as the quads held up.

I started the race a little faster than planned, but the weather was perfect that day (38 degrees, sunny, 3mph wind). In addition, we started the race with the 5k and ½ marathon runners. I settled down to my goal range and just tried to stay relaxed. At mile 3.5 there was the first turnaround and I was able to determine how many runners were ahead of me. At that point, I was 4th in the marathon and got a look at who my competition was and how much of a gap I had to make up. I caught the 3rd place runner at mile 5, then the 2nd place runner at mile 8.5, and then eventually caught the lead runner at mile 10.

In the past I’ve lead the race early on, and I didn’t want make any mistakes this time, so I kept to my game plan and kept rolling at 6:10-6:15. I was waiting for the last runner I passed to catch back up to me, but never saw him again (he ended up taking 3rd overall). The pace felt good through mile 20 but the gravel roads (miles 18 thru 22) started to get to me. The Vapor Flys didn’t feel good with the slight slipping and the instability. My pace dropped a few seconds per mile, but still kept it in the goal range. I saw my family on the course at mile 22 cheering me on, which helped a lot, and I kept my head down and visualized the road and turns ahead. I wanted to look back to see if anyone was coming up on me, but I kept looking forward and calculated the pace someone would have to run to catch me.

At mile 25 I knew that as long as I didn’t cramp up and walk, I should be able to pull off the win. There is a quick right turn at mile 25.5, and I did look back to see a long empty road. What a relief, and I thought "YES!". I enjoyed the rest of the race with my friends cheering for me and the race announcer calling me out as the hometown winner.

While I didn’t negative split the race, I managed to keep the pace pretty consistent and right on target :

Miles 1-5 - 6:08 pace
Miles 6-10 - 6:11 pace
Miles 11-15 - 6:09 pace
Miles 16-20 - 6:12 pace
Miles 21-25 - 6:12 pace
Mile 26 - 6:04

I’ll remember this one for a long time to come!


Brian Falcone Podium