Shackleton Runs With Elite Company In ING New York Marathon On Sunday

Nov. 3, 2008

Kyle Shackleton had quite a day on Sunday as he competed in the prestigious ING New York Marathon. Competing in his first 26.2 mile race, Shackleton competed against some of the most prestigious long distance runners in the U.S. and world, and held his own as he placed 17th overall. Shackleton was also the ninth-best American finisher in the race.

With a goal of 2:20 or lower, Shackleton crossed the finish line in a time of 2:20.38. His time moves him to No. 6 all-time in UCLA school history. Shackleton was racing in a UCLA jersey, representing the blue and gold of the Bruins.

Shackleton is a senior for the upcoming track and field season. His cross country eligibilty ended in 2007, so he and head coach Eric Peterson decided for the senior to compete in a marathon.

'I went out faster then I thought I was going to,' said Shackleton. 'I thought I had made a mistake because I was reading the signs wrong that showed the times at each mile marker. I thought I was going too slow so I sped up and caught up to the pro group. I realized I was running a 5:20 pace instead of 5:30, and knew I had made a mistake. However, I was in a rhythm running with this group and behind me there was a big gap so if I didn't keep up with them, I would be running by myself.

'I did exactly what you're not supposed to do in a marathon (according to what others told me), but I justified it by saying to myself that I was running fast because I was with the pros and I was better off with them then alone.

'I was hoping to hang on with this group until I saw my dad and sister at mile 18 and 19 because I knew they thought I wasn't running smart. I felt great until mile 16 or 17 when we were running into Manhattan. I was running behind two Ethiopian runners and two other guys. We were sitting behind them because they were blocking the wind. The other two guys dropped off and every time I looked back, the gap kept growing between us and the other runners.

'When we crosses the Queensburough Bridge at mile 16, it was just the Ethiopians and myself. I felt good and kept going towards First Avenue and Manhattan. At mile 19 I saw my dad as we were about to enter the Bronx and then I started to really feel the pain in my legs at mile 19. The lactic acid was building so I gave up on running with the Ethiopians. I decided not to press and slow down to a pace I could hold for the next six or seven miles. I ran on my own and maintained a 5:30 or 5:35 pace.

'The coolest part was probably the fact that people were cheering for me. There are a lot of foreign athletes and the crowd saw my UCLA bib and starting cheering for me. That was really cool. It fired me up and helped me get through the last few miles in Central Park.

'I had no idea where I was. My dad was yelling stuff at me like 'you're the 9th American,' but I wasn't sure what he meant. I knew I had beaten some good guys because I recognized them as I passed by. I thought I had done well when I crossed the finish line, but it was more of a relief then anything because my legs were in so much pain.'

'Kyle and I sat down last spring knowing he did not have any cross country eligibility,' said cross country/distance coach Eric Peterson. 'We knew he wanted to run a fall marathon, and he has a sister who lives in New York so the plan was to run in the New York Marathon. He set a goal to run 2:20 or better and narrowly missed it. I was really impressed with his ability to execute that pace throughout the race. He has the tendency in the 5000m and 10,000m races to push the pace early, so this kind of goes against his instinct a bit. He obviously executed nearly to perfection and was able to come up with great results.

'This was his first marathon and he wanted to be conservative, but I think anyone would be intimidated by the 26.2 mile distance the first time around. He had a plan and stuck to it. I think it's very impressive to see him run that well in his first crack at a marathon. He wasn't able to start with the elite runners so that was an added challenge. He had to run through a big crowd of people to ultimately establish the racing rhythm that he wanted to be at. I'm very proud of his performance.'

Below is a breakdown of Shackleton's times and pace/mile over the 26.2 mile race.

5km - 16:46 (5:23)
10km - 33:10 (5:20)
15km - 49:35 (5:19)
20km - 1:06.04 (5:18)
Half-Marathon - 1:09.43 (5:19)
25km - 1:22.46 (5:19)
Mile 16 - 1:26.04 (5:22)
Mile 17 - 1:30.36 (5:19)
Mile 18 - 1:35.37 (5:19)
30km - 1:39.19 (5:19)
Mile 19 - 1:41.15 (5:19)
Mile 20 - 1:46.41 (5:20)
Mile 21 - 1:52.08 (5:20)
35km - 1:56.20 (5:20)
Mile 22 - 1:57.35 (5:20)
Mile 23 - 2:03.01 (5:20)
Mile 24 - 2:08.41 (5:21)
40km - 2:13.19 (5:21)
Mile 25 - 2:14.06(5:21)
Mile 26 - 2:19.29 (5:21)
Finish - 2:20.38 (5:21)

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