In his first marathon ever, U.S. Nordic Combined athlete Billy Demong (left) was able to finish at the incredible pace of 2:33:05. (Photo: Billy Demong)
On Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014, U.S. Nordic Combined athlete Billy Demong ran the race of his life at the New York City Marathon. Running a marathon has been on his bucket list for a long time, says Demong. Having run cross country as a kid, he knew he had it in himself to finish. Demong only gave himself two months to train leading up to the marathon. Three weeks out, with his training runs pacing out around 6:00 per mile and his distances increasing, he knew he was ready to race.
As the race started, Demong said he could feel the surge of adrenaline carry him through the first climb. Afraid of running into fatigue later in the race, He tried to pace himself through the first 5k. To his surprise he found himself running in a pack of international sub-elites who were running far under his goal pace.
"It's like being in the running of the bills, except you're a bull. You have to huddle together with the 50,000 other runners to try and stay warm before the race, then shed all of your extra layers at the last minute before jockeying for position on the start line,” said Demong.
The cheering crowds helped Demong finish under his goal pace of 2:36:00, despite the windy, cold conditions. In his first marathon ever, Demong was able to finish at the incredible pace of 2:33:05. To put that into perspective, the fastest time ever ran at the New York City marathon was 2:03.02, just 30 minutes faster than Demong's time this year.
"When I crossed the line I knew it was a perfect race for what I could have done that day. By far the hardest part was walking to the subway station afterward and getting to the hotel."
Demong told ESPN, "This may sound ridiculous, but that might be the most fun I've had in an athletic event since Vancouver." It is no secret that Nordic athletes are in incredible shape and Billy Demong is certainly no exception to the rule.
You can read more about Billy Demong's marathon experience at teamusa.org.