Hypothermia Cuts Jenkins’ Day Short

by EJN Comments (0) Articles, Racing

The alerts coming in for Nate were looking pretty solid:

10km in 32:21, a 5:12 pace
Half marathon in 1:09:27, a 5:17 pace
30km in 1:42:07, a 5:28 pace

Same pace as Ruben Sança through 10k. By the half Nate had dropped back behind Ruben by nearly 30 seconds, but his overall pace had only dropped by only 2 seconds off of Ruben’s. By 30k it was clear that something was wrong, as Ruben was still locked into a 5:17 pace and Nate had dropped to a 5:28 pace.

Found out much later on that he ended up in the medical tent by mile 19 being treated for hypothermia. Scary stuff in brutal conditions. Got a few quick questions out to Nate to find out a little more about what happened:

At what point did you notice something might be wrong?

I started to feel weak around 10 miles started to feel awful around 15 miles. At 19 I had slowed very badly and decided to stop. I wasn’t sure if it was to compose myself or quit but when I stopped I passed out for a moment and was caught by some spectators.

Ever experience that before?

No I have never had anything quite like that happen to me before.

As disappointing as this can be, does knowing that it was more a case of bad circumstances instead of injury give you confidence that you can get right back to it?

I am actually leaving this race very pumped up I had no coordination problems which is so huge to me I can’t describe it. I have a couple ideas of what went wrong and it is fixable.

Have you given any thought to getting right back it and taking on the sure to be stacked VCM field in better weather?

I will not be at VCM. Conditions didn’t do me any favors but I need some time to recover and do some work.

I could certainly see guys opting for the turn around though as the head wind was a bitch as was training through the winter that finally died this week.

***UPDATE…sent Nate a few follow up questions, which we decided to do once we saw some of the commentary was along the same lines as our own questions here.

Can you elaborate on what it is that you think went wrong?

I was a bit hypothermic. I don’t think it was my problem so much as a symptom of my problem. There are a lot of possibilities as to what went wrong but my best guess is that being banged up and that my last specific marathon workout was 5 or 6 weeks ago. I am very fit and in perfect conditions I would have gotten to 18 or so without much trouble, but into that head wind and being cold and wet, I started to have a hard time much earlier. If you look at Ruben he had a bit better prep then I and he was strong to 24 and ran real well, considering the conditions. I mean the Africans went for it and the best they produce is a 2:09 which is a 2:04 effort in Berlin for sure. It was hard out there.

As you know, being out there for that long and pretty much everything’s going to start feeling cold and wet. How much did your race day attire decisions factor into it?

Tough weather to dress for. I ditched my hat along the way and in retrospect that may have been stupid. It was wet and driving me nuts but I think it might have been better than nothing.

Do you think some more clothing might’ve helped?

In terms of if I was going to fight in to a slow finish more clothes would have been huge. In terms of would they have been the difference maker in getting me to run under 2:20? I very much doubt it. I think the one-two punch of getting banged up in late February and not being able to doany marathon workouts over the last bit of the cycle and then having to deal with the head wind really did me in.

Good luck to Nate for a quick recovery and return to training. We’re convinced that more than a few people chasing fast times that didn’t get that chance in Boston will now turn to the Vermont City Marathon, since they’re still very fit and it’s pretty close. We’ll have to see if that theory stands up.

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