Today Marathon Highlights….
(Pic Right: My New Hat!)
Pre-Race Fun Times
Ok let’s back track to 07:00 this morning. The marathon start/finish was a breeze to find, with signs starting at the high way and bringing you through the campground. I got there an hour before my race and watched the ultra marathoners (40M and 100K) take off. I noticed at this point-- a Marathon Puppy!!! I have an extreme love for puppies and often ask them if they want to go home with me. This usually leads to their parents slowly walking away from me, dragging their dogs they believe will be kidnapped by the crazy dog lady. Well a marathon running puppy? How could I resist??? I rolled around with it for a while and of course asked if she wanted to run AND go home with me!!! At this point, her dad decided it was time to go to the car. Sigh--- anyways, this marathon is pro-dog and even gives the pups a bib and results!
And we’re off…
Ben and Sophia (race directors) said a few words and then we were off. The first 3+ miles is a loop through weeds and a wide trail-- mostly flat, so a good way to warm up. Even though I said I wasn’t going to run hard, I found myself behind the fastest men and well in front of all women. Uh ohm
7th Circle of Hell
And then we were in hell. The course quickly turned into a single-treck trail from Hades! It started with a mud pit ~ every half mile. And not just any mud pit-- deep dark clay mud with no footing and slippery rocks hidden under the mud. Then the mud pits increased in size and duration until we got closer to a lake-- at which point (~mile 14) it was ENTIRELY a mud pit mixed with long stretches of slippery rock on the edge of ~an 8 ft drop. At which point I had to yell (Is this even SAFE??).
Trail Shoes? Pshhh I’d rather destroy my Nike Frees
Ok if I were smart I would have purchased a pair of trail shoes, or at least a pair of shoes with a little more grip than the extremely flat Nike Free’s! However, the mud was sooo deep and sooo slippery it really wouldn’t have mattered TOO much-- well enough for 1 woman to overtake me while I was gripping onto trees and swinging from branch to branch in order to stay vertical. Unfortunately I was never able to make up the distance after the mud pit (mostly) finished -- you know, around mile 23! I would lose my shoes several times in the mud … so many times, in fact, I had to throw my socks away mid-race because they were beyond ruined by being directly stepped into the mud with.
I was so unbelievable annoyed at the trail and myself. I had fallen into the mud, tripped on rocks, broken a few toe nails trying to grip with my toes and lost my shoes/socks in the mud and I just wanted to get the race over. That’s when an obviously experienced trail runner (I say this because she HAD trail shoes on and was very good at darting back and forth over rocks and mud) came up on me and passed me. Fortunately this was around mile 22/23 when the mud was starting to thin out, we started our long treck up hill and the footing was much better. I caught her and took off fast! I was so angry I decided I wasn’t giving up my position no matter what. This helped to catch about 5-8 more MEN! Woohoo--- girl power!
(Pic Right: My winnings-- Mizuno Gear!)
I finished in 2nd and the race directors were SO nice-- they both came up and congratulated me and gave me presents!!!! (The one thing I like as much as puppies-- are presents!!) Ben gave me a running hat with “Kansas City Trail Nerds” on it. Sophia (a Mizuno Rep) gave me a pink Mizuno bag and water canteen. Oh I also got my finisher medal… and a few scrapes to remember the occasion. Shoot and my scars from the last trail marathon were JUST going away.
I also had a chance to chat with another woman who I had seen on the course. She was running the marathon and had to drop out. L She said that she was surprised I was able to go so fast on the wet muddy trail with the kind of shoes I had on…. Yeah, me too! The woman in 3rd came up and told me it was fun chasing me! Very nice runners and organizers all together.
On the way to the airport I stopped to get gas and food. A cop, eying my medal, asked what I won. This is when I REALLY like placing in a marathon, because it’s so hard to explain to somebody that you get the medals “just” for finishing. So when I actually place, it’s so much easier to say “2nd at a marathon”-- not mentioning that the finisher medal has nothing to do with my place. When I mentioned running a guy who obviously thought he was hilarious said “WHY?” chuckling to himself. I said I do them a lot. Then he yelled out “You run marathons and you eat hot dogs and donuts???” To which I promptly turned around and replied “yeah well I burn the calories so I can eat whatever I want” -- obviously implying that he needed to run a few miles before eating those hostess snacks in his hands. HA! That’s show him!
Drove to the airport and found lots of fun “Dorothy” and “Wizard of Oz” stuff… though I would share. Enjoy.