Bob Schluben | 913.963.8016 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Journey - Part Two
27. MAD Marathon, Waitsfield Vermont, 7/7/2013.
My twenty seventh marathon in 2013 was the MAD Marathon in Waitsfield Vermont. I left for Vermont on Friday morning. I flew into Boston and rented a car. I then drove from Boston to Waitsfield. This was my first time in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. It was about a three and a half hour scenic drive. I got to Waitsfield and went to the packet pickup. I met Dori, the race director. She had made arrangements for me to stay at someone's house for the weekend. I went to their house. Their neighbors were out of town, and they let me stay at their house. They made me dinner, which was lamb stew and homemade bread. It was really good. After dinner I went back to the packet pickup area. They had a free Friday night outdoor concert with the duet Dwight and Nicole. After the concert, I got a good night's sleep.
I slept in on Saturday morning. After I got up, I went to the packet pickup area. They had a farmer's market. There were lots of booths with homemade crafts and foods. There were some unique varieties of cheese, wine, honey, and maple products. I had a piece of pizza that was made in a fire pit in the back of a truck. I did some sightseeing in Vermont in the afternoon. I drove to the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory. I took a tour of the factory with ice cream samples. I took an afternoon nap, and went back to the packet pickup area. They had a kid's fun run. They used the marathon finish line for the kid's run. They gave all of the kid's the leftover marathon medals from last year. All of the kids also got free ice cream. After the kid's run I went out to eat at a local restaurant and had a nice pasta dinner. I then went to bed.
I got to the starting line early on race morning. It was overcast and humid, but not as hot as I thought it would be. The marathon and half marathon participants started at the same place at the same time. The race course started out flat, but it did not stay flat for long. It was a very hilly course. It was probably the hilliest marathon that I have run. It was very scenic. They were lots of barns, hills, trees, and cow pastures. There were also a few covered bridges. I took advantage of all of the aid stations. The hills and the humidity really slowed me down. I finished with a time of 4:19:18.
After the marathon, I cooled off and took a shower. I went out to eat with a few other runners. One of the runners at the restaurant was not doing well. After dinner, another runner and I offered to help him with part of his drive home. I drove him and his car while another runner drove my rental car. After driving for awhile, he told me that he wanted to go to the hospital. I drove him there, and the hospital intravenously gave him two liters of fluid. After a couple of hours in the emergency room, he started to feel better. I then left and continued my drive back to Boston. I got to Boston late that night, returned my rental car, and went to the airport. I waited there for my early flight home.
28. Missoula Marathon, Missoula Montana, 7/14/2013.
My twenty eighth marathon in 2013 was the Missoula Marathon in Missoula Montana. I left for Montana on Friday afternoon. I flew into Spokane, and then rented a car and drove through part of Northern Idaho. I stopped in Coeur D'Alene for dinner. I had a nice pasta dinner at Tito's, which was in the downtown area. I ate outside. The weather was great, and it was a really nice area. I found a hotel to stay at in Post Falls for the night. The hotel had an indoor hot tub, and I soaked my legs for a long time to get them ready for the marathon.
I got a good night's sleep, and then left in the morning for Missoula. I got there just after lunch time. I went to the expo and packet pickup. I got my bib number and shirt, and then checked into my hotel. I had a hotel in the downtown area that was less than a mile from the finish line. I went out to dinner at Cafe Dolce, which was a great Italian restaurant. I could not decide between having pasta or having a pizza, so I had both. It was really good. I then stopped at the Big Dipper for ice cream. The lines were really long, but it was worth the wait. I then went to the hotel and got a good night's sleep.
Race morning came early. The marathon was a point to point course, and the shuttle buses took runners from the finish area to the starting line. The shuttle buses ran from 4:15 AM to 5:15 AM. Some runners who were staying at the same hotel as me were driving to the shuttle buses, and they gave me a ride. I got on the shuttle bus to the starting line. The weather at the start was great. It was cool and dry. The 6 AM start was perfect. It was just starting to get light outside. After the National Anthem, they had some fireworks at the start of the race. I started with the 3:50 pacer. The course was very scenic. There were ranches, horses, and other great views. As the sun came up, it started to warm up, but there was a lot of shade on the course. There was a lot of downhill around mile 12, and then some big uphills after the first half. I ran ahead of the 3:50 pacer during the second half of the course. I tried to make sure that I was keeping a steady effort. There were cheering fans along the course. Around mile 16, there was a man dressed in a tuxedo playing on a full sized piano that was setting out in a field. My legs were starting to get tired, but I kept up the pace. Around mile 24, the 3:50 pacer passed me. I tried to keep up with him, but he still ran ahead. There was a runner who had run ahead of me during most of the race. She also started slowing down, and she was also passed by the 3:50 pacer. Around mile 25, I was running beside her. I could tell that she was tired. She told me that it was her first marathon. She was from Nebraska, and was going to college in Montana. Her father was cheering for her along the course about a half mile from the finish line. We crossed the finish line together. She did a great job of running a fairly steady pace throughout the marathon.
I finished with a time of 3:51:41. They had strawberry popcicles, pasta, cheese, and Powerade at the finish line. They also had a large covered area with lots of chairs to sit in at the food area. After cooling off and eating, I walked to the finisher's area. They were taking free glossy pictures of the runners with several different backgrounds. They also said that all of the runner photos taken along the course were free. Each runner got a locally brewed beer. I walked back to my hotel and took a shower. I then went out to lunch at the Ironhorse Brew Pub. I had a burger with garlic fries. For dessert, I had the deep fried chocolate chip cookie dough with ice cream. It was delicious. I then drove back to Spokane for my early morning flight.
29. Aspen Valley Marathon, Aspen Colorado, 7/20/2013.
My twenty ninth marathon in 2013 was the Aspen Valley Marathon in Aspen Colorado. Kyle, my ten year old son, ran the half marathon. It was his 5th marathon for 2013. We left for Colorado on Thursday afternoon. We flew into Denver, and then rented a car. We went out to eat, and then found a hotel room for the night.
We got up early on Friday morning and drove to Aspen. We stopped in Idaho Springs at the Argo Gold Mine. We took a tour of the mine, and then Kyle and I panned for gold. We continued our drive across Colorado. It was really beautiful. We drove across Indendepence Pass, which is a high mountain pass in the Colorado Rockies. We were above 12,000 feet in elevation. The roads were narrow, and there were steep cliffs at the edges of the road. We carefully made our way through the pass and to Aspen. We went to packet pickup, which was at the Pitkin County Library. We got our shirts and bib numbers. We checked into our hotel in Carbondale, which was about 20 minutes from the shuttle bus pickup site. We then went out to dinner at the White House in downtown Carbondale. We got a good night's sleep for the race.
We got up early on race morning and went to the shuttle buses. The marathon and half marathon were both point to point races, and they shared the same finish line. The marathon started at 7 AM, and the half marathon started at 8 AM. I took the shuttle bus to the marathon start, and Kyle took the shuttle bus to the half marathon start. The marathon started in downtown Aspen. The wheelchair race started above five minutes before the marathon. The course was very scenic. There was a deep gorge with a river at the bottom. There were colorful mountains and lots of trees. There was lots of shade at the start. As the marathon progressed, it got warmer, and there was no more shade. I tried to drink plenty of water at the aid stations, but it was not enough. Between the over 8,000 foot elevation at the starting line and the heat, I began to slow down. I was becoming dehydrated. It was around 85 degrees at the finish line.
I finished with a time of 4:29:03. Kyle was waiting at the finish line for me. He finished the half marathon with a time of 2:26:45. Kyle got a blue ribbon for finishing in first place in the age group of 18 and under. We found some Gatorade to drink at the finish line, but they did not have many refreshments. They had champagne and some local beer. They had free salads for all of the finishers. Kyle and I both got a massage, and then we got a ride back to our car. We drove back to our hotel, but it was past the checkout time. They let us swim in the swimming pool. After swimming, we went out to eat at Fatbelly Burgers in Carbondale. We then drove to Rifle Colorado and got a hotel room for the night.
30. Deseret News Classic Marathon, Salt Lake City Utah, 7/24/2013.
My thirtieth marathon in 2013 was the Deseret News Classic Marathon in Salt Lake City Utah. Kyle, my ten year old son, ran the half marathon. It was his sixth half marathon for 2013. We woke up in Rifle Colorado on Sunday morning. We drove to Glenwood Springs and ate lunch. We went whitewater rafting in the afternoon on the Colorado River. The water was rough, and there were mountains all around us. We stopped part way through the rafting trip and went swimming. The rafting guide turned the boat upside down, making it a water slide. Everyone got to slide down the bottom of the raft and into the water. We had a great time. We then drove to Parachute Colorado, where we spent the night.
We woke up on Monday morning and continued our drive to Utah. We drove through the Colorado National Monument. There were lots of winding narrow roads, and we made many stops to take pictures. The views of the canyons were great. We made it to Provo Utah, where we got a hotel room for the night. We got up on Tuesday morning and drove the rest of the way to Salt Lake City. We went to the packet pickup and race expo, which was held at the Salt Lake Running Store. We then went to the Rice-Eccles Stadium, which was where the shuttle buses were going to pick us up in the morning. We looked around at the stadium, which was the stadium where the opening and closing ceremonies were held for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. The Olympic Cauldron was still out in front of the stadium. We went out to eat, and checked into our hotel. We went to bed early to get enough sleep for the early shuttle buses.
We got up early on race morning. The shuttle buses for the marathon started leaving at 3:15 AM. We drove to the stadium and got onto the buses. As we drove to the stadium, we saw crowds of people sitting along the street. They were there to see the parade in the morning, but they were also along the marathon route and we were going to run past them while we were running. Kyle rode the half marathon bus to his starting line. It was still dark at the start of the race. It was cool at the starting line on the mountain top, and there was a great view of the valley. The race started out mostly downhill. It didn't stay cool long, and it started to warm up. I started out with the four hour pacer. There were some great views along the course. Around mile 14, I slowed down a little and did not stay with the pacer. I continued to run a steady pace. Along the last mile of the course, I ran along the parade route, where there were thousands of cheering fans along the roadway. I finished the marathon with a time of 4:06:12. Kyle was waiting at the finish line for me. He finished the half marathon with a time of 2:08:40.
They had free massages for the runners in the finisher's area. After the massage, we got onto the shuttle buses and went back to our car. We went out to eat for lunch, and then we went back to the hotel room and took a nap. Later in the afternoon we went to West Jordan for the Utah Pioneer Days. We saw a police canine demonstration, and Kyle got to climb into an inflatable bubble floating in a pool and run around. We had a great time. We went back to the hotel to get a good night's sleep.
31. Idaho Falls M.A.D. Marathon, Idaho Falls Idaho, 7/27/2013.
My thirty first marathon in 2013 was the Idaho Falls M.A.D. Marathon in Idaho Falls Idaho. Kyle, my ten year old son, ran the half marathon. It was his seventh half marathon for 2013.
We woke up Thursday morning in Sandy Utah. We went to the Momentum Indoor Rock Climbing Wall. Kyle spent a few hours climbing up the walls while I helped him. His hands and arms got tired. We went out to eat for lunch, and then drove to Idaho. We got a hotel in Pocatello Idaho and spent the night. We woke up on Friday morning and drove the rest of the way to Idaho Falls. We went to the packet pickup, which was at the Teton Running Store. We got our shirts and bib numbers. They also had free sandwiches and ice cream. We went out to dinner at Johnny Carino's Italian restaurant, where we met up with some other runners. After dinner we went back to our hotel and got a good night's sleep.
Race morning came early. We drove to the shuttle bus pickup location. I got on one of the full marathon buses, and Kyle got on one of the half marathon buses. The marathon started at 5:30 AM. The sun was just starting to rise. We were running to the west, so we were not able to see the sunrise. We were able to see the rainbow that was in the sky directly in front of us. They had aid station every couple of miles. Some of the stations were not manned. I finished the marathon with a time of 4:22:20. Kyle was waiting for me at the finish line. He finished with a time of 2:17:21. They had string cheese, chocolate milk, and other drinks at the finish line. They also had free massages. Before we left the finisher's area, it started to rain.
We went back to our hotel, went swimming and took showers, and then checked out. We went to the guitar exhibit at the Museum of Idaho. There were lots of guitars to look at, including the world's largest electric guitar. We went out to eat at Texas Roadhouse, which is one of Kyle's favorite restaurants. After eating, Kyle fell asleep at the restaurant. I got him out to the car, where he fell asleep. We drove across Idaho to Wyoming, and drove across part of Wyoming. We stopped in Pinedale Wyoming and spent the night. Before going to bed, we went swimming at the hotel's pool. We got up the next morning and drove the rest of the way to Denver. We got a hotel room and some sleep, and flew home the next morning.
32. Eagle Creek Trail Marathon, Indianapolis Indiana, 8/3/2013.
My thirty second marathon in 2013 was the Eagle Creek Trail Marathon in indianapolis Indiana. I left for Indianapolis late Friday morning. It was a long drive. I got to the North Face Store just before packet pickup was over. I got my bib number and t-shirt. I met up with some other runners at Puccini's Smiling Teeth Pizza for a pasta dinner. I then checked into my hotel, and got a good night's sleep.
Race morning came early. It had rained the night before, and it was humid. I drove to Eagle Creek Park and walked to the starting line. There was a huge rainbow in the sky. The course was an out and back half marathon distance. The half marathoners ran the course once, and the full marathoners ran the course twice. The half marathon started after the full marathon. Most of the course was on the trails, but some of the course was on paved roads. There were a few rough areas, and there was plenty of shade on the course. They had lots of aid stations. It did not get too hot, but it was very humid. I finished with a time of 5:44:13. They had chocolate milk, pizza, and snacks at the finish line for the runners. After the race, I went back to my hotel for a shower before my drive home. I then drove straight home, and got a good night's sleep before working the next day.
33. Mt. Sneffels Marathon, Ouray Colorado, 8/10/2013.
My thirty third marathon in 2013 was the Mount Sneffels Marathon in Ouray Colorado. I flew to Denver on Friday, and then rented a car and drove across Colorado to Ouray. I made it to the packet pickup, which was outside at the Ouray Hot Springs Park. The weather was cool, and the views were great. There were mountains surrounding the park. I stopped at Panny's Pizza in Ridgway for supper, and then I drove to Montrose, where I had a hotel for the night.
I got up early on race morning and made the drive back to Ridgway to the starting line. I noticed two of the runners standing together at the starting arch. One of the runners was a guy who was wearing all black. The other runner was a girl who was wearing all white and a veil. They were getting married at the starting line before the race. All of the runners watched the wedding ceremony. After the wedding, they put on their bib numbers. The bride was running the full marathon, and the groom was running the half marathon.
It was cold at the start of the race. It was nice to not have a hot marathon in August. The marathon was on unpaved dirt roads. It was very scenic. There were a few places along the course that were muddy from all of the recent rain, but overall it was a great course. It was an out and back course. The turnaround was at Ouray Hot Springs Park, where the packet pickup was held. That was also the starting place for the half marathon. I did not get dehydrated or tired along the course. I tried to run a steady pace. I started to slow down near the end. I was having difficulty in catching my breath in the high altitude. During the last part of the course, I was running in the same area as the new bride, and at the end of the course I was running ahead of her. As I crossed the finish line, I told the people there "Here comes the bride!" I finished with a time of 4:48:22. They had chocolate milk, locally brewed beer, and snacks at the finish line for the runners. It started raining before I get to my car. After the race, I went to one of the natural hot springs and soaked. It felt really good. I then drove back to Denver, where I stayed the night and flew home the next morning.
34. E.T. Full Moon Midnight Marathon, Rachel Nevada, 8/18/2013.
My thirty fourth marathon in 2013 was the Extraterrestrial Full Moon Midnight Marathon in Rachel Nevada. It was also my birthday. I flew to Las Vegas on Friday afternoon. I checked into the Hard Rock Hotel, and then walked to the Vegas strip. I went to the Monte Carlo, where I had dinner at their buffet. I walked along the strip, and then walked back to the Hard Rock, where I got a good night's sleep. I got up on Saturday morning and walked to the Excalibur, where I had breakfast at their buffet. I walked back to the hotel and took a nap, and then went swimming in their pool. I went to packet pickup, which was at the Hard Rock Hotel, and then had dinner at the Excalibur.
The start of the marathon was at midnight at the Area 51 mailbox, which is at the dirt road that leads to the entrance of Area 51. There were shuttle buses that left the Hard Rock Hotel around 9 PM and drove the runners to the starting area. The bus ride was a couple of hours long. I took a nap on the bus. After getting to the starting area, I got ready for the race. The marathon was run on the Extra Terrestrial Highway. There was a full moon that illuminated the roadway, but runners were still required to bring along a light and wear reflective tape. Most runners, including me, wore a headlight. I put some reflective tape on the front and back of my shirt. They were also handing out glow sticks to the runners, and I wore a couple of those as well. I also wore a belt with water bottles. The race director made a few announcements before the race started. One of the announcements that she made was that three runners were celebrating their birthday today. I was one of the runners that she named. She had birthday hats for the runners, but I did not want to wear a birthday hat while I was running.
The race was run entirely along the highway. Even with the moon and my headlight, it was still dark. There were plenty of stars in the sky, and I even saw a few shooting stars. I used the white fog line to help me stay on the roadway. The first half of the marathon had about an 1100 foot steady incline. The second half of the marathon was a steady decline. The finish line was at mile marker 20. There was a three mile out and then three mile back to the finish line. During the last few miles, I saw lightning off in the distance, but it did not rain during the race. The finish line was at the Little A' Le' Inn, which was in Rachel. It is a restaurant / bar / motel. The finisher medal was shaped like the head of an alien, and it glowed in the dark. They had lots of different drinks, and a breakfast buffet for the runners. They had fruit, cookies, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, ham, bacon, and other good food.
I finished with a time of 5:09:14. I struggled with the initial elevation, the steady climb during the first half, the warm temperatures, and the dry conditions. Even with carrying along an extra water supply, I still became dehydrated. After spending some time at the Little A'Le'Inn, I took the shuttle bus back to the Hard Rock Hotel. I went to bed and took a nap. I woke up around lunchtime and walked to the Luxor for lunch. I then walked back to the Hard Rock and spent the afternoon in their swimming pool. It was overcast, and it started raining late in the afternoon. I went back to my room and took another nap, and then walked to the strip. I had dinner, and then went back to my room for a good night's sleep. I flew home the next afternoon.
35. Wausau Marathon, Wausau Wisconsin, 8/24/2013.
My thirty fifth marathon in 2013 was the Wausau Marathon in Wausau Wisconsin. I drove to Wausau on Friday. It was a little over 600 miles. I got to the packet pickup that evening, which was at the Wausau Center Mall. I picked up my shirt and bib number, and then checked into my hotel. I had a spaghetti dinner at the restaurant next to the hotel, and then I got a good night's sleep.
On Saturday morning I went to the race start, which was in the parking lot of Marathon Park. Wausau is located in Marathon County. After the singing of the National Anthem, the marathon started. The course went along the streets of Wausau, and part of the course was off road on paved trails. It was a smaller marathon with not many spectators, but the spectators that were out there were great. Someone was dressed in a huge Smurf costume. Another person was playing the violin along the course. There were other spectators holding signs. There were lots of aid stations along the course with water, sports drinks, and gels. It was in the mid 60s at the start of the race, and it was sunny and in the mid 80s at the finish.
I finished with a time of 4:25:06. There were sandwiches and chocolate milk at the finish line. After the race, I went back to my hotel for a hot shower. I then went out to eat with another runner, and then I started my drive home. Along the way, I stopped in Cadott Wisconsin and visited a friend of mine. He is a police officer there, and we were on a running team together in 2006. I then drove the rest of the way home.
36. Tupelo Marathon, Tupelo Mississippi, 9/1/2013.
37. Heart of America Marathon, Columbia Missouri, 9/2/2013.
My 36th marathon for 2013 was the Tupelo Marathon in Tupelo Mississippi. I left for Tupelo early on Saturday morning. It was about a nine hour drive. I went to the packet pickup, which was at the Trails and Treads store. I picked up my t-shirt and bib number. Both of them had a skull and cross bones on them, and they both said "Trample the Weak" and "Hurdle the Dead". Tupelo is the birthplace of Elvis, and I also got an Elvis fan and a bag that had Elvis on it. I checked into my hotel, and then drove to the Elvis museum. I saw the birthplace home of Elvis. I went out to eat at Vanelli's Greek and Italian Restaurant. They had a buffet that was really good.
I went back to my hotel, and I saw Chuck Engle in the lobby. I was able to listen to his marathon stories, and also talk with him. He gave me some great insights and information that I am going to use to train and run better. I also met Leah Thorvilson. Both of them were also running the marathon.
Race morning came early. The marathon started at 5 AM. It was warm and humid at the start, and it was still dark. Some of the runners had flashlights. Starting at 5 AM was great in that I completed most of the race before the sun came up and before it got hot. The course had rolling hills. The turn around was at the half marathon point, and the second half of the course was running back along the first half course. I finished with a time of 4:17:43. They had barbeque, beer, and other refreshments at the finish line. The finisher's medal also had a skull and crossbones on it. I got to talk to Chuck Engle and Leah Thorvilson at the finish line. I went back to the hotel, took a hot shower, and then started my drive to Columbia Missouri for the Heart of America Marathon the next morning.
My 37th marathon for 2013 was the Heart of America Marathon in Columbia Missouri. I left for Columbia on Sunday morning after I finished the Tupelo Marathon in Mississippi. I made it to the packet pickup on Sunday evening, and then I stopped at Fazoli's for some pasta. I checked into my hotel, and got a good night's sleep.
The marathon started at 6 AM. Luckily, it was cooler and drier than Tupelo. It was dark at the starting line. My legs were still sore from the Tupelo Marathon. The first mile was the worst for my legs. After the first mile, my legs started feeling better. I ran a fairly steady pace, but gradually slowed down. The course was very hilly. I finished with a time of 4:44:42. They had drinks and cookies at the finish line for the runners. I went back to the hotel and took a shower, and then drove home. I took Kyle and Connor, my two sons, swimming that afternoon, and then we went to Dave and Busters.
38. Run Woodstock Mellow Marathon, Pinckney Michigan, 9/7/2013.
39. Patriots' Run Marathon, Olathe Kansas, 9/11/2013.
40. Hawk Marathon, Lawrence Kansas, 9/14/2013.
My 38th marathon for 2013 was the Run Woodstock Mellow Marathon in Pinckney Michigan. I left for Michigan on Friday morning. It was a long drive. The race was held at the Hell Creek Ranch Campground. It was a weekend event that had several different running distances races, including a 100 mile run, 100K run, 50 mile run, 50K run, half marathon, 10K run, 5K run, and a 5 mile run. It was set up like Woodstock. There was a stage with a live band, and many runners camped there for the weekend. I got there Friday evening, and set up my tent. My campsite was almost at the starting/finish line. I had a few pieces of pizza and listened to the band playing on stage, and then I got a good night's sleep.
The marathon and half marathon started at 7:30 AM. I lined up on the starting line wearing my blue and white tie-dyed t-shirt. The National Anthem was played live on an electric guitar, and then the race began. The first portion of the race was on dirt roads, and then it went onto the trails in the woods. There were several aid stations on the course, and the longer distance runners started before the marathon and were also out on the course.
I finished the marathon with a time of 4:43:57. The medal was a peace sign and the ribbon was tie dyed. I also got fourth place in my age group. The age group award was a VW bus that was covered with peace and love symbols, and had Run Woodstock Age Group Winner on it. After the race, I took a hot shower at the campgrounds and then drove home.
My 39th marathon for 2013 was the Patriots Run Marathon in Olathe Kansas. The marathon was held in the parking lot of the Great Plains Mall, which is about ten minutes from my home. The course is a one mile loop. It started at noon. There was another marathon held simultaneously with this one held in Afghanistan at the Bagram AFB. The Patriots Run Marathon was held to remember the tragic events of September 11th. It was also held to thank and honor those who serve our country.
I ran the entire marathon wearing my full duty police uniform. The total weight of all of my gear was 23 pounds. I wore my short sleeve uniform shirt with long pants. I had on my bulletproof vest and my duty belt, which had my handgun, extra magazines, Taser, pepper spray, handcuffs, baton, and radio. I did not wear my boots. I wore a pair of black Nike Pegasus running shoes, which would be acceptable to wear at work. I wore everything for the race that I wear when I work.
I drove my patrol car to the marathon. I parked it along the course, in between the Marines tent and the Army tent. I brought along an ice chest full of crushed ice. I planned on putting the ice down my shirt inside my vest to help cool me off. I also brought along my regular running clothes, in case I overheated and was not able to run the entire way in my uniform. The race director gave me bib number 52, for the 52 marathons that I am running in 2013. When I picked up my bib number the evening before the race, I signed up Kyle, my ten year old son, for the marathon. They gave him the next bib number on the stack, which was number 152.
Kyle and I did a couple of news interviews before the marathon started. It was almost ninety degrees at the start. After the singing of the National Anthem, Kyle and I lined up with the other marathon runners. We ran together at the start of the marathon, and then we ran our separate paces. During the race, the temperature reached a high of 95 degrees. It was even hotter in the parking lot with no shade wearing a dark colored uniform and bullet proof vest, but I did not overheat. There were two aid stations every lap with drinks and ice. Instead of using the crushed ice from my cooler, the Army personnel shared their cold compresses with me. They would give me a new one each lap. It was very motivating to run with the Army and the Marines on the course. There was one wheelchair entrant. During the race, he slowed down on one of his laps. He told me that he had a flat tire. On his next lap, he stopped at the Army tent. I watched the Army personnel lift him out of his wheelchair, fix his flat tire, and then set him back in his wheel chair so that he could continue the race.
I was very conservative with my running so that I would not overheat. As I completed more laps, I became more confident that I would finish. Each lap was timed, and my fastest lap was the last one. I finished with a time of 6:47:31. Instead of changing into something cooler after finishing, I kept on my uniform. Kyle was still on the course, and I was going to wait for him. I had pizza and sandwiches at the finish line, and I had a burger that the Marines had grilled at their tent. I waited for Kyle at the finish line. I was done running for the day. During the race, I was able to see Kyle and even run with him for parts of marathon. The race director gave me his finisher's medal, and I was able to give him his medal and a big hug when he crossed the finish line. He finished with a time of 7:52:19. He had started out running, and then walked. His fastest lap was also his last one. This was the third consecutive year that Kyle has completed the Patriots Run Marathon.
My 40th marathon for 2013 was the Hawk Marathon in Lawrence Kansas. The marathon was held at Clinton State Park. It was part of the Hawk Hundred, which is a 100 mile, 50 mile, or a marathon trail race. It started at 7 AM. I got up early on Saturday morning and drove to the starting line. I picked up my bib number and shirt. They had breakfast there for all of the runners. I had a few pieces of bacon and got ready to run.
The weather at the starting line was cool and comfortable. As soon as the race started, I looked around at the other runners, and remembered that I forgot my water bottle, which was required on the course. I ran back to my car in the parking lot, got my water bottles, and caught up with the other runners. The course was very scenic. The trails were very technical, with a lot of rocks, roots, and tree limbs. There were some great views among the way. The aid stations were well stocked with drinks and snacks, as well as knowledgeable volunteers who were also runners. After passing the last aid station, I missed one of the trail markers and took a wrong turn. Once I figured out that I was going the wrong way, I doubled back and found the right trail. I finished with a time of 6:21:16. The finisher's medal was handmade, and it had a hawk stamped on it. They had grilled burgers and other great food at the finish line for the runners. After a great meal, I drove home.
41. US Air Force Marathon, Dayton Ohio, 9/21/2013.
42. Omaha Marathon, Omaha Nebraska, 9/22/2013.
43. Mill Race Marathon, Columbus Indiana, 9/28/2013.
My 41st marathon for 2013 was the United States Air Force Marathon in Dayton Ohio. I left for Ohio on Thursday afternoon. It was a long drive. I drove about halfway to Dayton from Kansas City, and stopped for the night at a hotel in Illinois. I got up early on Friday morning and drove the rest of the way to Dayton. I went to packet pickup, which was on the campus of Wright State University. I got my shirt and bib number, and I walked around the expo. The Air Force had one of their custom built cars and custom built motorcycles on display. I checked into my hotel in Dayton, and then went out to eat at the Olive Garden. There was a heavy downpour, and they cancelled the 5K race that they had scheduled for Friday evening. I went back to the hotel and got a good night's sleep.
I got up early on race morning and drove to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. It was still raining, and there were lines of cars waiting to park. I parked an waited in my car to stay dry. They rain started to let up as I walked to the starting line. The rain stopped just as the race started. I started out with the four hour pacer. I ran a steady pace along the course. The marathon course went through the Air Force base, as well as out on public streets and highways. The course went past Hangar 18, which is where it is rumored that the government has stored evidence from the Roswell UFO incident. They had plenty of alien decorations, signs, and costumes around the hangar.
I finished the marathon with a time of 3:59:34. The finish line ended next to the National Museum of the United States Air Force. There were planes parked along the finish line with their wings over the course. I had pizza and chocolate milk in the finisher's area. I drove back to my hotel to take a hot shower, and then I started my drive to Omaha for tomorrow's marathon.
My 42nd marathon for 2013 was the Omaha Marathon in Omaha Nebraska. I drove to Omaha from Dayton Ohio after I finished the US Air Force Marathon. It was a 750 mile drive. I got to Omaha around 11 PM. The race expo was already closed. A friend of mine had picked up my shirt and bib number, and we shared a hotel room for the night. The marathon started at 7 AM. The hotel we stayed at was right next to the starting line. I was able to sleep in, and walk to the start.
My legs were really sore, and the long drive after the US Air Force Marathon did not help with my recovery. But after the first few miles, my legs felt better. I ran with the four hour pace group. I wanted to finish the marathon in four hours. I was able to stay with the group for the first half of the marathon, but then my legs gave out. The second half of the marathon was a struggle. At the end of the marathon, the course went into the Ameritrade Baseball Park. Runners got to run around the warning track and see themselves live on the big screen, and then run out of the park and across the finish line.
I finished with a time of 4:52:26. The finisher medals were made out of glass, and mine was stained blue. After the race, I walked back to the hotel and took a shower. I then drove home, and went to work. I was not able to get off work due to a manpower shortage. It was a long weekend, and slept well that night.
My 43rd marathon for 2013 was the Mill Race Marathon in Columbus Indiana. I left for Indiana on Friday. It was a long drive. It was the same route that I drove last week to the US Air Force Marathon in Dayton Ohio. I got to Columbus later in the afternoon and went to the packet pickup. Everyone there was very friendly. At some of the booths they had some great raffle prizes, including a bicycle and a $100 gift certificate. But the best raffle prize of all was the Physical Fitness Award. They were going to pick one person at random from all of the people who finished the full marathon and half marathon, and give that person a brand new Dodge truck. After I got my packet, I ate at one of the local Italian restaurants and I looked at the actual Dodge truck that they had parked outside. They had a black one and a red one on display, with the marathon decals on it. I decided that I wanted the black one. I checked into my hotel, and got a good night's sleep.
I got up early on race morning and drove across the street to Wal Mart. That was one of the shuttle locations for the marathon. I parked my car and rode the shuttle bus to the starting line. There were over 4,000 people running the full and the half marathon, which started at the same place at the same time. The weather was great. A hotel next to the starting line let runners inside to use the bathroom and wait for the race start. It was a little crowded at the starting line, but it quickly spread out as the race started. The race went through a lot of neighborhoods in Columbus. What was different about this marathon was that there were lots of spectators that were cheering for everyone. The neighborhoods were crowded with people who were sitting in their driveways cheering, and some of them had their own unofficial aid stations.
I finished the marathon with a time of 4:11:32. The finishers area was an after party, where they had several city blocks fenced off. At the entrance to the after party were a number of booths that had food for sale from their local restaurants. They also had a live band, and activities, such as a zipline and a rock climbing wall. I walked around to loosen up my legs and waited for 3 PM. That was when they were announcing the winner of the truck, and the winner had to be present to win. The streets became more and more crowded as 3 PM approached. They announced the winner of the truck. It wasn't me. It was a girl who ran the half marathon. She said that she had recently gotten married. I am sure that the truck was a blessing to her and her new husband. I left Columbus and drove north to Merrillville for tomorrow's marathon.
44. Tri Town Community Marathon, Merrillville Indiana, 9/29/2013.
My 44th marathon for 2013 was the Tri Town Community Marathon in Merrillville Indiana. I drove to Merrillville from Columbus Indiana after I finished the Mill Race Marathon. It was about a three hour drive. There was no race expo in Merrillville. I checked into my hotel, and then I went to the Olive Garden for dinner. I went back to the hotel to get a good night's sleep. I woke up at about 2 AM. It was raining, and it did not look like a good day to run. I fell back asleep, and tried to rest for the race.
In the morning, I got to the starting line and picked up my t-shirt and bib number. The rain had stopped, and it was a nice day to run. It was a smaller race, and most of the people running it were doing the half marathon. At the start of the race, my legs were a little sore. After the first few miles, my legs felt better. I maintained a steady pace throughout the marathon. The course went through neighborhoods and along walking trails. There were no cheering fans along the course. In some of the neighborhoods, people were outside working in their yards and they didn't even seem to be aware that there was a marathon. I finished with a time of 4:19:03. I was only less than 8 minutes slower than yesterday's marathon. After the race, I took a hot shower at my hotel and then drove home.
45. Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, Minneapolis Minnesota, 10/6/2013.
46. Prairie Fire Marathon, Wichita Kansas, 10/13/2013.
My 45th marathon for 2013 was the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon in Minneapolis / St. Paul Minnesota. I drove to Minneapolis on Saturday. I got to the packet pickup and race expo that afternoon and picked up my bib number and shirt. The race expo was large, and there were many vendors. I ate at the pasta dinner that was held at the race expo, and then checked into my hotel. I got a good night's sleep for the race.
On race morning I drove to the finish line area and parked. I took a shuttle bus to the starting line area. They had opened the Metrodome for the runners to stay inside where it was warm, and to allow the runners to use the indoor bathrooms. I stayed inside until right before the race started, and then I made my way to the race corrals. My 3:29 marathon time from earlier this year allowed me into a faster corral, but I decided to run with the 4:00 runners. It was cold at the start, so I wore my long sleeve shirt. After a few miles into the race, it warmed up enough for me to take it off. The course was filled with cheering fans, and it was later announced that there were about 300,000 spectators. I ran a steady pace, and finished with a time of 3:57:51.
They had chocolate milk, hot chicken broth, and other refreshments at the finish line. I walked over to the tent that had free massages. I was starting to get cold. The massage tent was enclosed, and it was heated. The heat felt really good. After the massage, I stood next to the heater to try to warm up. The heater and chicken broth really helped. I walked back to my car. I had already missed the checkout time at my hotel. I started my drive home. I stopped at the first truck stop on the way, and took a hot shower. I then drove the rest of the way home.
My 46th marathon for 2013 was the Prairie Fire Marathon in Wichita Kansas. I drove to Wichita on Saturday morning. I went to the race expo and picked up my bib number and race packet. I was the 4:30 pacer for the marathon. I went to the pacer booth, where I worked for several hours answering questions about pacing. As a pacer, I was given a free race entry, a free pasta dinner, and a free hotel room that I shared with another pacer. I checked into my hotel room, ate at the pasta dinner at the hotel, and got a good night's sleep for the marathon.
On race morning as I was leaving the hotel, a lady on the elevator looked at me and said that I was a really fast runner. I was holding the 4:30 pace sign, and she thought that I was going to run the marathon at a 4:30 minute per mile pace. I took that as a huge compliment and went to the starting line. The weather was great. As I stood at the starting line, other runners started to line up in the corral. I met a number of runners who were planning on running with me.
As the race started, we ran together as a group. We kept a steady pace. We had some runners in our group run ahead, while others fell behind. I finished with a time of 4:30:52. I ran a steady pace and finished in my goal time. More importantly, there were three first time marathon runners who ran with me the entire race and all three finished in under 4:30. After the race, I walked around the finisher's area and had pizza and chocolate milk. I went back to the hotel room, took a shower, and drove home.
47. Kansas City Marathon, Kansas City Missouri, 10/19/2013.
My 47th marathon for 2013 was the Kansas City Marathon in Kansas City Missouri. The Kansas City Marathon is a hilly course, but it is one of the better scenic courses that I have run. The 2009 Kansas City Marathon was also my first marathon. I went to the race expo on Friday afternoon. There were lots of vendors at the expo. I picked up my packet, shirt, and bib number. I was surprised to see that I got bib number 3. Usually low bib numbers are reserved for elite runners, but I think that I got it because of how early I registered for the race. It was nice to not have to travel for a marathon. I went home and got a good night's sleep in my own bed.
I got up early on race morning and drove to the starting area. I parked in the parking garage and went inside Crown Center to stay warm. As it got closer to the start of the race, I made my way to the starting line. The weather was great. I lined up with the 3:55 pacers. I was hoping to run a 4:00 marathon today. I stayed with the pace group for the first few miles. I then ran ahead of them, and caught up with the 3:50 pacer. After a few more miles, I realized that I wouldn't be able to keep that pace for the race. I slowed down, and was eventually passed by the 3:55 pace group. I continued to run a steady pace, but as I got closer to the finish line, my left leg started to cramp. I slowed down even more, and finished with a time of 4:08:59.
There was free beer and free barbeque sandwiches for the runners in the finisher's area. They were also handing out free Chick-fil-A sandwiches. After getting something to eat and drink, I gave one of my running friends a ride to the airport. I then went home.
48. Marine Corps Marathon, Arlington Virginia, 10/27/2013.
My 48th marathon for 2013 was the Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington Virginia. I left for Washington DC on Friday morning. My flight had a layover in St. Louis. The girl that sat next to me was going to run the New York City Marathon the next weekend. On my flight from St. Louis to Washington DC, almost half of the plane was filled with passengers wearing marathon shirts. After I got to the airport in Washington DC, I took the metro to Arlington, and walked to my hotel. My hotel was right next to Arlington National Cemetery, which is where the marathon started and finished. I took the Metro to the National Armory, which is where the race expo was held. I picked up my shirt and bib number, and I walked around the expo. I went out to dinner at an Italian restaurant in downtown Alexandria, and then I got a good night's sleep.
I woke up on Saturday morning planning on going to the Smithsonian. I turned on the local news, and there was a story about the White House hosting a Fall Garden Tour of its gardens and grounds. I went to the White House, got a ticket for the tour, and went through the Secret Service security check. Then I got to walk through the gate and onto the White House grounds. The grounds were very impressive, and they were a lot bigger than what I thought they would be. I was able to walk up to the back door of the White House. There were plenty of heavily armed Secret Service officers there as well. After the tour, I walked to the Old Ebbit Grill for lunch, and then took the Metro back to the hotel. I took a nap, and then had dinner at the Italian restaurant across the street from my hotel. I got a good night's sleep for tomorrow's race.
I got up early and walked to the starting line. It was cold, but I knew that it would warm up later in the morning. The start of the marathon was very impressive. During the singing of the National Anthem, there were parachutists overhead with huge American flags descending onto the starting line. The race officially started with the firing of a Howitzer cannon. The course was very crowded. There were many motivational and inspirational people on the course. I saw a blind person running with a guide. I saw a wheelchair athlete with no legs, and there were over 100 wheelchair athletes on the course. There were countless cheering fans. There were Marines in full uniform cheering on the runners. The course went through the National Mall and past the monuments. There was a portion of the course where someone had put up signs for fallen Marines. Each sign was for a different Marine, and it had their name, age, date of death, as well as a picture of them. Some of the pictures showed them with a spouse or their children. The signs seemed to go on forever. There were sections of the course that were lined with American flags.
I finished the marathon with a time of 4:05:12. There were a line of Marines leading up to the finish line as well as after the finish line, cheering and congratulating runners. Marines were also handing out finisher medals, food, and drinks. I walked around the finisher's area and got a free massage. I walked back to my hotel and took a shower and a nap. I went out to dinner at Phillips Seafood Restaurant. I then got a good night's sleep. I got up early on Monday morning and walked to Arlington National Cemetery. I went to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I watched the changing of the guard, and I also got to watch a wreath laying ceremony. I went back to my hotel and checked out, went to the airport, and flew home.
49. Bass Pro Marathon, Springfield Missouri, 11/3/2013.
My 49th marathon for 2013 was the Bass Pro Marathon in Springfield Missouri. I drove to Springfield on Saturday, and got to the packet pickup and expo in the afternoon. There were lots of vendors at the expo. After the expo, I went to the pasta dinner that was in the same building. The food was excellent. They had two speakers at the dinner - Frank Shorter and Dick Beardsley. After the dinner, I had my pictures taken with them. I then went to my hotel, and got a good night's sleep.
On race morning, I drove to the Bass Pro Shop, which was the starting line and the finish line for the marathon. It was chilly, and they had opened the store so that the runners could go inside and stay warm. The entire store was open for the runners to look at the merchandise. I lined up with the other runners just as the race was about to start. After the National Anthem, the race started. It warmed up along the course. I finished with a time of 4:17:55. The finisher medal was one of the nicer ones that I have gotten. It was very detailed, and it had a bear on it. After the race, I went back to my hotel and took a shower. I had lunch in Springfield, and then I drove home.
50. Pilgrim Pacer Marathon, Lenexa Kansas, 11/9/2013.
My 50th marathon for 2103 was the Pilgrim Pacer Marathon in Lenexa Kansas. It was nice to have a race in my hometown, with the starting line just a few miles from my house. On Friday afternoon, I went to the packet pickup. I got my bib number, shirt, and coffee mug with the race logo. I was able to sleep in my own bed, and I got a good night's sleep for the race.
The race started at 8:30 AM, so I had plenty of time to sleep in and get to the starting line. I still got to the starting line early. The weather was great. The course was an out and back half marathon distance. The half marathoners ran it one time, and the full marathoners ran it twice. It was crowded at the starting line, but the runners spread out on the roadway portion of the course before getting to the paved trail. The course went through wooded areas where the leaves had changed into their fall colors. There were plenty of aid stations as well. I finished with a time of 4:39:58. The medal was in the shape of a huge turkey. They had pumpkin pie and hot chocolate at the finish time. It was nice to have a short drive home after a race.
51. Portland Alley Marathon, Iola Kansas, 11/16/2013.
My 51st marathon for 2013 was the Portland Alley Marathon in Iola Kansas. The marathon started in Iola, went through Humboldt, and ended in Chanute. I drove to Chanute on Friday evening. It was less than a two hour drive. I stayed at the Tioga Suites Hotel in Chanute. The Tioga Suites Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and it originally opened in 1929. The hotel had a lot of character. It had two lion statues at the entrance, and old bar in the front lobby, and other antique decorations. My room had an antique radiator style heater. I got a good night's sleep for tomorrow's race.
In the morning, I got up and drove to Iola. It was very windy, and it started to rain. There was some thunder and lightning in the distance. I made it to the race start and got my shirt and bib number. They had put up barricades in the street for the starting line, but because it was so windy, the barricades had blown off the street. As other runners started to arrive, the rain stopped. There was a half marathon race, marathon race, and marathon relay race. All of the runners lined up on the starting line to start at the same place and the same time. They shot a starting pistol, and the race began.
The first few miles were on the city streets in Iola. The course then went onto hard packed limestone trails. It began to rain while I was running on the trails, but the rain stopped during the first half of the marathon. During the second half of the course, the marathon was back onto the city streets of Humboldt and the road to Chanute. For about eight miles there was a steady 30 MPH headwind with 40 MPH gusts. The wind gusts were too much for me, and I ended up walking a portion of the course. The marathon was named Portland Alley because of the portland cement plants in the area. Near the end of the marathon the course went past one of the cement plants. During the last mile of the course, I could see the finish line. I heard them announce my name. There were other runners who joined me right before the finish line to run with me. I finished with a time of 5:32:52. It was an inspirational finish for me. I was concerned that the race would have been canceled because of the weather, and I was concerned that I wasn't going to be able to finish because of the strong headwind. But I made it, and I had a huge welcome at the finish line.
52. Gobbler Grind Marathon, Overland Park Kansas, 11/24/2013.
My 52nd marathon for 2013 was the Gobbler Grind Marathon in Overland Park Kansas. I volunteered at the packet pickup for the marathon on Saturday. I helped hand out the packets to the runners. Kyle and Connor also helped out at packet pickup. Sunflower House, one of the two organizations that I was running for this year, made a flyer about me and had it put into all of the packets. The flyer explained that I was running 52 marathons in 2013, and this marathon was number 52. It also provided information about Sunflower House. There were ribbons attached to the flyers that runners could wear on race day to show their support. I stayed at the packet pickup for the entire day. I also picked up my packet and bib number. The race gave me bib number 52. After packet pickup was over, we went out to eat at Fazoli's, and then I got a good night's sleep.
I got up early on race morning and went to the starting line. It was about 15 degrees. Fox 4 Kansas City was doing a live broadcast from the starting line. They interviewed me, and talked about my marathons. They let me sit inside the news van to stay warm. The start of the race was delayed about 15 minutes because there were still runners picking up their packets. I was glad when the race started. I saw many runners wearing the ribbons that Sunflower House had distributed. I started out at a steady pace. My goal was a finish time between four and four and a half hours. It was very cold, but at least it was calm. There were aid stations along the course that had icicles on the tables. I had hand wamers inside my gloves, and toe warmers inside my shoes. As I got further into the marathon, my legs got tired. But I kept on running. There were a lot of runners who recognized me and cheered me on. Around mile 18, the course went past the starting line. I saw one of my friends waiting there to cheer me on. He told me that he wished that he had something to give me, like a bottle of water. His presence at the finish line for me was the best thing that he could have given to me. My pace got slower, and around mile 23, I got my second wind and picked up the pace.
As I got closer to the finish line, I could hear people cheering for me. It was a great feeling to cross the finish line. The news crew had waited for me, and there was a group of my friends there to congratulate me. I finished with a time of 4:46:23. I could not feel my fingers or toes. They had hot chocolate and soup in the finisher's area. I went home and soaked in the tub to warm up. I went out to eat for dinner with Kyle and Connor at Texas Roadhouse to celebrate.
53. Mississippi Coast Marathon, Gulfport Mississippi, 11/30/2013.
My 53rd marathon for 2013 was the Mississippi Coast Marathon in Gulfport Mississippi, on the
grounds of the Stennis Space Center. It was also my 48th consecutive marathon weekend for 2013. Kyle, my ten year old son, ran the
half marathon. We left for Mississippi on Thursday evening after I
finished working. It was very cold. We drove until I was tired, and checked into
a hotel in Missouri. We got up Friday morning and drove the rest of the way to Mississippi. We
got to packet pickup, which was at a rest stop on the Mississippi / Louisiana
border. We got our bib numbers and race packets, and then we checked into our
hotel in Slidell Louisiana. We ate dinner and then went to bed for a good night's sleep.
We got up on race morning and drove to the Stennis Space Center. We went
to the starting area and parked. It was still cool outside, but it was a lot
warmer than last week's marathon. We lined up together at the starting line. We
ran together at the start, and then I ran ahead. The course was a half marathon
loop that was run twice for the full marathon. There were a few NASA artifacts along the course to look at. It got warmer as the race
progressed. As I was finishing the second loop, I saw Kyle waiting for me. He
ran with me on the last mile to the finish line. It was a great feeling to have
him run with me. It was better than a huge crowd of cheering spectators. After I finished, we went to the finisher's area where
we had pasta and drinks. We changed clothes, and then drove home.
54. Baton Rouge Beach Marathon, Baton Rouge Louisiana, 12/7/2013.
55. Runners World Tulsa Half and Half - Full Marathon, Tulsa Oklahoma, 12/15/2013.
56. Otter Creek Trail Marathon, Brandenburg Kentucky, 12/21/2013.
57. 3 Bridges Marathon, Little Rock Arkansas, 12/28/2013.
My 54th marathon for 2013 was the Baton Rouge Beach Marathon in Baton Rouge
Louisiana. It was also my 49th consecutive marathon
weekend for 2013. My flight to Louisiana was supposed to leave on Friday
morning. On Thursday evening, I received a text message saying that my flight
had been cancelled. I got on the Internet, and I wasn't able to find another
flight. All of the flights had been cancelled because of the winter storm in
the midwest. I decided that I was going to get a few hours of sleep, and then
drive to Louisiana.
I woke up in the middle of the night, and checked
the Internet one more time before I left. I found a flight that left Kansas
City in the morning and went to New Orleans, with a layover in Fort Lauderdale.
I quickly signed up for that flight. I got to the airport several hours early
and got my boarding pass. I wanted to make sure that I was on that flight. When
I got on the plane, I saw Bobby Bell sitting in the front row. He is a former
Kansas City Chiefs football player, and he is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
When it was time for the snacks to be served on the flight, Bobby Bell walked
the aisle and handed out peanuts and pretzels. It was a fun flight. I
made it to New Orleans, and then drove a rental car to Baton Rouge. I went
directly to the packet pickup. They were getting ready to leave, but I was able
to get my bib number and shirt. I checked into my hotel, got a pasta order from
a neighboring restaurant, and then got a good night's sleep.
morning came early. It was overcast and very cold, with below freezing
temperatures. I drove to the hotel with the shuttle buses, and took a bus to
the starting line. I waited with other runners who were huddled in a park
shelter trying to stay warm. I was glad when the race started. It was a half
marathon distance course that was ran twice for the full marathon. I was able
to keep a steady pace, and I finished with a time of 4:19:34. They had
great food in the finisher's area. There was fried chicken, fried catfish,
gumbo, and Jumbalaya. They also had beer and soda pop. The fried catfish was my
favorite. I took the shuttle bus back to my car, and then went back to my hotel
for a hot shower.
My 55th marathon for 2013 was the Runners World Tulsa "Half and Half" Full Marathon. It
was also my 50th consecutive marathon weekend for
2013. I left for Tulsa on Saturday morning, and got to the Runners World store
that afternoon. I picked up my race packet and bib number, and then checked into
my hotel. I went out to eat at the Olive Garden, and then got a good night's
sleep for the marathon.
It was cold on race morning. The marathon was
actually two separate half marathons. One of the half marathons was a trail run,
and the other half marathon was a road race. Runners had a choice of running
either half marathon, or running both of them together as a full marathon. Each
half marathon had its own medal, and runners who ran the full marathon got both
of the half marathon medals, which linked together. For the full marathon,
the trail half marathon was run first. The starting line was the same for both
half marathons, and it was also their finish line as well. I was glad to start
running so that I could warm up. There were some muddy places along the course.
I slipped and fell twice during the trail half marathon. I didn't get hurt, just
muddy. The finish line for the trail half marathon was the starting line for the
road half marathon. It had warmed up enough for me to take off my long sleeve
shirt. The road race was run on a paved walking trail.
I finished with a
time of 5:14:16. They had grilled burgers at the finisher's area. I got
something to eat, and then got a free massage in the massage tent. It was past
checkout time at my hotel, so I stopped by a truck stop on the way home to take
a hot shower and clean up. I then drove the rest fo the way home.
My 56th marathon for 2013 was the Otter Creek Trail Marathon in Otter Creek Park in
Brandenburg Kentucky. This was also my 51st
consecutive weekend marathon for 2013. I left for Kentucky on Thursday
afternoon. Kyle and Connor came along. We drove to St. Louis,
where we stayed in a hotel for the night. We got up the next morning and went to
the Arch. We had driven past the Arch several times this year traveling to and
from marathons, but this was their first time to actually go up inside it. It
was very windy, so we could feel the Arch swaying back and forth while we were
at the top. They enjoyed the ride up and down as much as being at the top and
looking out the windows.
After leaving the Arch, we drove the rest of the
way to Kentucky. At the restaurant where we stopped for lunch, Connor played the
prize claw machine in their lobby. He was very excited when he won a stuffed toy
from it. We got to the packet pickup, which was at the Ken Combs Running Store.
We went out to eat at a local pizza restaurant, and they we spend the night with
some friends who were also going to run the marathon. When we got up on
race morning, it was raining. We got to the race start, where the rain had
stopped. We lined up at the starting line. Connor waited at the finish area with
the other spectators, and Kyle lined up with me to run. The course was a three
loop course, with race distances of eight miles, sixteen miles, and a full
marathon. Kyle was going to run the loop course one time for a total of eight
Kyle and I ran together at the start of the race. This was his
first trail run. I wanted to make sure that he would be alright. He enjoyed the
trail run more than a road race. The muddy course made it even more fun for him.
After he got used to the trail running, he ran ahead of me. I continued
running. It started to rain, and then it rained harder. It turned into a heavy
downpour. The trails on the course were made by the runoff by previous storms,
so the trails turned into streams. The course ran along Otter Creek, which was
swollen from all of the previous rain. There were several places along the
course where I had to cross the creek. At one place, I crossed the creek in
water up to my waist. The rain subsided, and the water ran off the trails,
leaving slick mud. I slowed down to make sure that I didn't fall.
I was glad to cross the
finish line. I finished with a time of 7:01:34. It was not a good marathon
finish time for me, but it was more like an obstacle course than a marathon.
Kyle and Connor were waiting at the finish line. I thought that they were going
to be bored waiting there, but they were as muddy as I was. They were playing in
the park with the other spectators.
We took showers at the park, and then
started our drive home. The drive home was even more challenging than the
marathon. We started with driving through several thunderstorms. We had to pull
over several times because we could not see from the heavy downpours. As we got
further west, the temperature dropped, and the rain turned into freezing rain
and snow. There were dozens of cars that had slid off the roadway, and we even
drove past a semi-truck that was on fire. It took us a lot longer to get home
because of our slow speeds. The front of our car was covered in a thick layer of
ice from the freezing rain. We made it home to our own beds.
My 57th marathon for 2013 was the inaugural 3 Bridges Marathon in Little Rock
Arkansas. It was also my 52nd consecutive
weekend of marathons. I drove to Little Rock on Friday afternoon. I went
to the Rock City Running Store, which is where they had the packet pickup. I got
my bib number, t-shirt, and race packet. I checked into my hotel, which was only
a couple miles from the race parking. I went out to eat at the Olive Garden, and
then drove to the race parking area to make sure that I could find it. I then
went back to the hotel for a good night's sleep.
Race morning came early.
The marathon start time was 7 AM, and runners needed to get there early to take
the shuttle buses to the starting line. I got to the race parking area and took
the shuttle bus to the starting line. They had a huge tent at the starting line
for the runners. It was a little chilly, and they had heaters which kept the
runners warm. They also had hot and cold drinks for the runners. The cloudy sky
became more and more blue as it got closer to dawn, and the moon was bright.
Once I got to the starting line, I knew that I was going to be able to
finish my goal of running a marathon every weekend in 2013 . It was a great
feeling. I was glad to start running so that I could warm up. It was a very
scenic course. The race was along the Arkansas River, and across bridges over
the river. It was an out and back course. The turnaround point was the front of
the William J. Clinton Presidential Center. The course went back to the
start/finish line, and then there was a second out and back course for the last
few miles of the race that went the opposite direction.
I finished with a
time of 4:34:04. They had pizza, hot dogs, and other snacks in the finisher's
area. I sat down to rest and eat. I then took the shuttle bus back to my car and
went back the hotel for a hot shower. I drove home, and got a great night's
sleep in my own bed.