Dead toenail count: 2.5
Hilly. Very very hilly. Here is the elevation profile:
This was a wonderful and memorable race for a several reasons. Let us make a list:
1. Not certified. The race director prides himself on this being a hard race that is not certified and not fast. Overall, there is 2500+ feet of elevation gain and loss throughout the race. The hills were gentle, but constant. I started out slow (for me) and just tried to get in a comfortable rhythm. I knew I was racing the Las Vegas marathon in two weeks, so I did not want to take a week to recover. I raced a 5K 4 days later in fact. My first mile was 7:04, so you can see I held a pretty constant pace throughout the run. I never felt like I was pushing it, never really felt tired, never felt strained or sore. I truly felt great throughout the whole race. A 3:07 finish (considering the hilly nature) on this course is pretty darn good.
2. Small race, lots of love. This race was a passion for the organizers, and you could tell. The field was capped at 200 and the 173 finishers got a great deal. Every single finisher got a big round of applause from the spectators. Throughout the race, here were little flying ‘monkeys’ hanging on trees.
With so few finishers, everyone felt like a winner when they rolled in. The organizers asked for people to bring food, so there was a bona fide potluck after the race, including peanut butter sandwiches, which I have never seen at a race before.
3. Divorce Therapy. The race started 26 hours before the final court hearing for my divorce. It was actually nice timing because my post race euphoria got me through the last few hours, keeping calm and even keel. While running this race, I realized how important this running thing is to me. It removes any stress that I hold onto, releasing it into the pavement I pound as I put on the miles.
4. Deal and a half. For $60 I got a personalized (with my name on it) long sleeve technical shirt, another cute t-shirt, a most awesome finishers ‘medal’ (actually a piece of wood, but way cool) fantastic run support (sweet people at every intersection, enthusiastic water stations attendants) and yet another very memorable marathon. This is my 9th marathon (in 9 different states, by the way) and one I will not forget anytime soon.