original post @ racethestates
packet pickup was small and friendly with the race directors phil & stacy & their cute dog charlie.
i had considered the dinner, however i was staying in salina, about 45 min away.
a few minutes before 6:30am i was parked & in the building. if the car temp was correct it was 34º F.
there was a fire in the little building we were all waiting in until told otherwise. people would get close for a few seconds and then make their way a bit further as too close was extra hot.
this photo thanks to dick ross @ seekcrun
some nice people aked me about my project. i also chatted a bit with a woman from texas i had run into @ packet pickup.
at some random moment we all headed outside for the trail marker explanation
if you see this & you are a marathoner - turn around, you have gone too far.
look @ all our cars :)
then phil said something like "ok, go . . . run . . ."
and we were off.
after the first 1/2 mile (?) until the last 1/4 mile we were running on trails. there were plenty of water crossings - 2 serious ones.
there are less pictures than i might have taken (though still quite a few surprisingly) because i decided to push a little.
silly me when i was there were only 17 female marathoners i looked up the times of winners in previous years. last years 3rd place was 5:28. i could do this.
i ran almost 4 miles and then went to my 5 min run 1 min walk. i took a few pictures, played some leap frog with people. met 2 co-workers. one was running the 50 miler, the other was running the marathon.
about mile 8 i passed a woman & a few others. she & i played a little leap frog & then i was on my own for a while.
1/2 way & 18 mile (?) aid station
iarrived @ the 1/2 way aid station and thought "i can do this". someone helped me fill my water bottles. lots of people around to help & cheer on.
then there was the bluff section - 5 miles including some steep ascents.
since we had to go over barbed wire fences, they put up blankets
by mile 15 or 16 i was getting tired. a man passed me as i stopped to take a quick picture
i caught up to him & decided to keep his pace. i had changed to 3 min run / 1 min walk & i could keep his pace longer. another guy caught up & was keeping our pace for a bit. and then the leader's friend caught & joined us.
we were all running together & realized we didn't seeany markers. oops. turned back, found a marker, and headed off the wrong way again. lesson learned - pay attention even when with other people :)
the 3rd times the charm. we were back on the trail with a little extra mileage.
passed the ais station again. refilled the h2o again - it was hot by now.
the hills on the last 8 miles were much more managable.
i looked back, and another woman was getting close. i kicked it into gear. no clue where the energy came from. i was about to walk & looking forward to it. she almost caught me a 2nd time. i decided to keep looking forward & i would be ok.
from here on out i was roughly running 3/1 - often more running with random bits of walking on steeper or longer uphills.
i came across a few men, one of whome it turned out had run 3 extra miles - yikes. he was running the 50 miler.
happily he & another guy were in front of me when we came across the first of 2 big water crossings. the first went to just above my knees. the 2nd was almost to my waist. the water felt nice
image thanks to dick ross @ seekcrun.com
(notice the very wet shorts - water was about to my waist)
and then the home stretch.
it was quite tempting to stop & take a photo - there was some kewl yellow sand we were running on. if anyone reading this has picture of it, lemme know :)
i finished with 27.99 miles (vs 26.3) on my garmin - who knows how accurate this is - still, yikes :)
talked with a few people, did my post race exercises, refueled a bit and went home with a women's marathon 2nd place (surprised me).
stacy wished meluck on my future races & gave me a hug.
thank you phil & stacy for an enjoyable run.
hope all be wonderful :)
for elevation - look @ the chart (vs the ascent & descent)