So I rose up this morning and drove Cheryl to the starting line pick up. I was not allowed to go to the start line on this one….I’m not sure why. Possibly to avoid the confusion and chaos surrounding the first few moments. Or because they just wanted to be different. The start line was rather narrow…with rows of port-a-jons all around. Cheryl was stuck in line waiting for one when the gun went off. An Important note for future Marathons is to get all Bathroom Activities out of the way BEFORE race time. I guess it was not that big of a deal…only about 30 seconds or so from the initial start time.
In the mean time, I raced ahead down the coarse to Mile 5. The rain, which had been holding back all morning, decided that this was the perfect time to let everything go! It started as a slight trickle…and ended up being a full down pour for the next 15 minutes! I had a rain coat, poncho, and umbrella and still managed to get wet! I could not imagine Cheryl’s conditions as she was scantly clad in prep for racing. In addition to that, She had to take off her Polar Dash fuzzy to put it on the bus with the rest of the runners’ items. She had no poncho, No umbrella, no rain coat…..
It’s all good though, because eventually she started running. And since she forced me to run in the rain, I figured it was poetic justice….and good practice so she was used to it by now. Besides, the rain eventually dimmed to a light sprinkle…..after thoroughly soaking everyone and everything, they was not much more damage that could be done.
So…the first people spotted were the wheelers. It was pretty cool seeing them roll by. I’m not sure what the lead was for them, but the Elites were just a few minutes behind. Judging from the make and model of the runner, It is probably a pretty safe guess that they were Kenyan…..Or at the very least from Africa somewhere.
Eventually Cheryl showed up…dripping wet and handing me her sunglasses. It was pretty much a given that she would not need them for the remainder of this race. I quickly snapped a few picks of her as she disappeared into the crowd…..Time to head to Mile 13!
Mile 13 was a little more open. I was able to select a section of road on the other side away from the crowd. By this time, the herd had thinned slightly…making it easier to identify Cheryl from the rest of the rabble. I tried to take as many pics as I could before heading onward toward Duluth.
At this point, Things get dicey for me. the road is closed since the marathon crosses the main highway. I have to take a detour…which is backed up for a couple miles as the cars slowly go through a 4 way stop intersection. I’m sitting in the car…hoping I have about 2 hours to get ahead of Cheryl and find a parking spot… .as I watch the marathoners slowly run past my parked car! Even the cyclist end up passing me on the highway. ( Bicycle)
An hour and 20 minutes later, I find a parking spot, run towards the marathon route, and begin cheering my head off for total strangers. I glance at the phone, only to see Cheryl has already passed the third marker and I have no idea where on the coarse that is! I begin to panic!
I run to the very end of the last corner and hope she has not passed me yet. She had some pretty good times leading up to this point, so it as possible that she would be close. I finally see the 3:45 Pace Setter run by and figure she would be close behind that…(She had been in front of him until now)
Just a few yards behind, I finally see her! She is on pace for setting a Boston Marathon Qualifying time….Something we joked about, but never thought it being possible. ( Boston Marathon Qual time for ages 40-45 is 3:45.) I call out to her, alerting her that she is mere moments behind the 3:45 Pace Setter and that she has the chance to get the mythical time…..She waves and continues.
Eventually I make my way to the finish line….the Finish line for this marathon is a little different in that they keep outsiders away from the runners until every runner has their treats, metals, shirts, and pre race satchels. I’m forced to make a huge winding detour around the finish line and towards the “runner pick up area” .
I finally find Cheryl….snap a few pics of her trophies, throw some clothes at her and head on out for Ice Cream. The crowd is still MASSIVE, and I suggest we head back to the safety and quiet of our hotel room…possibly getting a bite to eat after a nice soak in the hot tub. She Agrees!
So…What are the results…you ask? So far…Official time: 3:45:53 seconds…..that is 53 seconds shy of Boston Marathon Qualifying. She averaged an 8:38 minute mile; Placed 63 percent in her age group; overall placed 1944 out of 6075 runners. Out of 2639 females, she placed 531. And out of her age group for females: she placed 71 out of 322 ( ages 40-44) Not to bad for a first time marathoner….
So, as you can see, being the support staff is very fatiguing. Not only did I have to brave the weather, cold, traffic, and crowds…but I also had to be on cheer patrol all while trying to get the perfect pic for the Blog. Want to see my favorite: Check out these awesome pics of Cheryl in action.
So, in the end, I married Wonder Woman. Except for the blue eyes, magic rope, invisible jet, and tiara. I’m not sure how Linda Carter pulled off this look back in the 80’s ( I think it was the ‘80’s.) but Cheryl is rocking the colors of red white and blue(-ish) as well. Not to mention she pulled off a MARATHON! That is 26.2 miles! Ever walk that far and tell my your feet do not hurt….then imagine running it! Then imagine running it FAST! ( well, 8:38 minutes per mile fast) Then pose on the rocks like this: And tell me what you think. Ok…that last bit is just to be a bit funny.
The rest of the pictures are found here. Enjoy! As for us…time to hit that Hot tub!