Sunday, October 7, 2007

10/7/07 Bellingham Bay Marathon

The whole family drove up to stay with Jody's Dad and watch me knock off marathon number 3 within 3 months, thus gaining entry into the Marathon Maniacs club. I followed the weather report with apprehension and had trouble sleeping the night before the race, listening to the wind and rain lash against the house. So happy to see it dry in the morning.

I arrived early and got preferred parking in the heated garage. The wind was blowing fiercely and had knocked over a whole row of porta-potties. Gusts were at least 30-40 mph. I found a secret bathroom in the office building, and stayed indoors until just before the start.

Start - Two of the main maniacs were there and I introduced myself.

Mile 1 - Running right into the wind. This is fairly comical. I feel great but I suspect that the wind will zap my energy.

Mile 3 - Cool boardwalk over the water, furious winds directly in my face. Having a fun time though and not stressing about it.

Mile 7 - That was a seriously steep uphill back there, but a few persons have mentioned that the real steep one is yet to come. Lots of 1/2 marathon runners with us as both races started at the same time. This neighborhood is sort of boring and I swear we are running in circles.

Mile 10 - The California street hill. Super steep but short, then on to a gravel and dirt trail. I had thought it would be a paved trail, but this is OK. Except for all of the downed leaves and small branches. Some escape from the wind.

Mile 14 - Out and back on the trail. Some very steep parts that I was not expecting. Hey guys, I am not a trail runner yet. One of the downs and ups could have easily had a bridge over it.

Mile 15 - Pass a maniac heading out still. That will be me soon, wearing that silly shirt.

Mile 19 - Back on the roads and wind. Slowing down and running alone.

Mile 22 - Trudging along and spacing out I am shocked back to reality as a transformer blows up directly above my head. I thought it was a gunshot at first and I sure managed to run faster for a little way. Shared a moment of increduality with some spectators just down the road.

Mile 23 - Turn down to the water and back onto that boardwalk. This time strong tail winds pushing me to the finish.......

Mile 24 - Except that we have to go right past the finish and run a little two mile loop, ensuring that the last mile will be back into the head wind. Caleb, Jared, Connie and Jody are there to cheer for me.

Mile 25 - Meet a nice guy from somewhere in the south, we keep trading places and encouraging each other. Pigtails scoots on past.

Mile 26.2 - There is the family and there is the end. Rain held off. Wind is getting worse. I need to get inside. Finish time was not so hot, but I can blame it on the weather and the unexpected steep hills. A difficult but rewarding day. This was the inagural race and part of me wants to say I ran it every year, but mostly I do not feel a need to come back. Time will tell.

108th of 379 runners

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