Saturday, April 5, 2008

4/5/08 Yakima River Canyon Marathon

14 days post Easter Marathon. Lets see what these legs can do. Only good thing to say about the Days Inn is that it is a short walk to the start. Big thanks to Jody for coming with me, picking good foods and driving back from my first point to point course. Cold but bright sun and the promise of another perfect weather race day.

Start - I am starting to see many of the same people at every race. All a friendly bunch of crazies. My two week rest between marathons is absolutely nothing compared to what some of these guys do. Quick run through of the National Anthem, and we are off.

Mile 5- It has been very flat and pleasant doing two little loops off of the Canyon road. Nice big crowd of runners. Now the road drops off into the canyon. Stunningly beautiful. Lots of twists and turns but also at times I can see a half mile or more ahead. Road closed to most traffic, it is nice and quiet and safe.

Mile 6 - I had been warned of the camber/slant on the road and in fact it is significant at times, but it eases up too and does not seem to be a problem.

Mile 7 - Just a little off, very early bad patch, but not so rough. I quickly recover. I also have been just behind Hope Fox and some of her friends. I am determined to not pass them, as I have been on 8:20 pace and I know that they will finish ahead of me. Later I would pass them when they stopped for some reason, it took them a few miles, but all of them except Hope did indeed pass on by.

Mile 9 -Big splash in the river. I see the "circles in the stream" then see a monster trout leap out of the water once, then again, then a third time. Also see some mountain goats way up on the rim of the canyon.

Mile 10 - Getting hot. I wonder of it would be worth it to take off my shirt. Pour some water on my head and try to not drink so much as to get sick. Throughout the race it would get warm but then there would be a nice stretch of shade and a considerable temperature drop.

Mile 13.1 - Right on pace at the half. I can slow down and still have a decent time. I expect to hit the wall sooner than usual and I dread the last few miles picturing myself being passed by streams of runners all looking fit and smart.

Mile 14 -Serious uphill. I am able to keep running, slowly anyway. Walking through water stops pouring lots of water on my head, then running to the next one.

Mile 19 - I am officially tired, but plodding along. Still awed by the beauty of the course. Being passed by a few, but also passing some. The slant in the road has beat up my feet and ankles to some degree.

Mile 22 - The famous mile long hill. Taking some walk breaks now, but keeping them short. Every once in a while I get a little light headed and decide to not push it, walk it off and recover quickly. Not sure that the rock music blaring from hidden boom boxes up on the cliff was appropriate for the scenery....oh I get it "rock" music.

Mile 23 - Fun signs and a few very supportive race volunteers at the top of the hill. Turn the corner and see the most lovely sight of all, a huge downhill, all the way to the finish.

Mile 24 - More negotiating with the watch. No PR today so I just need to make sure that I beat 4 hours. Do the math, how slow can I run and still beat 4 hours? I have got to stop looking at that watch in the final miles and just do my best.

Mile 25 - Hate to be taking short walking breaks, especially on a downhill but that is what is happening. Quads have held up better than last races, I am not being passed by the streams of runners. My head is alright and I will get in under 4 without any epic struggles.

Mile 26.2 - There is Jody to cheer me in. Put on a little finishing kick and next thing I know I am getting a hug from Lenore. Quick recovery at the finish, then a 3 hour drive home.

130th of 401
Race #133 Marathon#18 Yakima Marathon#1

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