The first few miles, I was thinking, "What the heck am I doing? I'm going to catch pneumonia." We started at 6:45 and it was still dark, so here we (more than 6000 crazy runners) were, trying to run without tripping over each other, in the dark, and getting wetter by the minute. I really was questioning my sanity. Little by little though, my attitude started to change and I was enjoying myself. When I ran the SLC Marathon, I kind of crashed at about 18 miles and the last part of it was pretty hard. This time I tried to conserve my energy a little and I was able to really enjoy the last part of the race, especially the last 3 miles. I was hurting, definitely, but I was able to pick up my pace just a little and feel really strong. It was awesome. I finished in 4:19:05 and beat my last time of 4:32:00, so I felt pretty good about that since I didn't feel as prepared for this one. St. George is a better, easier course but it still feels good to beat my previous time. It was raining, after all. :)
The crowd support once we got into town was great and that made the last few miles funner, too. There were three signs that I saw sponsored by the mortuary that were particularly cool. The first one said:
Metcalf Mortuary 3 Blocks AheadThe second one said:
Mortuary 1 Block AheadAnd then finally on the corner at the mortuary there was a sign that read:
We'd rather wait for you,
Good job, marathoners
From Metcalf Mortuary
Another one was pretty funny too but you have to have some background. Gunlock is tiny little town on the race route that has a population of no more than 500, but probably much fewer. It's towards the beginning of the race. So I saw another sign that said:
Maybe that's only funny after you've run 23 miles but I was quite amused by it.
Running Shoes $100
Running Redneck from Gunlock... Priceless
Anyway, it was a great day! I'm so glad I did it. I am very, very sore today and I have a few spots of chafed skin where my wet clothes rubbed too much but over all I'm doing well. The knee I've been having trouble with feels pretty good, so I'm very grateful for that. The race organizers where amazing and I'm especially grateful to all those volunteers who stood in the rain for hours giving us water, Gatorade, bananas, etc. I'm taking a break from marathon running for a while but I hope to go back to St. George within a few years. It was awesome!