~ Under Construction ~ Here's a stat.......
There was so much packed into three days I really don’t know where to begin…what to include…or what to leave out. This isn’t a race report, it’s a trip report.
As far as the race goes, here it is:
3:48:36 66th OA, 8th AG.
It’s hard, hilly, quad thrasher, calf ripper, thru a gorgeous park, 2 loops forward and back course. (Carolyn will think differently) It’s well supported with out many spectators but they are at the right spots and you feel like they are there just for you and you alone. That may be because I ran 75% of this marathon by myself. I would guestimate that better than 85% of the runners and their spectators stayed to watch and cheer the final runners come thru the finish. Awesome.
My DW, Mom and I arrived early Friday afternoon. A 10 hour trip that started Thursday after we got off work. We checked in, settled in and started our sight seeing plans. I walked out to the lobby to wait for Mom, and DW and this is where I run into Wrigly Girl. A 6ft 13 inch, Ginger who was dressed to the nines heading out to meet Trent, drink beer and hit the Honky Tonks. I know Wrigly from Ragbrai and I see her several times everyday during that week. I get a great big hug followed by; “I hardly recognize you out of your spandex!” This is greeted with a big “EH HUM”…Coming from either my Mom or my DW, maybe both…So an awkward introduction was made and we left for the Opryland Hotel. I was also fortunate to meet srlopez this day. No Hug.
Opryland Hotel was well worth the stop. They had the Christmas lights out and it was spectacular. From there we headed to Broadway St. Where all the honky tonk bars are and enjoyed some great food and great live music. I kept an eye out for Wrigly, Trent and who ever else might be in that group but didn’t see them. This isn’t surprising given the number of bars and large crowds.
We did some more sight seeing and eating and beer sampling. Tony, (CEIE) from my town also made it to town on Friday. He joined us Saturday. We spent some more time on Broadway and went back to the hotel before packet pick up. I took a quick nap then Tony and I headed out for packet pick up.
Packet pick was well organized. The volunteers (some of them running the monkey) were having a blast. The “Massholes” were there. The Bostonians from the “Swamp” This is Mikeymike, Bash, Eric_M, BadDawg…damn, I’m already forgetting…Drew…more yet. No introductions were made here. The swag was pretty cool, a long sleeve tech shirt, personalized. A cotton tee, stickers, tattoos, a magnet and a rubber pint glass when you finish. Tony and I headed back. We stopped on our way and picked up a couple of 6 packs of craft beer. I figured we’d have some time to pass before the ladies were ready to head out for dinner. Tony and I were going to sit in the lobby and BS…Actually; I wanted to sit in the lobby and hope to catch Holly, OM and Wild Child before heading out.
MORE TO COME
I missed a huge part of the weekend. The part where I met Ileneforward and her DH Fastforward, Tea Olive, Pauly Gram, Mississippi…The Saturday morning pre-run led by Trent and srl. Many of us met in the lobby and then drove out to the park and waited for Trent. Trent and SRL gave us a nice preview of the course and pointed out turns and answered questions. Once we got back to our cars a group of local runners were celebrating someones birthday. They had a table of snacks, OJ…whiskey, beer and they invited us to join them. 8:30am, morning before a tough marathon, what the hell. I never had cinnamon flavored whiskey before. There is a group shot photo of all those present for the run that I haven’t seen yet.
Back to Saturday Afternoon.
Tony and I take a seat in the lobby with our beer. Checking in are several of the swamppers. We invited them to have a beer with us and in no time we had an impromptu party going in the lobby. My DW even made another beer run. Pretty soon we were joined by others as they passed thru the lobby. Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd. Soooo, all this time I’m keeping an eye on the front door. Finally…I see Holly, Wildchild and OM. There was no problem recognizing them. We great with a hug and smile. They settled into their room and came back to join the party.
So here I am sandwiched between three Master Goddesses posing for a picture and who comes around the corner…DW and Mom! Dang it, the leash just got shorter…lol. And yes, as you can see below, I married up!
We had plans to go back to Broadstreet and go to the “World Famous Wild Horse Saloon” Pretty cool place. Excellent food, great entertainment and a huge dance floor. All line dancing though. I am not a line dancer. We skipped the pre arranged pasta dinner but it sounds like those that made it there had a blast. So I drank a little more beer than I should have, ate more food than I should have and got in later than I should have. Oh well, the purpose of the trip was to have fun.
Sunday, Race day.
The atmosphere in the lobby Sunday morning was pretty cool. Typical pre-race feelings as usual but the big difference was that you knew everyone in the lobby. Rather than just stranger runners with somber faces mingling around picking thru the continental breakfast it was people you knew and had just met. You were greeted with smiles, nods and conversation.
I had pre-arranged a ride with Holly. The four of us pile into her SUV. I carried out a 40lb bag of Bagels that OM had brought. Listening to the chatter between the three of them I had a flashback to high school and for a little bit felt like the band nerd that just scored a ride to the kegger with the cool girls and made it into the “in” crowd. Poor boy will never be the same.
Damn, this trip was just too much fun. Holly found Pfriese right away. A gentle giant, tall, fit and if I could venture a guess…has lots of wisdom to offer. Our timing was pretty good. We didn’t wait around very long. Trent called three groups up for photo’s. The Maniac’s, The RA’rs and a group called Run It Fast. I will need to post a link to all the pictures of these groups and the runners. Pfriese is also very photo genic and has a couple of excellent ones out there.
We were called to the start and pretty soon we were off…and MORE TO COME…
Dang! I got all settled in here to read a nice race report. You know...after thinking about it...why bother? It's just going to be a bunch of pictures of Slo with his arms around all the women! Dang you Slo!
It's just going to be a bunch of pictures of Slo with his arms around all the women! Dang you Slo!
It's just going to be a bunch of pictures of Slo with his arms around all the women! Dang you Slo!
You know Mike, If there is one thing I've learned...If size really does matter...Then smile BIG!
1. Threw up once.
2. Didn't throw up twice.
3. Finished upright.
4. Drank some beer.
Marathon Maniac #957
I'll tell you, the Saturday I was to drive down to Nashville got off to a shaky start for me. Not only did I find out, shortly before I left the house, our credit card was compromised, and the only other card we have has just a $300 limit. But then, when I was about a couple hundred miles from home my phone suddently died. Completely dead. I couldn't turn it on at all, and since I was driving alone, I had no one's phone to use. I was on my way to Nashville airport to pick up Esther, and had no way to reach her. I got a bit panicked and pulled in at a rest stop, borrowed their phone, called DH, and tried to walk him through the process of finding Esther's number in my messages. He gave me several numbers, but none of them was Esther. So, I continued on my way to the airport, figuring maybe I would just walk around looking for her....
It was not good.
So here I was, driving ridiculously fast through Tennessee (really and truly, 90mph, and people were passing me as if I was pissing them off by going too slow), managed to pry off the back of my phone and take the battery in and out and viola! It started. Just in time, because Esther had just landed.....whew!
I found her, we went to lunch, came back and got Carolyn, went to packet pickup, went back to the hotel, and who should we find quaffing beers in the lobby?
And, just as we were taking this picture, Slo's wife and mom walk in and bust him with a bevy of women snuggled around him. Don't know if he has ever mentioned it, but Slo's wife is GORGEOUS! His mom is pretty cool, too.....
Now, about the race - have you seen the elevation profile?
Okay, time for someone else to jump in...
Life is a headlong rush into the unknown. We can hunker down and hope nothing hits us or we can stand tall, lean into the wind and say, "Bring it on, darlin', and don't be stingy with the jalapenos."
Looking forward to reading more here. Sounds like a great time.
It all makes sense to me except for one thing: rubber pint glass. Why?
You guys are killing me! Could someone/everyone please finish the story?!
I am pretty sure I met Slo-Hand and BadDawg in the lobby at some point. I also went at 7 am in the life threatening cold to run 4.5 miles of the course on Saturday morning. Later DH and I trekkked to Lynchberg to visit a historical site. That night we met up other Monkey runners for a pasta dinner at Savarino's Cucina.
Running is stupid
photo IDs, from left to right: unknown girl, Wrigley Girl, Tea Olive, mgerwin, me (Ileneforward), Dopplebock, Candice S, schneidr, abe_mend, Eric M, and kneeling in front: paulygram and lostinthenet3
Ilene, have you seen the photo from the sat am run?
nope Did Trent take that?
Keep the pics and reports coming!
Leslie Living and Running Behind the Redwood Curtain -------------
Trail Runner Nation
Well, I have a minute so I will jump in again....race day dawned sunny and chilly (37). I went back and forth about what to wear, and at the race start was freezing in my skirt and short sleeves, arm warmers and sweat jacket. Still, I bravely tossed it aside as we started running, and by the 4th mile I could feel my fingers and toes again.
The race? Well, hilly. Lots of hills. Lots of signs that said funning things like "I hate Trent" and "I really, really, really hate Trent" and "Last hill" (it was not) and "Idiot." This is a paved one-lane road winding through the woods and hills and round and round. The weather was fabulous, the volunteers awesome. There were 18 or 19 places where you ran by aid stations, including one with a sign that said "Monkey Crossing" and people were tossing stuffed monkeys back and forth across the path over your head as you ran by - it was a hoot!
Here's Carolyn and Slo at the Microtel:
Esther (Orange Mat) looking far too fresh after her stellar back-to-back races:
Here's OM, me, Slo, Wildchild, and PFriese (Paul) in the beer corral after the race, drinking from our Monkey Silipints:
Erika - you will notice the Equinox shirt - I put it on after the race because it was still a bit chilly.
See that plastic fork in my hand? Holly handed me that to fish out the bees that had decided to take a dip in my beer. Yes, the beer was that good.
who says life doesn't have a soundtrack?
This is so much fun! This reminds me of the "old" fashion way of doing race reports when a group gathered for a races.
Wow, RA goddesses are lovely gals!!!
and RA gods...well...don't get me started there. .
Keep the story coming!
Slow-runner, great job on the intro to this race report...you got us all hooked! (BTW, your DW and Mom are gorgeous!).
"Champions are everywhere; all you need is to train them properly..." ~Arthur Lydiard