Marathon Maniac #957
Just to add a couple more details.....
My friend Renee invited me to run this with her and another friend, Tara, several months ago. I was able to find a penthouse apartment online that was only one mile from the start-finish, which seemed perfect. First we had to start the weekend with a manicure/pedicure. The girls got Boston colors, but I opted for a more traditional cover-up for my sad toenails, so I could wear sandals to the office.
When we got into town we picked up the keys and went to the expo. There I found that Renee and Tara LOVE to shop at expos. We got this fun picture taken there, pretending to be fighting it out at the finish line. They were doing this free for anyone who wanted – very nice!
After an hour, I left them to it and went outside to sit and watch the people. After a few minutes, who should appear but Mike? We said hello and hugged and then he disappeared into the expo to get his gear. When he came out we sat and talked for a half hour or so and Renee and Tara were STILL shopping...Can I just say that Mike is every bit as awesome in person? Kind and considerate, self-effacing and funny...what a pleasure it was to finally meet him.
We eventually went back to the apartment and settled in, then set out to find a place to eat our pre-race dinner, but everything we saw had lines out the door and parking was almost non-existent, (and frankly I was getting claustrophobic driving around the crowded downtown) so we found a grocery and made spaghetti and garlic bread and spinach salad at the apartment, which was delicious.
The next morning we had a few snafus as both Tara and Renee lost a contact lens, then after leaving we had to go back upstairs to get keys to pay for parking, etc, so we were running a little late by the time we got to the start area, but still managed to check our gear and get to our corrals in time.
There was a huge crowd of racers, probably upwards of 15,000 with the marathoners, HMers and teams and relays combined, all along the downtown street by the waterfront. When the race started, we were still very crowded into a fairly tight back for the first 8 miles (at least it was that way for corral 3 - Mike said that at the front it was more spread out). At one point, we ran down a tunnel into the concourse at Churchill Downs, and saw the racehorses being put through their paces off to one side. Beautiful.
At any rate, the HM runners split off about mile 8 and the field cleared a bit. Then we went up into Iroquois Park, wooded and rolling with hills. None of the hills was terrible, but there were five of them, and they wore me down a bit. (Mike said so, too.) We later ran where giant mansions lined the streets, probably apartments now, but gorgeous, with people filling the balconies. We eventually met the HMers again, but this was handled well, with cones in the middle of the road keeping us separate. (As an aside, this race was extremely well-organized. The crowd support was wonderful and the volunteers were fabulous. There was a lot of security out, but it did not feel oppressive.)
The last 5 miles were tough for me. I kept wanting to walk, but didn’t have any reason to – no cramps or injury I could blame, just losing my motivation. Still, I made it to the end, and while I wish I had been faster, I wasn’t too disappointed with my time.
I got back to find Mike already there (no surprise) and Tara and Renee came later. We eventually went out to eat at an Irish pub, where the three of them bravely tried mint julips. I stuck with light beer…After a drive around town looking for a special edition bourbon for one of Mike’s friends, and a happy phone call with Wildchild, who had run her 50K the same day, we walked back to Fourth Street Live, a collection of clubs and restaurants about two blocks from the apartment. There we ended up at a place called Howl at the Moon, which had a great band playing and several very interesting bachelorette parties going on.
And after walking 1 mile to the start, 1 mile to the finish, and probably another mile to and from the pub and the clubs, we still managed to have energy to dance.
1015/2039 total finishers
So, not my best race, but certainly not my worst.
The best part, of course, was meeting Mike E and having an extremely good time with friends. Like Mike said, it is the friends you share it with that really make these events memorable.
Oh, and Mike’s stats:
50/2039 total finishers
Does this guy rock, or what?
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."
Great job! Thanks for the report. I'd read mixed reviews on Marathon guide, so nice to get an update.
Mike is seriously fast!
Nice to get your perspective on the race, Holly. Sounds like a wonderful weekend! I'm sooo looking forward to seeing you and meeting Renee at the Moab Trail Marathon in November! I totally agree that races where you meet up with friends are special. And yeah, Mike is special. He stayed with me for a whole week before the WY marathon, and I didn't even get tired of him!
I hammered down the trail, passing rocks and trees like they were standing still.
I love this report, my kind of weekend. Have fun with friends, get a pedicure, dance and still do a marathon with a speedy finish!
Have fun training for Moab!
"Champions are everywhere; all you need is to train them properly..." ~Arthur Lydiard
You three ladies have very nice toes and nails! There's no way you'd get me posting a picture of my feet like that, nuh uh!
Holly, this was such a cool race for you to do with friends and meeting Mike! It really is the best part of the event. Nice description of the course, too. How fun to see the racehorses getting a workout! Thanks for the report and the pictures. Always fun to have pictures!!
This is what a race report and a race weekend should be!
Thanks, Holly, and congrats on having a good race and a great time!!
Cool report! Love the toenail art too. I am curious as to the amount of security around town that weekend given the derby and the marathon.
Here on Long Island they had extra measures in place for the marathon and in NYC there were different rules for the 5 boro bike tour, no camelbaks or backpacks and only registered riders at the after party at the end.
What a great weekend! Its sounds like a beautiful course. Running past the thoroughbreds must be something. I wonder what they think of the people running without a jockey! Mike is an amazing runner. But then so are you! Great report and race.
Live like you are dying not like you are afraid to die.
Drunken Irish Soda Bread and Irish Brown Bread this way --> http://allrecipes.com/Cook/Twocat
Loved the toenails Holly, and it sounds like a good time was had by all. You may not have run as fast as you wanted, but look at all the perks - you got to meet Mike and have a great weekend! And - you also get to cross another state off your list. Now, you need to come to Wisconsin. I'll be your sherpa
Mike is one lucky guy. Thanks for the RR and pics, Holly.
It sounds like a greta time.
I love how you are traveling around running different marathons Holly. Getting to hang out with friends and meeting MikE is icing on the cake! Sounds like a fun, fun time!
"My sunshine doesn't come from the skies,It comes from the love in my dog's eyes."
loved the pics! thank you for the race report... lovely!
goodness is its own reward; for more tangible outcomes, you need to try badness.