The North Discovery Olympic Marathon has been in my bucket list for a while now, so when our long time friend Dr. J. shared with me his plan of running this marathon as a celebration of his 60th birthday and asked me to coach him and invited me to run it with him, I said yes!
We have been running (short distance), hiking, skiing, dining, and canoeing buddies with the Dr. J. family for nearly 20 years, but we have never ran a marathon together and we always said we would. Providing guidance to his training was fun. Dr. J. has a very busy medical practice, so fitting in those long runs was tough at times, but overall he trained rather well.
The night before the night before found my husband and I spending the night with Enkephalin at her house. Spending time with Enkephalin is always very precious. Both my DH and I truly enjoyed our short time with her and I must admit that I found a new “breakfast queen”. Thank you so much ohh “breakfast queen”!!
The night before the marathon found us enjoying a great pasta dinner made by the Sons of Italy of greater Port Angeles. Great dinner, I may add. Funny, this was the first time I had a pasta dinner at the official carboloading event.
The weather on race day was splendid, one of those rare “West side good weather”. Clear, no clouds and sunny. In fact, it was a bit too hot by the time 10 am came along and the race started at 9am.
Here I am with the birthday boy, Dr. J. just before the starting line. (BTW, this was his first marathon after his one and only marathon twenty years ago).
Miles came and went as the chatter between us became less and less philosophical, sociological or esoteric and more and more about mundane talk such as weather, movie, music, etc.
My quest during this marathon was to see Dr. J. to the finish line, to be his Sherpa and to help him have fun during his victory lap. I had a lot of help in my DH, their daughter Gabbie, and Dr. G., his wife. The race course is the most “support friendly” course I have ever ran, our cheerleaders had had plenty of opportunities to find us.
The first 6 miles found us running at about 9 mile pace, mile ten at about 9:20, half marathon at about 9:30. It was at about this pace that Dr. J said to me: I like this pace, I can run this pace forever. So, the forever pace took us for about 4 more miles.
We were very happy with our effort until Dr. J’s running nemesis “Atrial fibrillation” showed up. We were kind of expecting it to show up because he had had "A fibs" during his long runs before and he knew exactly what to do to deal with it (his cardiologist gave him clearance to run this marathon). This is common episode for him for any running he does beyond 2 hours (funny, running is the only exercise that causes this). They just biked through Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand for a month and not once did the nemesis showed up. We have also hiked a while back for 120 km in Chile, think here hard core hiking and it never showed up either.
Him being a doctor knew how to deal with this chronic condition and I had my orders (from his other doctors) what to look for and what to do if things got worse. So from mile 17 on was all about finding yet another “forever pace”, which turned out to be walk 100 feet, run 100 feet.
The scenery was fun-tastic!
His cheerleading crew showed up more frequently, which made the journey more exciting and less scary for me.
Running my compadre to the finish line I did and here is the proof of it!
Caution: please don’t try to emulate this effort, unless you are a doctor and you have a clearance from your heart doctor.
"Champions are everywhere; all you need is to train them properly..." ~Arthur Lydiard
sounds like a scary RR glad it worked out OK. This race has been on mike bucket list since they started it. in the early days, each finisher had their own volunteer to take them through the finish area. it is of course too big for that now, but it still sounds like a great race.
Great race for Dr. J and great Sherpa duty for you! Looks like a really nice course for a marathon. I always love how you post pictures with your race reports. Thanks!
Yep...very nice report, Posai. You make a very good Sherpa....and a great friend!
It looks like a pretty course! Congrats to you and your friend on a good race. Hope he had a happy 60th birthday! Is he going to come run the tunnel marathon with us on your 50th?
I hammered down the trail, passing rocks and trees like they were standing still.
It was great having your company and that or your DH that Friday evening/Sat morning. Looks like a lovely course and I'd love to do it someday. Thanks for the pictures. Glad Dr. J finished the race ok. Stumpy and Tall have had to deal with serious a-fib. I only had that one episode, but it was running induced for sure. Did your friend's heart go back to normal afterwards?
Sounds like your pace was pretty fast that first half too.
"During a marathon, I run about two-thirds of the time. That's plenty." - Margaret Davis, 85 Ed Whitlock regarding his 2:54:48 marathon at age 73, "That was a good day. It was never a struggle."
that is awesome. Way to support you're friend. Since I have a fib I can understand what your friend has to deal with. Now that my a fib has been away for six months I am grateful but still wary. Tall
Recent Best times: None recently
Great report and pictures, mari. If anyone other than a doctor, running with his cardiologist's blessing, experienced what Dr. J did, I'd freak out. I'm glad all went well and you had a good time.
MM#209 / JapanJoyful#803
Mari - Lucky doctor J..Incidentally, where were those photos taken? In 2008, it was a great marathon most of the way with my dearly-departed friend Ultra Paul Piplani. Dove and lynden too but the last mikles were in driving rain and wind off Puget Sound. Maybe I’ll go back again after all.
ps - wait'll Dr. J finds out what a forever pace is in ten years, . . . but I don't recommend waiting that long.
annual marathons since 1977, tri's since 1978,
ultras since 1986, running barefoot since 1990
Great pics, and you are a great sherpa!
...How Sweet mari//..........May you always have a Forever Pace............
..nothing takes the place of persistence.....
Beautiful race report - inspirational as always!!