4 friends, 26.2 miles
Bright and early Sunday morning Eric, DJ, Brenda and I started our Minneapolis Marathon Relay. The start time was 6:30 so we loaded up the car with some food and water and made our way to the start of the race. We dropped Eric off for his first leg of just about 8 miles. The rest of us went to Caribou Coffee for some energy (as in oatmeal, coffee and hot chocolate). We quickly made it over to the first relay exchange point to meet Eric. It was a brisk day at 45 degrees at start time but the sun was shining so it was glorious! We saw the lead runner sprint past and about 45 minutes later Eric arrived. He did really well with an average pace of 10:43. He ran faster each mile he ran. That is amazing! He handed off the chip to DJ. DJ ran the second leg of approximately 5 miles. We rushed over to the second exchange point. There wasn’t really a good place to park so Eric dropped me off and walked down (a big hill) to the exchange area. I’m not kidding when the first words out of my mouth when I saw the hill I need to climb was F&%K ME!
I’m only ¼ crazy.
DJ came down the hill and we exchange the chip and I started up my climb. The hill was right away, there was no warm up. It was about half a mile or so and then we turned and went up another hill. Before the first mile marker my Achilles was mad at me. I was in some pain. But I carried on. During my second mile was a nice downhill to West River Road. On the bridge across the Mississippi River I meet a member of the 50 states club. He has run a marathon in all 50 states and was on his second go around. He only has 18 to go to be a two timer! Amazing. So I ran past him on my way down the hill. Most of my leg was part of the out and back of the course so I got to see the lead run pass me…in a flash and for my entire run I had faster people running towards me. It was kind of cool…to take my mind off of my aching foot, I took note of which runners on the return looked great and which ones were struggling. In my own twisted world that was fun. Some of the runners were intense. Others were happy go lucky, giving high 5s to us slow runners and giving us encouragement. Those people were awesome!
Along the way I ran with a woman from Iowa. She is doing the 2,015 miles in 2015 like me and was wearing the shirt. We ran together and talked for about a mile and half but I stopped for some water and she kept going. Another person came up and we talked for a bit but she stopped to walk and I kept going. Later on I took a picture of her at Mile 18. She was having troubles taking a selfie so I helped. The water stops for this race were prefect for me. Right when I needed them. I took some Tootsie Rolls with me because I knew this was a longer race. It was nice to suck on them for a while. I got the 17.8 water stop and DJ, Eric and Brenda were there to cheer me on. This was the relay exchange point for me but I had to run to the turnaround first. The turnaround was about a mile down the road. I will say that last 2 miles was horrible. Fortunately I knew about the turnaround. Others in my leg did not and they really suffered when they realized they had 2 more miles to go. Seeing the relay exchange point but having to run past is very deflating. But I persevered, it helped that my Achilles was not hurting as much anymore. Before long I was in the relay exchange area and I was done. 7.12 miles in 1:30.05. My pace was slow but I was happy with it.
I was starving at this point. We knew it would be an hour and a half before Brenda would cross the finish. The first stop we made was to Burger King for a Barq’s Root beer. It was so delicious. It made me very happy. We got the finish line and watched everybody finishing. Some still looked great, others not so much. I really hope if I ever run a marathon I look great when I finish.
Our overall time was 5:30 something. I’m not sure exactly what it was because our time doesn’t show up in results.
Pictures, Splits, Maps
I'm not sure where I dropped 99 feet in the first mile...There was no downhill!