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Saturday, May 15, 2010

My Ogden Marathon Volunteer Experience!

The Ogden Marathon is one of my favorite races. I did the 1/2 last year and thought it was one of the most beautiful courses I had run on. This year I wasn't sure about Ogden as I had a few other races planned fairly close. By the time I decided I could swing it, the race had sold out.

One of my goals since I started running again was to try and give back to the sport I love by volunteering at at least one race per year. This year it was the Ogden Marathon. Just because I couldn't run, didn't mean I couldn't still be involed in the race! The best part was that David (my non-running husband) decided to join me (of course in the back of my head I was secretly wishing that the experience would inspire him so much that we would have to stop at the running store on the way home to buy him some running shoes)! That didn't happen, but he did have a great time.

David and I were assigned to the finish line area and I was stoked. I really wanted to be there when to see my friends and fellow Maniacs cross the line! We greeted an congratulated each runner as they crossed the finish line and put a medal around their neck.

David and I were stoked when we saw two of the DJ's from Radio from Hell finish the 1/2. I hung a medal around Ritchie T's neck and David medaled Gina B.! I also gave 1/2 marathon medals to my friends Bev, Raquel, Rita, and Andrea (Andrea, you are a real inspiration)!

When the marathoners came in, I started looking for our Maniacs (I was determined to hang the medals on our Maniacs)! First in was Bob K. He killed it, with a PR!! Next I saw Franz come in with Bart Yasso of Runner's World! I gave both of them their medals and in return got sweaty kisses and hugs! I loved it! Next in was Kevin, Marilyn and Liz!
Bob K. at the finish!

Franz & Bart Yasso at the finish!

Me and Bart Yasso at the finish!

Kevin at the finish!

Liz & Marilyn at the finish!

I loved seeing all the first timers run in with smiles on their faces and tears flowing. I also have a whole new respect for the volunteers that get up early and stand in the sun all day to make our marathon experience a good one. I challenge everyone reading this to volunteer at one race this year. You will work your butt off, but you will love it! I know the next race I do, I will be make sure to thank every volunteer I see!

Great job to ALL who ran and volunteered! Ogden is back on my list for next year!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Am I a Maniac or just plain CRAZY?! The rest of this year is going to be FUN/HURT!

OK- Yes, I have been told that Marathon Maniacs must be a little "unbalanced" to run so many marathons. I for one, am on the lower level of Maniac status for only completing 9 marathons in a little over a year, but looking at the rest of my schedule for this year, I think I might be a little Crazy.
June 6th I will embark on the Casper Marathon in Casper, WY. Less than a week later on June 12th, I will run the Utah Valley 1/2 Marathon. June 19th & 20th, Teresa, Liz and I have signed on to run Ragnar's Wasatch Back Relay (188 Miles).

July 11th, I will run the Missoula Marathon, in Missoula, MT.

August 27th & 28th, I will run with Teresa and Jim in the Hood to Coast Relay (197 miles) in Oregon.

A week later, on September 4th, I signed up for the Pocatello Marathon. Two weeks after that on September 18th, I am running the Top of Utah Marathon.

October 2, I run the St. George Marathon and on October 31st, I go to our nation's capitol to run the Marine Corps Marathon.

I was stressing about not having anything booked for November & December yet, but I got tired just typing this! I might just need a rest!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tacoma City Marathon / Marathon Maniac Reunion and a PR for Me!!

All of us Utah Maniacs were counting down the days for this race. Getting to meet so many other Maniacs was amazing!!

Saturday morning started with Franz, Sue, Jim and myself flying to Seattle. Once we landed, we made it to the hotel where we met up with Teresa, Bob, Lindsay, Doug, Trina, and Kentucky Maniac, Karen (who was an adopted Utah Maniac for the weekend- Hee Hee).

One thing that I loved about this race was the expo, the MM reunion meeting and the finish was right at the hotel. It was very convenient! The first thing we saw was when we walked into the expo was MM President, Steven Yee sitting behind a table covered in MM gear (which was not for sale and which Steven and Chris (MM #2) got a Utah beatdown about- Hee Hee).

When our group walked in, he jumped up and greeted us all by name, which was very impressive as it was the first time we had ever met in person. Now I have to say, the Utah Maniacs made an entrance! We were all sporting our new jackets! We looked SHARP!! We picked up our bibs and timing chips, met more Maniacs and then decided to get lunch.

We walked over to this nice little cafe and had some yummy, BBQ and french dip sandwiches! After lunch it was time to hit the MM reunion meeting.

The MM reunion meeting was fun. It was run by the founders of the club. The Hall of Fame awards were given, there were door prizes (Bob, Doug, and Karen all won prizes), a slide show (which we were all in), we all introduced ourselves by stating our name, where we were from and how many stars we had and we got to meet so many other Maniacs. It was awesome!

While 1/2 our group attened the official pasta party, Teresa, Bob, Jim, Karen, Lindsay and myself went to a really good restaurant where we sat at the chef's table and had a really great meal. After our meal, we met up with the rest of our crew in the hotel lounge and just relaxed before going to our rooms to get ready for race morning.

The next morning we all me in the lobby at 6:50am, then walked to the start. It was pretty cold and there was rain in the forecast, but we were all prepared. The energy of all the Maniacs at the start was AMAZING! We were all ready to go!! After some photos, we all went to our pace groups. The gun went off and the race began!

As we started we were all feeling good! We winded though the streets of Tacoma, looking at all of the really interesting architecture. We all knew that the course was going to be hilly, but we were told that the course was flat until the half when the real hills began. This was not quite the case. The entire course was hilly, but around mile 10, it got super hilly!

At around mile 7 we saw Lindsay run by (she and Trina were running the half) and was looking great! We saw her again as she looped back and we were all super excited as she was in the top 3! We couldn't wait to hear how she finished.

As we hit about mile 12, I started feeling pretty bad. I don't know what it was. Jim an Teresa were looking and feeling great. Karen was sticking to her plan and looking great right behind us, but this is where mentally I began to loose it. There are so many things that were running through my mind. I didn't want to hold them back, but I didn't want to run the rest alone either. It was metally tough to hit the wall so early in the race. We were running in one of the most beautiful parks I have ever seen, but I couldn't enjoy it much. I pushed hard to keep up, but felt if I would never make it to the finish if I didn't get it together.

Jim pulled away about mile 17. Teresa was still looking great. While she made a potty stop, I told her that I was going to just walk until she caught up to me. That was just what I needed. I walked for about 5 minutes, when I saw Teresa. She caught up with me and really helped me get my running mojo back! We were going along pretty good. I was feeling much better. We didn't see Jim for miles. At about mile 24 we saw him, I thought he had finished already and was coming back to meet us, unfortunately, that was not the case. Leg cramps got him and he stopped stretch out when we passed him.

It was right about that time that Teresa said to me "I don't want to tell you this, but you are on track for a PR." "WHAT?!!" I had stopped looking at my time and was just focusing on my intervals. I thought there was no way I was going to PR on this course, with the hills and the wind! Teresa just kept coaching me. "Nice and steady" she would tell me. We hit mile 25 and were in the zone. At mile 26, we went for it! As we approached the finish line I could see the clock. I was going to PR!!!! As I Teresa and crossed the line together, I just broke into tears! I could not believe it!! 4:58:11 on the hardest course I had ever run!! I probably hugged Teresa for 3 minutes bawling on her shoulder! I was so grateful to her for sticking with me.
We saw Bob and Lindsay at the finish cheering for us and that's where we found out that Linday took 3rd in the half and Bob ran under 4 hours and Sue took 3rd in her age group!!! WOW!! Jim came in shortly after us and the three of us stood for photos, just happy to be done!

We quickly showered and met up at Harmons Brewery for the post race Maniac get together! We feasted, shared race stories and hung out with more Maniacs! It was a blast! We then headed back to the hotel lobby for some relaxing conversation before we headed to the airport to head home.

This race was really tough for eveyone, but EVERYONE did a FANTASTIC job! The Utah Maniacs were represented well and we can all be proud of the job we did! I am!!