Friday night, Chris and her brother-in-law, John, Nancy from our SLC Galloway group (who were both running their second marathon after many years) and awesome Maniac friend, Patrick met at the Beehive Grill for a pre-race dinner after picking up or packets at the expo.
After very little sleep, we were up at 3:45am to eat breakfast and get ready and head to the buses that would transport us to the Start.
I put on my TOU tattoo, NOW I'm ready!
The start was pretty chilly! I was pretty bundled up with a jacket, arm warmers, gloves and hand warmers! I may have went overboard, but I stayed warm!
Just a few of my Maniac friends and I at the start! Greg (Sarasota, FL), Patrick (Grapevine, TX), the Prez, Steven Yee (Washington State) and Me!
As the gun went off, we all were really excited. We hit the timing mats and were off! Within the first mile, Greg, Patrick and I saw Franz, Nancy and Mo. I could tell early on that this was going to be a fun race. There were Maniacs everywhere and the weather was now perfect!
Nancy, Greg, Franz & Mo
Unfortunately, we lost Patrick when he stopped at the 1st port-a-potty and never saw him again until the finish. Greg and I stayed together and had a blast! Every time we caught Franz, he would shout out to the crowd, "Oh look everyone, here comes the man with perfect hair!" referring to Greg. Everyone running around us would just crack up.
Greg (and his perfect hair) & I by the lake!
Me on the course looking patriotic.
Other fun moments included chatting with all the first timers on the course and when someone asked Greg if he was a LDS Bishop. Franz being a former LDS Bishop, this made for some absolute hilarity and ribbing on the race course. We were having so much fun, Greg and I were at mile 7 before we realized we had missed our 1st fueling!
At mile 9 3/4, Harry Potter and his fellow Gryffindors were there to cheer us on! I LOVED it!!
I also LOVED the race course! One of the most beautiful places I have ever run!
The leaves on the trees were changing colors and were just beautiful!
John, Greg and Chris by the Lake!
Greg with one of the best signs out there!
Me on the course again.
This mule was standing right in the middle of the race course. I told Greg to go stand near it so I could take a photo of him with it. As Greg got close, it ran down to the fence. Darn! I so wanted that photo if only for the caption "who's the bigger ass?" Hee Hee!!
At about mile 18, Greg informed me that he needed to slow the pace, but if I kept on, I could potentially PR. Now I usually don't care about getting a PR, especially at mile 18, but I did feel strong, so I left Greg at about 18.5 miles. I turned on my tunes and just focused on keeping my pace. Greg later told me that he was right behind me for the next couple of miles and would have given me a kick in the pants if I slowed. Luckily I felt really good.
As I ticked off the last 6 miles, I was just waiting for the wall to hit me. Miles 21, 22, 23,24 and 25 went by with no trouble. When I hit mile 25 I looked down at my Garmin and knew I had a PR, but by how much, I didn't know. I had posted on Facebook that I would settle for a 4:50 (which would be 6 minutes off my previous PR). When I got to mile 26, I knew I had a PR and I felt like walking that last .2 miles in. I looked at my Garmin again and I saw that I had less than 2 minutes to make 4:50. I sucked it up and ran it in hitting the finish line at 4:50:25!!! Then I was happy!!!
I met Franz and Mo at the finish and we waited to see Patrick and Greg come in within minutes! Greg and Patrick were happy because crossing that line meant they just earned 8 Maniac stars! Way to go!!!
Greg flashing the "8" at the finish! 8 Stars!! Wow!!
Greg, Franz, Alex, Me and Patrick at the finish!
After the race I rushed Patrick to the airport so he could make a flight to Wisconsin to run another marathon on Sunday! Congrats on your 1st double Patrick!! WAY TO GO!!
We ended our day wonderful after party/dinner at Squatter's in Salt Lake City where we ate, drank (Diet Cokes a plenty for me), and laughed with Franz, Bob & Teresa Baker (who were looking pretty fancy), Skyler, Liz, Jim, Chris and her husband Nate, Annie (who finished 4th!) and Marathon Maniac royalty, Steven Yee (MM #1) and Chris (MM#2)!
Top of Utah was definitely a great race and a great time was had by all!