This year we decided to do almost the same thing. While we didn't want to intentionally go for a PW, we decided that we would use this race as a long training run. We would take it easy and just get in the miles.
Our journey began Friday when Liz Gotter, Eric Beck and I drove up to Park City and spent the night at the Bakers lovely Park City condo (thanks Teresa and Bob!). We got there a little late and by the time we all got done chatting, it was 11:00pm!
At 3:30am my alarm went off and I got up to have some breakfast and get ready. By 4:00am everyone else was up and we were out the door and at the start by 4:45am. The best kept secret about the Park City Marathon is the 5:00am early start. The regular start is at 6:30am, but they open the course early for walkers and/or runners who run over 6 hours. Now, I realize we don't fall into either of those categories, but unless you need an aid station before mile six or are in the running for an age group award, the early start is the way to go! Not only do you beat the heat, there are no lines at the porta-potties and there is plenty of food! Yay!!
Maniacs at the Start! Me, Galen Garrison, Larry Macon,Teresa Baker and Liz Gotter
It was so great to see so many Maniacs out there early too! After doing so many races, we know all the tricks! At 5:00am we were all lined up and off we went!
It was really dark and the Race Director asked us who had done the race before. A few of us raised our hands and the RD told everyone to follow us. We all started laughing as we all almost got lost the year before and in fact Larry Macon did get lost! Luckily, we had Teresa there who knew where to go and we all found our way. Once the sun came up we were greeted with some of the most beautiful scenery you could ever want to see.
Teresa, Eric and I with our new friends, Katie, Codi and NJ Tom!
One thing I love about running marathons, is that I have met some of the nicest people on the course. This year we met Katie (who was running her first marathon), Cody and New Jersey Tom. We all ran together for most of the race and a great time cheering at each mile marker we passed.
Running the trail!
Teresa, Eric, Me, Galen and Tom.
One reason we like to go easy in Park City, is the Park City Marathon Course is HARD. Not only are you running at altitude (starting at 6385 feet), the course is tough. You gently climb for the half, then pretty much shoot straight up until mile 17 (gaining 942 feet with the highest part of the course hitting 7306 feet).
The Shoe Tree
Larry and Vincent attacking the climb!
Who says you can't look sassy running uphill? Liz can!
Once we hit Deer Valley Ski Resort, we thought it was all down hill from there (pun intended) and we started cruising!
Teresa and I rockin' the "Mari"
Photos? You know we had to pose!
We were really having fun. That was until we hit what I like to call "The Hill from Hell"!
Can someone give us Maniacs a push, please!
Once we made it over that hill, we were all good! We headed out on the rail trail and we ran into the farm. This is Park City!
Galen, Teresa, Eric and I
There we ran into a few more speedy Maniacs!
Go Sue Go!
Another great thing about this race was the aid stations. I have never seen more stocked aid stations in my life. Gu's, chews, oranges, bananas, gummy bears, pretzels, chips, etc. were plentiful and the volunteers were AWESOME!
The last few miles were clicking by pretty quickly and while tired, we were all feeling pretty great. We were all really glad we did the early start as it started getting toasty.
Galen by the bike sculptures!
Coming around the last mile it was really great to see the ever so awesome Bob Baker out there cheering for us!
Chloe (the Baker's sweet little dog) was cheering too behind us!
We hit the finish line feeling GREAT!
Teresa and Eric finishing!! Whoo Hoo!
The saying is true: "If you run fast you get a good time, if you run slow you have a good time!" Thanks Park City! We had a great time!
Extra special thanks to Galen Garrison for taking all these great photos!! Without them this post would be boring as I was way to lazy to take photos of my own. Hee Hee!
We all finished!