On Labor Day weekend, my P.I.S. (Partner in Shenanigans), Teresa Baker and I boarded a plane to Denver to run the American Discovery Trail Marathon in Colorado Springs, CO. I was very excited to run this race for a couple of reasons:
1) I saw the list of Marathon Maniacs that would be there and was very excited to see the Maniacs from our sister city, Sarasota, among them; and
2) After a job change this year, my 50 State goal was put on hold, but I still needed one more state to qualify for entry into the 50 States Marathon Club (you need to run a marathon in at least 10 states to qualify) and I needed Colorado! Teresa also needed Colorado in her 50 State quest so this race was ideal.
We flew out Sunday morning and met our friend and fellow Maniac (from Kentucky), Karen Ross. Her sister Deb, lives in Littleton and was gracious enough to give us all a place to stay for the night (many thanks!).
After getting settled at Deb's house, Teresa, Karen and I drove to Colorado Springs to hit the expo. The expo was a 5 minute affair. There were a few vendors selling t-shirts (my favorite being one that read "Sea Level is for Sissies!") and other running related stuff, but over all we were in and out in just a few minutes.
The expo was located in the host hotel, which also had a bar. That's where we found our Sarasota friend, the infamous flat lander himself, Greg Goebel and his lovely wife Ali having a pre-dinner beer. We sat with them and talked a bit before heading over to "Old Chicago" with rest of the lovely Sarasota Maniacs. Maricar Acab Korff organized a wonderful Marathon Maniacs pre-race dinner (thanks Maricar). It was really great to meet and see so many Maniacs!
Maniac Jazz Hands! Fosse-rific!!
Teresa, Karen and I couldn't stay for dinner, but we did get to visit with everybody before we headed back to Deb's house, where she had prepared a lovely dinner for us. It was the perfect pre-race dinner!After dinner we headed up to our rooms and got ready for the early morning wake up call, and hit the hay.
That 4:00am alarm came too soon. I was so cozy and still had the remnants of the headache I had for two days, but I dragged myself out of bed and got started. We had a little breakfast, got dressed and by 5:15am, we were out the door. Deb was a saint to get up so early to drive us to the start. No buses for us this time! We felt like rock stars being dropped off at the starting line in Deb's new Lexus.
It was freezing at the start and we would have loved nothing more than to sit in that warm car until the race started, but Teresa, Karen and I thought we should hit the porta-potties before the race. We are glad we made that decision. We waited in line over 30 minutes! Apparently, the guy who was supposed to unlock the porta-potties got there late. Fail! That was the only fail of the race.
We did our business and headed up to the start. This was the only Marathon I have ever run where there was no timing chip/bib, etc.. We were standing around chatting then all of a sudden, we were off! Check out this cool video of the start:
We can be seen around 3:56. I am wearing a pink jacket.
Greg, Teresa and Karen shortly after the start.
This was such a beautiful course! The packed dirt trails were so much easier on your legs than the pavement we are so used to running on.
Greg, Me, Rita, and Karen
The course was so pretty, but a little more hilly than the elevation chart let on!
At about mile 3 Teresa and I parted ways with Karen and Greg and hooked up with Pascal Radley (another cool Maniac who was going for his 10th Maniac Star by running 30 marathons in 30 states in 365 days) and Stephanie Atwell Zehr (another Sarasota Maniac, who was a complete hoot)!
Stephanie, Me, Teresa and Pascal
Me doing "The Fonz" AYYYYYYYYYY!!
We also met some really nice runners from North Carolina. Angie and Rod had both run many marathons (Angie 16 and Rod 27), but were not Marathon Maniacs! We told them all about this awesome club and how many friends we have made because if it. We sure hope to see them on the Maniac roster soon!
More of the beautiful course!
Looking good Teresa!
We all stayed together until about mile 17. Teresa decided to hang with the 5:00 hour pacer for a while and I decided to stay just ahead of him so I could keep them in my sights without deviating from my plan. That worked fine until mile 20 when I looked behind me and they were gone! I was feeling tired but still pretty strong, so I just plugged away, passing walkers who had gone out too fast.
At mile 24 I ran into a first time marathoner that we had run a little with early in the race. He was looking pretty good too, but I left him in the last mile and headed towards America the Beautiful Park where the finish was.
When I saw the finish, I was so relieved, until they told us that we had to run around the park first. That was the longest .2 I had ever run, but I saw the finish and clocked in at 4:55:22. I was pretty happy with that. I then met more and Maniacs watched for my friends to come in.
Pascal gets 10 Stars! Way to go!!
Greg and Stephanie so fast I almost didn't get the photo!
Mary Lenari is just cute as a button!
Where did the Maniac "Thor" come from? Hee Hee!
After the race, all the Maniacs chilled out on the grass and cheered as every Maniac came in. It was such a fun race and a great time!
Maniacs Post Race!