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Monday, October 17, 2011

#27- The SoJo Marathon! My First Ultra...Sort of!

The So Jo (short for South Jordan) Marathon was not on my list of races this year, but I decided to do it kind of last minute. The finish is about 5 minutes from my house so it was pretty convenient.

I didn't sleep well Friday night so getting up at 3:30am was a struggle. I almost decided to take my first DNS (Did Not Start). I just was not feeling it, but I drug my tired behind out of bed and made it over to the finish area to catch the 5:15am bus to the start (which got lost on the way to the start).

Since my marathoning partner Teresa decided to do the half marathon, I prepared myself to make a lot of new course friends as the the half started later and at a different location. I was happy to see a few of my Utah Maniac friends at the start. Franz, Kim, Melanie and Bob K. were all there.

Utah Maniacs Bob K., Franz, Kim and Melanie waiting for the race to start!

Since our bus got lost on the way to the start we didn't have to wait too long outside, we had a little extra time on the warm bus which was fine with me!

There were about 300 people in the marathon so the start was pretty easy. A lady sang the National Anthem and we were off. The sun was just coming up over the mountains when we started which made for a nice start.

The sun coming up as we started.

The course was pretty hilly, but in a good way. There were some long climbs followed by some nice long stretches of gentle downhill.

Looking back on one of the long uphill stretches near the Kennicott Copper Mine.

Kennicott Copper Mine

Getting in the Halloween spirit, there were also a few cute decorations along the course!

Even though I ran most of the race alone I did get the opportunity to meet a few first time marathoners which is always fun, not to mention I got to run past a domestic Elk farm!

These are just a few of the many Elk on the farm. These things are huge!

For not getting much sleep and almost not showing up at all, I was feeling pretty strong the last few miles of the race. When we hit the last 2 miles I was ready to be done, but was happy. I knew at that point I was close to a PR, but I did realize how close! Crossed the finish line beating my old PR by only 10 seconds! Hey a PR is a PR!

After the race I saw my Maniac friends who had finished about 15 minutes before me.

Franz, Me, Melanie and Bob at the finish!

We congratulated each other, ate some Chick-Filet sandwiches and checked the results board where we learned that I had won the Athena division and took 6th in my age group! Just ahead of me in my age group were Kim and Melanie (3rd and 4th)! Franz also took home an award for 3rd place in his age group! We got medals and a free entry to next year's race! Whoo Hoo!

Me with my medals!

Now at this point you might be wondering how running 26.2 miles is sort of an Ultra. Well, it's not, but I did run more than 26.2 miles that day. After the race I jumped in my car and headed downtown to a race that a friend and co-worker was the race director of. I told him I would run his race and I kept my word!

The Night of the Running Dead 5K was a really fun race. Running around the fairgrounds, you could either run as a human or a zombie. Humans got a 2 minute head start, then they unleashed the zombies. I didn't have time to get any zombie makeup on so I put some lipstick on my face (like blood) and ran as a human that was not quite a zombie yet (though I felt dead for real).

There was about 3,000 people at this race and there were some incredible costumes (hopefully I can add some photos later). While there was a glitch on the course in the form of a volunteer sending runners the wrong way on course causing some major confusion, it was still a fun run for a great cause (Huntsman Cancer Institute). I mean really if zombies were really chasing me I WOULD be confused right?

After the race I went home, ordered pizza and collapsed! It was a good day!

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