Save 15% when you purchase by clicking on this banner!

Save 15% when you purchase by clicking on this banner!
Save 15% when you purchase by clicking on this banner and entering code AMB-bee4a78d!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

#28- The 11-11-11 Marathon of Sarasota!

I remember sitting next to Greg Goebel at dinner after the Marathon in Casper, WY in 2010. He was telling us his plan to host a marathon in his hometown of Sarasota Florida on 11-11-11. He wanted to model it after one of his favorite races, the Zoom! Yah! Yah! Indoor Marathon in Northfield, MN. In this race runners run 150  laps around an indoor track. Greg wanted to do something similar only outside. So he picked a small park right on the water and convinced 68 runners from all over the country (and 2 from the UK) to fly to sunny and flat Sarasota to embark on  58+ laps around a .44 mile loop. A race that will forever be know as EPIC!

I flew out of Salt Lake City Thursday morning and by the time I landed in Tampa, I was starving and dying of thirst (I will spare you the details)! I got my rental car (after waiting 45 minutes for the shuttle bus) and headed to Sarasota as fast as I could, hoping to catch the end of the pre-race dinner at the Sarasota Yacht Club.

Well of course I got lost on the way, but still made it in time to eat (thanks to Galen Garrison, who was nice enough to save me a plate! THANKS G!), meet up with my Utah peeps, Teresa and Bob Baker, and to hear Greg introduce each runner by name and present them with their bib!

Greg presenting me with my bibs (my number for the front and my name for the back)!

The wonderful and beautiful Donna Loud was nice enough to offer me a place to stay while I was there, so after the dinner we headed back to her house to prepare for the following day.

We were up bright and early at 4:45am. We had a little breakfast and got ready and were out the door by 5:30am. We headed down to the park where we landed some rock star parking right next to the trail. It was cold right by the water. I was glad Donna hooked me up with a foil blanket before we left the house. I didn't pack any warm clothing, I was in Florida for Pete's sake! After a little mixing with others showing up, we headed back to the car where it was warm.

Once the sun came up, it started to warm up and people started gathering. This was like a Marathon Maniac reunion with all the friends you really want to see (not that I don't want to see every MM, but in a group of nearly 5,000, it's nice to have it narrowed down to all your cool Facebook friends)! The only people missing were #1, #2,  and #3!

 Maniacs at the start including, Pascal, Me, Endorphin Dude, Galen, Teresa and Vance!

Bob, Me Teresa and Joe from The Marathon Show!

Worship the Endorphin Dude!

Due to some bathroom issues (the city forgot to come unlock the bathrooms), the race got started a little late, but that was OK as we are all busy talking and getting to know one another. Greg introduced the military officers that came to sing the national anthem and present arms. Being Veteran's Day we all were extra reverent and then we were off!

Race Director, Greg Goebel

The Start!

Utah in the House!!

Teresa and I having fun as usual!

Running with Joe from The Marathon Show!

Greg and I on the course!

Every runner in the race got their own sign on the course! Sooo fun!!
Scott Dahl gets my vote for "Funnest Runner". He changed costumes almost every lap, taking on the persona of one of the other runners. AWESOME!

While running this race was a BLAST, it was definitely hard both mentally and physically. Running 26.2 miles in small loops on concrete was difficult, but the love on the course was like the strongest ibuprofen! By mile 16 my legs were feeling it. We are used to hills and the course had an elevation gain of 5 feet!

Teresa and I hooked up with our good friend Patrick Finney on the last few laps. We were dragging our sore legs around and couldn't wait to be done! We decided we would all finish together!

Patrick, Teresa and I crossing the finish line together!

After the race, about 35 of us headed over to Marina Jacks, a nice bar and restaurant right on the water. We all sat around raving about the race, eating drinking, dancing (yes that's right folks, I said dancing) and having a great time. It was a BLAST!

HUGE THANKS to Greg, who to our amazement, picked up the check for everybody there! Just goes to show that Greg Goebel is one nice guy (but we knew that)!

The next day, Donna took me over to her beach where they were having this cool sand sculpture competition. Really amazing!

Me in front of one of the sand sculptures.

When we got back to the house, I packed my stuff and finished my gift for Donna! I hope she will need a MM hat soon, but she will have to leave Florida!

Cute Donna wearing the MM hat I made for her!

I just can't say enough about this race. Last winter, there was a chance that this race might not have happened. I am so grateful that our friend Greg is alive and well and doing what he loves to do! THANK YOU GREG! 11-11-11 was a HUGE success!