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!
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
Utah in the House!!
Teresa and I having fun as usual!
Running with Joe from The Marathon Show!