OK! For those of you that know me, you know that I have never been too impressed with the St. George Marathon. I had run the race twice before and it was so hot (mid 90's) both times that I never really enjoyed it. I could not understand what all the fuss was about and why this race that caps registration at 7,400 runners, turns hundreds of runners away every year (to get in you need to be selected from the lottery). Don't get me wrong, I think St. George is a very organized and well run race, I just didn't get all the hoopla... until this year!
I really wasn't planning on doing St. George at all. Then I got a call from my friend Jessica, Program Director of Jeff Galloway Training here in SLC asking me if I would be interested in one of their extra sponsor bibs (I used to be the PD). Since I only had the day to think about it, I said "why not?" On Friday morning 10/5/12, I jumped in my car and made the five hour trip to St. George all by my lonesome!
When I got there, I went straight to the expo to pick up my race packet. I ended up running into quite a few Maniacs, some of which I was meeting in person for the first time. I was so great!
Speedy Sue Mantyla and I.
Marathon Mitch and I.
The Select Heath booth at the expo takes a photo of you then turns it into a mouse pad. Marathon Mitch and I are having an epic battle to break the toilet paper tape!
Marathon Mitch and the famous Jonesy!
When I saw that Bart Yasso (Chief Running Officer at Runner's World Magazine) was there I brought my finish photo from the Ogden Marathon for him to sign. In it he is giving me a high 5 as I crossed the finish line!
Great Maniac photo at the expo (yes, Bart Yasso is a Maniac)!
After the expo, I met the SLC Galloway group for dinner at the Olive Garden then headed over to my friend house. On marathon weekend, lodging can be hard to Jody and Jeanetta were so sweet to let me stay with them.
Dinner with the awesome Galloway peeps!
I woke up at 3:15am to get the bus to the start. Once there, I met up with friends, took some photos and got ready for the race.
Maniacs at the start!
I jumped in with the 4:30 pacer. I thought with my PR at Big Cottonwood and if my foot held up, I just might be able to break 4:30. Our 4:30 pacer was Ann, a fellow Maniac whom I have been Facebook friends for some time now. This was the first time we would meet face to face.
The weather this year was perfect. As the gun went off is was chilly, but we warmed up quick. I did as planned and started out with the 4:30 pace group. Everything was going great until about mile 13. My foot started to hurt. I could still keep up the pace, but I could tell as the miles went on and the pain got worse, that a 4:30 finish may not be in the cards.
Still hanging with my pace group at Snow Canyon!
At about mile 21, my foot was feeling pretty bad, so I stopped for a walk break. I was able toy keep my eyes on the pace group until we got out of the canyon then I lost them. I spent the last 4 miles doing a 3:1 run/walk interval.
The last couple of miles the Metcalf Mortuary puts out these amazing signs. I did have to make a quick stop at each of them:
As I rounded t he last corner, I came to mile 26. I could see the finish line. I looked at my watch and realized that even though my 4:30 hopes were dashed, if I hurried, I could still run another PR! I sucked up the pain and ran in. I got the PR! Official time 4:38:01!
Pacer Ann and I at the finish!
Maniacs at the finish!
I am glad I gave St. George another try. The cooler temps gave me the opportunity to really enjoy this race. Who knows, I might even do it again next year!
HUGE THANKS to Jody, Jeanetta and their family for their AMAZING hospitality!
The shirt and finisher's medal
St. George was the final race in the 2012 Utah Grand Slam!