The Tacoma City Marathon in 2010, held a very special place in my heart. It was the first time I had ever attended a Marathon Maniac reunion and I went with about 10 other Utah Maniacs. What a blast we had! I had even managed to wrangle a PR (at that time) out of the hardest and hilliest course I had ever run!
When it was announced that the 10th Anniversary Celebration would be held in Tacoma on May 5, 2013, I was so excited and scared at the same time. I knew it would be fun with over 500 Maniacs in attendance, but I wondered if that hilly course would still feel hard (even though I was a more experienced runner and the course had changed some)? My answer...it was!!
I flew into Seattle on Saturday and immediately went to meet my fellow Maniac and foodie, Michael "The Shoe" Hsu for a delicious Mexican lunch before heading to the host hotel.
How is that for carbo loading?
After lunch we headed to Tacoma and to the Hotel Murano where the expo and Marathon Maniac meeting and dinner would be held (and where we were all staying).
I had a room with a view!
After checking in, Michael and I hit the expo! We ran into a lot of friends there!
The Prez and Marathon Maniacs #1, Steven Yee and I!
The AMAZING organizer of this year's reunion, Ms. Patty Krebsbach and I!
Joe Taricani and Greg Goebel
Dave Mari and I!
Clem George and Tony Nguyen and I!
Michael and I went a little crazy at the expo!
After the Expo we headed to the Maniac meeting and pasta dinner. As the meeting and pasta dinner was held in the same place as the expo, we had to wait a couple of hours for the hotel to clear the expo space and set up the meeting and dinner space. Our Presidente killed some time by giving out some rare Maniac gear only available at the reunion!
The Prez calling out names in the drawing.
There were colored t-shirts and gloves, but I wanted one of the red MM sippy cups!! I ended up winning a XL Pink t-shirt. My hotel roomie Abbi Auger won the cup and an excellent trade was made!
Oh Yeah!! Abbi traded her cup for my t-shirt! Awesome deal!
When the hotel finally opened the doors to the room, they informed Tony P. that they had another banquet in the hotel and did not have enough food to meet the tickets sold. At this point a lot of us with tickets gave them up for a full refund on the spot. I felt terrible for the organizers. This was a hotel fail!
Before taking off to find dinner, we stayed for the first part of the meeting. I had been instructed to keep my friend Galen Garrison there as he was getting an award. That was hard to do! It was getting late and Galen was hungry! I finally convinced him to stay. When the big 3 (Steven, Tony and Chris) started giving out awards I was shocked and honored to receive one myself!!
The Big 3 (MM#1, #2 ) presenting me the award for "Positive Goodwill and Spirit within the Marathon Community"!
Dan Semsel presented Galen one of his rare USAF Challenge Coins to recognize him for taking the lead in tracking down all the Marathon Maniacs in Boston during the Boston bombings.
Galen and Dan.
We ended up eating at the restaurant in the hotel and while dinner took forever, once we got it it was pretty good.
After dinner we all went upstairs to get ready for the race and to get some sleep.
The next morning Abbi and I got up and headed down to meet our fellow Maniacs for a bus ride to the start.
Abbi and I on the bus to the start!
The start area was in this big airplane hanger. We all gathered in there to keep warm as it was quite windy and chilly at the start. Lord knows we were begging for that cold air later in the day.
A few of my favorite Maniacs!
Tom Scott (aka Harem Dude) and I
Fellow Utah Maniacs, Galen and Sue!
Kim and I like to re-fashion our Maniac gear!
My Birthday buddy, Brad Nelson and I!
This group picture barely fits on the page!
After all the catching up and photo taking, it was finally time to run!
Galen, Marci and I starting the race!
"The Shoe", Rose and I about a mile in. I am still cold so I will run with my blankie a little while longer!
JC had quite the team running with him to celebrate his 100th Marathon!
Getting ready to run over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge!
I had a great time running through Pt. Defiance with the AWESOME Betsy Rogers heading up the 5:00 pace group.
I was having a really nice race running and chatting with Betsy Rogers through Pt. Defiance. Man is that place beautiful! It is also quite hilly, but the trees offered some lovely shade. At about mile 19 I could feel my calfs start to seize. I would stop and walk for a minute until the twinge passed and then start running again. I did this two or three times until both calfs revolted and went into full on cramping. By this time, I had lost Betsy and was out of the lovely shade hobbling the best I could. I felt a little defeated and thought I might need to walk the last 6 miles in.
It was then I saw Dave Mari. That angel with a camera gave me some salt tabs which I could take now that I had just filled my water bottle at the aid station. After about 10-15 minutes, I was able to run again, but at this point it was so hot, every time I would come up to a Maniac walking, I just stopped and walked (and talked) with them for a few minutes. Heck, I was not getting a PR and I had lost the 5:00 pacer, I might as well enjoy the last few miles!
I ran/walked with Michael Hsu the last few miles. He was trying not to get a PW (personal worst) so in the last mile, I "shooed" him off. The half last mile was hard as I could hear the finish line but could not see it. I just wanted to be done! When I finally saw it, I was so happy! I knew once I crossed that finish line there would a nice big medal and lots of Maniacs to visit with!
Dan, Louie, Monte and I at the finish!
Post race interview with Joe from the Marathon Show!
Probably my favorite photo from the whole race! Thanks for the cape E. Dude!
So many cool Maniacs, so little time!
After the race Marci and her husband Mike let me shower in their room and get ready for the first of the after parties (thank guys)!
Food and great people at the after party!
The second party was bowling! I was sooooo wanting to go, but I was sooooooo tired. Galen was nice enough to offer me the sofa bed in his room so I had a place to crash before hitting the airport home. Thanks G!
All in all it was a GREAT weekend. Every reunion makes me love this little (7,000+) club of ours! I can't wait to see what's in store for 2014!!