I have a love/hate relationship with the Park City Marathon. I love Park City. It is a beautiful place to run, but if you are looking for a marathon like most marathons in Utah (the kind that starts at the top of some beautiful canyon that you get to run down), think again! The Park City Marathon is hard!
Our race weekend began on Friday with a few Maniac friends for dinner at Red Rock!
Maniac Dinner at Red Rock in Park City! (Photo by Teresa Baker)
After dinner we had a girls slumber party at Teresa Baker's (my partner in shenanigans) Park City condo. Donna Loud, our friend from Sarasota, FL, Marci Jenks, Teresa and I all had a really fun evening talking and drinking wine (seltzer water in a beer glass for me- it made me feel like a grown up too! Hee Hee) until it was time to hit the hay. Donna and I had a 3:45am wake up call for the full marathon. Teresa and Marci were the smart ones, they got to sleep in a little as they were doing the half marathon.
The best kept secret of the Park City Marathon is the early start. The early start begins at 5:00am (hence our 3:45am wake up call). It is primarily for those walking the race, but a few of us slower folks like to beat the heat and start with them. If you want to qualify for an age group award, you will not qualify with the early start. I knew I was not in the running anyway, so why not! It is pitch black out when we start, so we got out our headlamps and flashlights and prayed we would not get lost in the dark (which I do every year).
There were not as many people at the early start this year and a lot of them were walkers. If we were going to run/walk, I would need to pay close attention to where we were going. As we all started off Donna and I paid close attention and we never got lost!
The best thing about the early start is being the first one in the port-a-potty! No lines and it's clean! We didn't hit the first open aid station until about mile 7 so we carried our own water and fuel and were just fine.
Donna and I were so happy to see mile 16! It is so nice to run downhill after running uphill for so long. My legs had to adjust, but it still felt awesome!
At around mile 23, you hit the iconic barn in Park City!
As we made our way down the rail trail, it was getting hot. There were a few times we would hit some shaded areas with pockets of cold air that felt heavenly!
At mile 25 you start winding around the condos at New Park. It is the longest mile ever as the road is very windy. You know you are close, but you can't see the finish. Every turn you hope to see it and are disappointed until it shows up in front of you!
Finally finishing! (Photo by Terry Schmidt)
Donna Finishing! (Photo by Marci Jenks)
As I came through the finish line I saw my friend and co-worker Laura and her husband Terry, cheering me on as they did last year! If you follow my blog, you may remember that last year Laura was pregnant and went into labor while at the Marathon! This year Terry ran the half with their daughter Violet! Happy 1st Birthday sweet girl!
Laura, Violet and I at the finish! (Photo by Terry Schmidt)
Now I do have to give SUPER mad props and THANKS to Teresa Baker! Not only is her hospitality top notch, I was joking with her and Marci that since they were running the half, that I expected a cold Diet Coke to be waiting for me at the finish. Right as I crossed the finish line (and I mean right after, I didn't even have my medal yet), I saw Teresa's arm shoot over the barricade with a 32oz cup of heaven!! I HAVE THE BEST FRIENDS IN THE WORLD!!!!! I LOVE YOU GUYS!!
As we watched other runners come in we saw our friends Sue Mantyla (who won her age group), Sandy Straley (who got 2nd), Galen Garrison and others!
Maniacs at the Finish! (Photo by Teresa Baker)
After the race we headed back to Teresa's condo and put on our swimsuits for a quick dip in the pool before heading home.