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Monday, November 25, 2013

#66 At Route 66!!

What do get when you get 565 Half Fanatics, 457 Marathon Maniacs, and 207 50 State Marathon Club members together to run in 21 degree temperatures? One heck of a party!!

Just a few friends out for a run!
I had so much fun at last year's Route 66 Marathon, that I decided to bite the bullet and haul my butt to Tulsa, Oklahoma again this year.
One of the things I like about Tulsa is I can fly in on Saturday morning and be home Sunday night without much worry. My pal and neighbor Galen was also running so we carpooled to the airport and were on the same flights. We flew United Salt Lake City to Tulsa with a short plane change in Denver. Each leg was about one hour which was just long enough for this nervous flyer, especially when you are flying in one of these:

My hands were sweating before I stepped foot on the plane!
We got to Tulsa around 10:30am. I knew it was going to be a great weekend when the airport was full of Maniacs!!
Lots of awesome Maniacs at the Tulsa Airport!

 We headed to the Doubletree (one of the host hotels and the only one with free, warm cookies) and ran into one of our more famous Maniacs, Runners World's CRO (Chief Running Officer), Bart Yasso!

We love Bart!
Then it was off to the expo which was conveniently located right across the street from the hotel. There I ran into a lot more Maniac friends!
I ran into Chris (#2) and Tony (#3)!

Galen, Michelle, Anders and I

Lots of Maniacs at the Maniac Booth

Maniac/Fanatic Booth

Two of my favorite guys! Jim and Greg!

I got my number!

We were recruited to be a part of a special video to be released by The Marathon Show coming soon!
After the expo we were invited to a nice dinner at The Olive Garden with some of the Tulsa Maniacs (Thanks Patty for inviting us!)
After dinner we all headed back to the hotel to get ready for race morning. The race started at 8:00am and we were walking distance to the start, which meant I would be getting a good 7 hours of sleep (very rare) before the race!
I got up at 6:00am had some breakfast and headed down to the start. The race day temperature was predicted to be around 25 degrees so I brought out my best Utah running gear thinking I would be fine. We run year round in Utah, cold, snow and all. As we walked to the start, I did get a little nervous. I wasn't cold, it was FREEZING COLD!!!

Steven Yee (Maniac #1) hanging on the light pole!

The corrals are filling up!
The one great thing that keeps me and other Maniacs coming back to Tulsa is the way the race takes care of us. When we got to the start, we had our own area with our own bag check. There were so many Maniacs, Half Fanatics and 50 Staters there I didn't even see some of my favorite people!

Greg, Louie, Dave, Jenn and I at the start!

Abbi and I earning our 9 Stars!

My pal Greg and I
As the race got started Greg and warmed up a little and were having fun. Things got even more fun when the lovely Patti Krebsbach caught us. We were having a blast!

Patti and I twerking at the aid station!! Hee Hee!
The three of us were running together when just before mile ten we came upon a young man who was laying on the ground. When we came upon the scene I could tell he wasn't just tired and laying down to rest. He was in serious trouble. Given Greg's history, Patti and I had just been joking with Greg letting him know that he was in good hands if something happened as both of us had recently renewed our CPR certifications.
We asked the few spectators who around him if anyone had called 911, they said no. At that point I yelled "call 911!" When the spectators started to ask each other who should call, Patti pointed at a lady and told her to call. I got down next to him and took his hand. I patted his face and asked him if he was able to tell me his name. He was conscious, but unresponsive. 
At that point things were getting worse. I had the feeling we were going to have to start CPR. I unzipped his jacket to see the name on his bib. Tears came to my eyes when I saw that his bib read "My First Marathon". I just thought that this should be a happy, triumphant and celebratory time for him. He can't freaking go out like this!! Patti made sure is was covered with coats (as it was very cold). She then went around and comforted the man's girlfriend who was rightly very upset.
We were very lucky that the great medics were there quickly. I told them his name (which I got off his bib), they loaded him up and took him away. Patti made sure his girlfriend was allowed to ride in the ambulance with him.
When they left the three of us stood with tears rolling down our faces. This experience had hit Greg very a hard. All we could to was say a prayer for this young man and continue to run.

Greg, Patti and I
A few miles later we ran into our friend and Tulsa Maniac Lyle Robertson. He was running his 100th Marathon!

Lyle and I are matching!
By mile 20 the cold was really taking its toll. Our legs were frozen which made them feel really heavy. They just would not move!

My 66th Marathon on Route 66! 

We love Route 66!
At mile 23 we saw the medics and found out the the young man we helped earlier had gone into cardiac arrest, but was revived and was alive. You can't imagine our relief!

One house had a hot chocolate stop. It was like Heaven in a cup!
The last three miles were tough and we did a lot of walking as our legs were just so cold. We did get excited to hit the Center of the Universe detour though.

Patti, Greg, Lyle and I at the Center of the Universe!
Greg having a cold one!
We collected our coins and came back onto the course. We only had less than a mile to go! When we saw the finish line we were pretty happy!

Patti, Greg, Lyle and I crossing the finish line together!
After we finished we went to the Maniac tent and ate some great hot food and hung out with some friends.

Me, The Prez, Patti, Greg and others!
I hung out a while and had just enough time to grab a shower and check out of the hotel. We headed to airport to fly home. 

Route 66 Bling!
This race brought up some very important lessons:

1) LEARN CPR- While we were lucky and the medics got to us before we had to use it, we were ready. The training we received also prepared us to know exactly what to do when we got to the scene.
2) Tell those close you that you love them. You never know what can happen.
3) Live life to the fullest!
I am happy to say we have been in contact with the man we helped and his girlfriend. I believe we have made two new friends for life. I think Route 66 will be on my list again next year (even though it's hilly as heck).

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