This was my 4th Ogden Marathon (in 2009 I did the half and volunteered at the race in 2010) and it still remains to be one of my favorite spring marathons. If you are looking for a race with great organization, nice weather (most of the time), beautiful scenery, and a perfect course for a first time marathon runner, Ogden is for you.
With all the races in Utah, St. George and Ogden are the only races that registration is done via lottery. St. George in my personal opinion is (while nice) a little overrated, but Ogden, is amazing! It is much more convenient to Salt Lake City, the course is fast and the scenery is just beautiful.
Last year we had cold rain but this year promised to be warm and I was looking forward to running in some nice weather.
Before the race even started I knew I would probably not have the best race of my life as I had been waiting 16 years to see Morrissey in concert (last time I saw him live was in 1997 in NYC) and he was going to be playing in Salt Lake City the night before Ogden! I didn't care if I came in last place, I was not missing MOZ!!
Thanks to Teota for offering her place downtown to crash at which would save me 30 minutes of my 60 minute drive to Ogden. THANKS GIRL!!
Our friend Polli from St. George was staying there too, so when I finally rolled into Teota's at around 11:00pm, we chatted for a while and went to bed at close to midnight.
The alarm was set for 3:00am but between my still riding my Morrissey high and the excruciating headache I had been nursing since Thursday night, I didn't fall asleep until around 1:00am and was up just before the alarm went off.
Polli and I were out the door at 3:30am and hit Ogden in plenty of time to find parking and catch the bus to the start at 5:00am.
I was getting a little worried on the bus ride to the start. My head was hurting so bad and I was feeling nauseous. I had forgot to take the Tylenol that Teota had offered me before we left her house and I was already regretting it. I just put my sunglasses on and closed my eyes for the entire 30 minute ride up the canyon. I was hoping that once I started running, my headache would go away.
when we got to the start, Polli and I found a fire pit and stood near it for a bit. It was 40 degrees at the start, which is much warmer than I have ever remembered.
Polli and I hanging out at the start.
Two of the nicest running guys around. I am glad to know Jeff Galloway and John Bozung!
Greg and Cheri at the start. HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHERI!!
One thing I love about being a Marathon Maniac is the way we help each other. Fellow Maniacs Greg and Cheri had plane trouble and would not make it in time to pick up their race packets. One post on Facebook was all it took to get help. I had just left Ogden, but got in touch with my friend and fellow Maniac, Tim Gill and he not only picket them up, but drove them over to their hotel. It's nice to be a part of a group that has each other's back!
Polli and I found Gumby!
Jeff Galloway addressing the crowd!
10 minutes before the start Jeff Galloway took the mic to give the runners a pep talk and the few Maniacs we could find gathered for a quick photo and we were off!
A few Maniacs at the start!
The run started out great. I settled in with the 4:30 pace group which felt really comfortable and I hit the half feeling really good.
Then right before we started up the hill, I could feel the tendinitis in my right foot (that plagued me all of last year and just started hurting a bit during training runs in the last couple of weeks) start to flare up. I had to stop and loosen the laces of my shoes before it got bad. I ended up loosening them too much and my shoe fell off, so I had to stop again and tie it again. I could feel the pain getting worse, so I popped 3 Advil and that took the edge off before it got too bad, but I lost the 4:30 pace group with the two stops and didn't want to waste the energy it would have taken to catch them again.
No worries, I took my time up the hill and enjoyed some of the funny signs!
Once I got to the top of the hill I settled back into my pace and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.
Such a beautiful course!
At about mile 16 it started to get a little toasty and by toasty I mean HOT! I just wanted to get to the dam at about mile 17.5 as I remember once we hit that nice downhill section there were some nice shaded areas which I was hoping would cool me off. I am no good in heat.
Unfortunately, the shade was on the wrong side of the road or there was just not as much as I remembered. I was starting too get too hot and my pace slowed a lot. I had hit the 7 mile split at a 10:04 pace, but by mile 18.3 my pace had slowed to a 10:51 pace.
Once we hit the bike trail at mile 22, even though I was being very careful about my hydration, my legs began to cramp up. There was a little more shade in this area, but when I hit the unshaded sections, it was just so hot, I felt like I was going to pass out and I would just stop and walk before I fell out or spontaneously combusted!
By mile 25.2 I was at 11:00 pace.. That last mile was the longest, hottest mile I've seen in a while. You can see the finish line, but it seemed like it took forever to get there. I was so hot that once I finally crossed the finish line and stopped, I needed the medic to walk me over to the misters as I thought I would faint right there! Once I got cooled off, I was fine.
I collected my medal and waited for Polli to finish. There I chatted with a few other Maniacs, kicked off my shoes and found a shady spot on the lawn where I saw a few folks from the Run Aways come in. It was neat to see Becca Wood finish her first marathon and hear that Jonathan Crampton finally snagged the BQ he has been working hard for.
Ogden Marathon Bling
When Polli finished, we sat for a few more minutes and headed home. My headache had stopped while I was running but started up again once I got home and at this point the no sleep and heat caught up to me. All I wanted to do was take a shower and sleep!
I still love the Ogden Marathon. I was so impressed with all the aid stations this year! They really stepped it up with the creativity! Every aid station had a different theme and they went all out. I was pretty bummed that my phone died and I didn't get more photos. All the volunteers were great!
Thanks for a good time Ogden!