This was my 3rd marathon, in 3 states in one week so the only plan I had was to get through it upright. I felt like I had run pretty well in the last two marathons and was not sure how much I had left in me.
The Mt. Nebo Marathon is held in Payson, UT, which is about 45 minutes from my house. My friend and neighbor Galen and I decided to carpool the morning of the race which meant getting up at 2:30am to be out the door by 3:30am and ready to catch the bus to the start at 4:30am.
Galen and I getting the bus to the start.
Nebo is a point to point course. The buses to the start had to climb up Payson Canyon and I swear it was the longest bus ride ever (about an hour). I was OK with that as I took a nap on the bus and the canyon is cold in the morning. At least we got to stay warm on the bus.
The race was scheduled to start at 6:30am, but we had just got off the bus at 6:30am and the line for the port-a-potties was long, so the race officially got underway at 6:50am.
Runners at the start!
One thing that I love about this race is the size. While the half marathon is quite large, the marathon only has around 100 people and is pretty low key.
As the race started, I was not feeling that well at all. I couldn't catch my breath and my legs were super stiff. I realized quick why I couldn't catch my breath. Starting at an elevation of 9345 feet was even hard for me and I am used to elevation!
No wonder I could not breathe!
The first 8 miles were difficult. I rarely cramp up, but my left calf started cramping at mile 6! I was shocked at the amount of big hills there were in the first 8 miles. I felt like I was at Heart of America all over again! I just power walked the hills to save my legs for the later miles and keep the cramping at bay. It seemed to work.
Mt. Nebo is one of the most scenic courses in Utah!
The sun was just coming up over the mountain.
Running along the road this cow and her baby startled me! They were so cute. Right after I took this photo they just walked across the street and into the trees. It was kind of bizzare!
One of the many hills in the first 8 miles! (I didn't notice the guy peeing in the bushes when I took this! Ha Ha!)
When I got to about mile 11, I ran up on a man named Bill. We got to talking and I found out not only was he a Marathon Maniac, he was from New York City. We ended up running the rest of the race together talking about NYC, marketing and running. I was so grateful to him as his company helped push me as we talked and the miles just seemed to tick away.
My new friend Bill from NYC running down the canyon!
Once we came out of the canyon, the half marathoners headed straight to the finish line at Payson High School, the marathoners had a good 3 mile loop to make around the neighborhood before heading back. Mile 22 is where we started feeling pretty tired and started incorporating some walk breaks in.
By the time we got to mile 24, I turned to Bill and said, "If I can run 2 miles in 30 minutes, I will have a PR"!
With about a half mile to go, I looked at my watch and the time said 4:01ish. At that point I picked up the pace a little and Bill told me to go for it! I came around the corner and onto the Payson High School track. I made my way around the track and crossed the finish line in 4:07:58 and a new PR! I was so happy!
I waited in the finish chute for Bill to finish and we thanked and congratulated each other for the company and a well run race.
Bill and I at the finish!
A new PR!!!
Runtastic Events always has the coolest medals! I love this one!
I loved this race and I want to give a HUGE THANK YOU to Race Director, Scott Hardy. Not only does he always put on a great event, but when I thought I was not going to be able to run this year (due to a huge dental bill), he was so nice to comp my entry. Without his generosity, I would have never run my new PR!! SCOTT, YOU ARE THE BEST!!
For anyone in Utah in September, I highly recommend the Mt. Nebo Marathon!