May 20, 2017
Bucket List Goal--Check!
The Ogden Marathon has quite the reputation around here. While known for its beautiful course, it's also known for its terrible weather. Last year they had crazy wind, rain, sleet, snow, and hail. I was talking to this guy who's run over a hundred marathons, and he said Ogden is the only race he's ever dropped out of.
Fortunately this year we lucked out. The weather was beautiful.
It was really special to share this experience with Jason and my sister-in-law Christy. Heck, judging by this picture, we all could be siblings!
While I've only experienced it a few times, there is a very unique anxious/eager energy at a marathon race start. Everyone there knows that despite how hard they've worked to prepare, they still have a daunting challenge ahead of them.
Can't forget the bandaids, right Jason?
And we're off! As a half marathoner, Ben led the pack. Concerned about a cranky calf, he wasn't sure how the race would go and planned on mostly walking. In the end, his calf cooperated and he was able to run a great deal of the way.
Surpassing all expectations with a 2:37 finish. Way to go, Ben!
Leading the marathon pack was our very own Jason Wheeler. Well-trained, he started off the race by flying down the mountain at a 6:50 pace with hopes of breaking three hours. Such speed!
All went remarkably well until mile 23 when his calf started to cramp terribly. Just about the time he met up with his Mom...
...he had to start walking. But look! Still a happy smile on his face.
Hanging out with some of the half-marathon walkers.
And here he is running through the chute for the final stretch. Devilishly handsome, if I do say so myself.
Despite having to slow down at the end, he still had a remarkable race, finishing seventeenth in his division at 3 hours and 21 minutes, with an overall pace of 7:41. Pretty sure I've never run a mile that quickly in my life. So proud of you, Peanut Butter! Best of all, he wasn't even sore the next day.
Christy was next on the course. Like Ben, she also wasn't sure what race day would bring given some recent joint troubles.
Whaddayaknow, she totally rocked the race.
Christy for the BQ, with a Boston Qualifying time of 3 hours and 42 minutes! That's an overall pace of 8:29 that officially makes her my hero.
Picking up the rear was myself. My 9:37 pace may not have been the quickest, but that's totally okay. I ran with joy.
Ogden's course was every bit as beautiful as I hoped it would be. For the first miles, I soared down the canyon past idyllic farmland and small streams. At Mile 12 I saw Cousin Laura at their property in Eden. At the halfway point, I was running a nine minute mile and knocked off my 13.1 in under two hours. Next came a long climb up to Ogden Reservoir. This big hill caught me off guard but I powered through...
...for a while. Right around mile 18, I looked around and it was SO beautiful. The canyon walls jetted up majestically all around me, a beautiful river roared beneath me, and all of a sudden I couldn't figure out why it was so important to keep running. I'd worked so hard to prepare for this race. Why was I making myself suffer by rushing through it? It was a tremendous mental battle. Ultimately, I succumbed to the desire to slow down and cherish the moment, soaking in the sunlight and beauty all around me.
Even now, I'm a little torn by this decision, slightly disappointed in myself for not exercising the mental grit to run the whole way. However, given the circumstances I think the decision to run/walk was a good one. I knew our family had a VERY busy weekend planned, and I was able to function so much better for not having run myself ragged.
Charles and Susie cheered me on so well during the final miles of the race, running with me at times, walking with me at others. I love how the race stayed on nature trails around Dinosaur Park until the very end when you turn onto Main street and run past the temple to the end. A little boy gave me an American flag, and I whooped and hollered all the way to the finish. Four hours and twelve minutes of hard work, sprinkled with pride and joy.
Victory all around.
Ah, the grass has never looked so good.
Of course, the free smoothie samples are pretty nice too!
Annika enjoyed the slides and free face painting. I'm guessing she decorated herself.
Awesome poster, Eli!
I felt particularly grateful Papa Kay flew all the way from Omaha to cheer me on. He even took us all for sandwiches at Great Harvest after. Thank you! (Not that I ate much... It takes about 24 hours after a race for my tummy to fully recover.)
And of course, the key to functioning post-marathon--800 milligrams of ibuprofen.