Thursday, May 24, 2012

2012 Famous Idaho Potato Marathon

OK, my goal for this race was not to PR, since I just ran another marathon two weeks ago. My goal was to finish as this would make 2 marathons in 14 days, thus qualifying me for Marathon Maniacs. As such, I was in great spirits, even though my feet were killing me and I walked from 17 miles on. But I am getting a head of myself.
I started off by arriving in time to catch the first bus to the starting line. They had a nice line of Port-a-potties, but the sprinklers where on and the sprinklers where shooting water right into a couple of the potties. It was a very nice day in Boise, but for some reason it is always windy and very cold at the starting point (Lucky Peak Dam). Fortunately they have a very good drop back service so I didn't completely freeze waiting for the start. It was kind of funny as everyone was huddled together against buildings and cars, trying to get out of the wind.
I was very glad to see that they changed the start and let the full marathon people start a 1/2 hour before the 1/2 marathon. This race starts on a double lane road and within a 1/4 mile, you change to a 4 foot bike path with a concrete divider on one side and the Boise river on the other. On the bus out to the start, I re-meet a new friend. It turns out I was not the only crazy person trying for the two-week double to get into Marathon Maniacs. A very nice lady named Martha had also ran Lake Lowell (we ran together for a while), so we chatted up.
We even got to meet a couple of runners who where already part of Marathon Maniacs (and got a pic with them).
I also saw my friend Christie briefly as she was looking for someone. This, however was the only time I saw her as she just wheeled her marathon.
The race started off pretty good and I settled into my pace pretty easy. It wasn't until the second aide station (just after 4 miles) that the leader from the 1/2 marathon passed me. After that there was a pretty good stream of 1/2 marathoner passing me until we reached the turn off to the finish. The full marathoner kept going on the path and came back to the turn off.
For some odd reason, I cannot get my bowel to get into sync with this run. I have run it twice and both times I have had to go during the run. Fortunately, after the turn off there are a lot of city restrooms on the green belt. Now at the start, we were handed a piece of paper that denoted a change in the course.
Around mile 14, we detoured though a neighborhood for 3 miles. We only ran this section on the way out. I was bummed when I saw this as I guessed (and was right) that I would be on this section while Christie was on the other section and I would not get to see her and cheer her on. It was after this section that I started walking. My right ankle was really giving me a bother. As I discovered during my running gate analysis, on my right ankle, I don't let it bend during my run. Instead, the muscles on the outside of my foot force the ankle to stay straight. (I think I started this because of my PF.) There were times when it really hurt but I forced myself to walk through it as my goal was to finish the race.
The green belt is a multi-use trail system and is not blocked off for this race. That means you have to compete with walkers, non-race runners, bikers, baby strollers and dogs. It wasn't too bad, but it does make it interesting.
At about mile 24, I saw my friends Michelle and Ryan. They turned around and walked with me for a bit. It was great to see them and made me happy. After they left, I realized a major change in my attitude from the last time I ran this marathon two years ago. It was my first marathon and I bonked hard at 18. I felt so bad that when a couple of other friends came and found me, I felt terrible that I was walking. But this time, I was really upbeat about it. Ryan asked me if I was on track to PR and I said, probably not, but it didn't matter. I then told him my goal of getting into Marathon Maniacs.
I walked the all but the last .3 miles as I just had to run across the finish line. It was here that I became dissapointed with the race. Up to this point, the race was well organized and lots of helpful staff (although they were a little skimpy on the water filling cups only 1/4 full). But after I crossed the finish line, I was given my metal and then nothing. Most of the booths and vendors were either already packed up or packing up. I had to ask where to get my shirt. I walked up to the food booth and although they had big jugs of water, there were no cups. Then the buy pointed me back to the finish where there was a table with cups and water. The only food available was a baked potato (which was good), but there was no milk or fruit to be found. (Although I later did find a box of bananas spilled on the parking lot.) I late discovered that even the photographer left so the that finished late didn't get a picture of them crossing the finish line. It seems that if you don't finish the marathon by time they have the awards ceremony, you are lucky to get anything. I paid my money and I ran the course: I think they should stay up until the last runner crosses the finish line. IMHO.
Overall, I had a great time and it was great seeing so many running friends. Sadly my ipod puked and I lost my run on it (I hate technology sometimes). My time according to the clock was 6:05. Not my fastest (actually it is my slowest) but hey I finished.

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