Here it was April 29 a beautiful sunny day and surrounded by my wife, the kids, mother & father in-law, wife’s cousin and the cousin’s mom. I had been training since January specifically for this race. I got my fill of pasta. The moment was now. There was no turning back. 4:30 in the morning was going to be here soon after I close my eyes.
4:30. I’m up. I’m scarfing down Wheaties, a Cliff Bar & a 5 hour energy drink. Clothes all set. 5:45 out the door. Rain forecast of 90% chance. Nervousness sets in on the car ride over to race start area. Sprinkles start as soon as I’m out of the car. Then rain starts to flow. The entry into the pace “pig pen” is a cluster. One entry on the side directly where portapots are. Rain increases. Ear buds in. Relief, my race start was under a bridge. Keeping my drier for a little longer. I down a pre endurance drink. Music is set. Running app on my iPhone is set. Now just minutes from the shotgun blast start.
Shotgun blast. It’s on. It takes several minutes till any movement. It’s poring rain. Music is flowing into my ears equally as the rain comes down. Slow movement for the first half mile. It’s really wet. I use the sidewalk to get around puddles and people. Up the street to the bridge which is in view. Finally getting up to a decent pace. Oops, earbuds are getting drenched with rain. App is losing sync already. Crap! People are cheering me on through Facebook & Twitter. The big hill climb is now coming up. Oh boy. Crowd has thinned out more. Moving fast. I’m on a great pace feeling good. Rain is tapering off. Goody. I reach the turn to Eden Park which is where the fam is waiting for me. I loved seeing them there. The hill climb wasn’t bad so far. Shoes are a little soggy, but not feeling like it will amount to any issue. The hill climb continues up through mile 8. Beautiful course even if the sun isn’t shining. The crowd is still awesome. Love this race.
Stupid running app is so out of wack. Saying I’m 2 miles ahead of where I really am. Just not happy with that. I’m hitting every water/Gatorade station. It is humid out, but I’m still doing well. No aches or pains. Feeling good. Hyde Park is just ahead. The crowds are just awesome. Keeping me going. I know I’m staying hydrated because I have to pee. First time I’ve experienced this running. Quick stop on this well setup course and back into my pace. Still getting cheers through my phone.
Then I hit a wall. Some really steep hills. Ugh. I slow down. I’m past 16 miles now. I decide to eat my energy chews. I’m feeling a little better. Another hill. This one I walk up. Now for the back stretch where there’s Gu. Chocolate Gu? Are you kidding me. I almost gag on it. Running app now has me 3 miles ahead. I stop it. I can’t have this. I see family at 19! Gives me a little boost. Then I need to walk a little for a breather.
21.5 miles I see Kate! Oh how I needed that. A tear formed in my eyes seeing her. I’m back to moving faster. I can do this. The city is way off in the distance. The crowds are getting thicker. I team up with another gentleman who had been struggling earlier and we boost each other to keep moving. 24 miles down. Slow moving, but still moving. I was right on pace with what I originally guessed for my finish of 4 and half hours. Mile 25 and I pick up the pace. The crowds are thick along the sides. I’m nearing the end. Last .2 of the marathon and I see Kate’s Aunt Gretchen & Cousin Carrie and then I see my wife! I did it. The finish line! 4 hours 21 minutes!
I completed my first marathon. All 26.2 miles. I’m relieved. No injuries. I’m still walking. I’m filled with joy. What a feeling. Luckily Kate’s aunt & cousin found me to head me back to Kate. They both are nurses which they gave me check up on the spot to make sure I was doing okay. I can’t thank them, Kate & Kate’s parents enough for being there and for helping out. I couldn’t have accomplished this without them.
A special thanks to all who cheered me on and also for your words of encouragement. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I finished completely in the middle of the pack out of 4,295 runners. I’ll take that any day. Not bad for less than a year of training if I do say so myself.
My race results (you’ll have to manually type my name and bib #965).