Thursday, December 22, 2011

St Jude Marathon

Ok, Ok, I know I've been neglecting my blog but, this has been one hell of a month. Work has been crazy!! So, time to get caught up.

All our group runs, early in the morning runs, and overall training sessions came into play on this cool December morning in Memphis, TN. Deb, Amy and I were up before the chickens. Loaded into the van and headed out to pick up Holly. After dragging her out of her house, we were on our way to Memphis. We had several Muckas running in this event. Deb was running the 5K and was sure to put on a great race. Brandon and his wife, Marcy, along with Mark were joining her for the 5K. Holly and I were running the full marathon.

We arrived in Memphis and got our same parking spot that we had last year. Right on Beale St and Main. This was a great spot as it allowed the girls to see us run by twice. Well, we headed down to Beale and 3rd, to meet up with some of our friends from Once we got there, we had to make a pit stop inside the FedEx Forum. The lines were ridiculous. We were in there so long, we almost missed the start of the 5K. We got in a few pics and then Deb was off. She got stuck in the back of the pack and had to weave her way through the slower runners and walkers. She did that so much that her Garmin showed her at 3.17 miles instead of 3.1 miles. She still did great. Finishing in 28:33, 6th in her age group, and 85th out of over 700 females. She rocks!!!

After that, the full runners set off. They start the corrals off in stages. Two minute intervals. We were in the 4 hour pace group. I was trying to pace Holly and help her get her first sub 4 hour marathon. We weren't even a quarter mile into it and we were trying to dodge walkers. What I'm trying to understand is why there were walkers so far up in the corrals. Oh well, what can you do. There are so many runners that I'm sure they have a hard time enforcing that. As we ran down along River Front, we came upon my buddy from Memphis, Houston Wolf. He was attempting a sub 4 hour race as well.

Along the way, as in most marathons, we were able to see various costumes and some quite interesting folks. We saw faries, Elvis, Santa, and just some strange looking individuals. One guy was running along with what we thought was a sweater. Turns out, he had no shirt on at all. It was all back hair. And he was sporting quite the combover as well. :)

We were crusing along at a pretty good pace, even hitting the 6s as we ran by the Pyrimad. Way to fast. However, when we ran through the St jude campus, you couldn't help but run faster. The children and cheering parents helped motivate you greatly. We were able to pull in front of the 4 hour pace group and stay ahead of them for some time. Once we came back through Beale Street, just past the half way point, I saw Deb and Amy in the van, waving to me. :) We turned down Main towards the second half of the race. This is where the hills started getting bigger. Holly started cramping up shortly after this. I told her that we had to make it to the next aid station and she could walk through it. Around mile 20 is when her back and calves started locking up on her. She let out an "Oh No!". I asked her what was wrong and she said, "There they are!" The four hour pace group caught us and passed us.

We kept on pushing. Even hit a shot of beer at one of the aid stations. Gotta recarb you know. :) As we ran past the St Jude campus again, I saw a young child, wearing a mask, waving to the runners. I waved back and found more energy to push on to the end. As we came to the last hill, I told Holly the 4:10 pace group was catching us. We picked up the pace for the last .2 miles and finished in Redbirds Stadium at 4 hrs and 10 mins. Not the goal we had in mind but, another marathon in the books and for a great cause. Now to train for Little Rock. Bring on the hill training.

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