I rode over with Doug & Mark so that I wouldn't have to fire up the very loud Harley at an unseemly early time and disturb the other hotel guests. Met up with the other Arkansas runners for the group photo, joined the very long restroom lines, y'know all my typical pre-race stuff :-))). Lining up for the race in the dark was very cool, literally & figuratively. I was being teased mercilessly by the guys about me always taking off so fast but I had no plans of doing so.......at least until Mark did then I just followed him!!!!! He is a talker, definitely somebody you want around in a long race. I loved the starting in the dark, you couldn't see the hills so it didn't feel like near as much work, hahaha.....
Beautiful course, and some of my Arkansas peeps that weren't running went out and helped at the mile 3 water station, very nice getting personal cheers :-)))). Mark & I also spoke to Dana who was running marathon number 33 of 52 in 52 weeks to raise money for South African orphans, very inspirational! Please go check out her blog and leave her a comment encouraging her and maybe donate if you are able to do so.
At another point we fell in with a couple of ladies who were running the marathon for fun, they were stopping to take pictures & chatting with as many people as possible. They were also keeping a very fast pace, impressive. We'd started meeting the marathon leaders who had hit the turnaround point and of course I knew about 1/3 of them......I kinda burnt myself out trying to keep up with them so around mile 11 I started fading, ugh. I'm so in not race shape right now. I felt bad about slowing Mark down and kept encouraging him to go on but he stayed with me until around 13 when I told him if he didn't go on I'd be upset, he took off like a shot then!!!!! He'd been holding waaaay back for me, lol.
After I finished he ran back to run in with Doug and Tim (Tim's longest distance to date btw, congrats!). I got some sugar in my system with a banana and orange, hug my girl Patti (who finished a minute behind me), then walked out to take pictures of the guys.
I was just about to grab a beer when Charity asked me if I'd meet her mom at mile 23 and run her on in. Of course I can't say no to her or Tala so despite the fact that I hadn't run practically any in the past 3 weeks (last long run was a 17 miler 8/15) Patti & I did a run/walk back. Along the way we picked up water cups to throw in the trash at the mile 25 water stop and again when we got to the mile 23 rest stop. We had a nice chat with the guy in charge of that stop while waiting on Tala and got to cheer on runners (good karma, right?).
Just before Tala got there, a woman came thru that said she was really struggling and she started back running when Tala and I left out. She'd stayed a few steps behind us and when I noticed she was there I invited her up to run and chat with us. I don't know how much motivation I actually am but I did try and chat with the girls and get them through the last 3.2 miles the best I could.
I do have a couple of grumbles........first there was an incident with the city and county cops involving Leah. I'm not going into details here but let's just say that with over 75 Arkansas folks in a race this small we can make quite an impact. Also the 14.2 miler female age groups........the guys were in 10 year increments, the women weren't. The final age group for women was 40-98 years old--not that I would have placed anyway but still that's not exactly fair to those that would've.
My official finish time was 2:12:56, 36th female, 14th in the 40-98 "age group" and I think 95th overall. I'll take it considering I rode a century the weekend before, lol. Also ended up with just over 20 miles on the day altogether.
Running 75.56 miles
Cycling 253.91 miles
I have a few more things to talk about that happened Sunday but I'm running out of time. Will try and get to it tonight or tomorrow.