The day after the marathon…

We woke up early and had a wonderful breakfast at the Lodge. We then drove to the northern side of the lake to catch our boat.  The Park Service runs the tour boats and there can be a rather long line to pick up your tickets.  They seemed to sell out so it is probably better to purchase them online in advance as we did.  I believe the tickets were  $28 and the tour lasted 1 hour 45 minutes.  There was an option to get dropped off at the island for the day (weather permitting).  After you pick up the tickets you must hike down a rather steep dirt road 1.1 miles.  Closed toe shoes would be highly recommended.  The hike down isn’t as difficult as the hike back up…unless it is the day after a marathon and then neither is very easy…

These little guys were running around everywhere…so cute!

Come on Kari…pose!!

Really…just an excuse to take a rest break…

Notice Kari doing the post marathon penguin walk!!

A break for climbing??

What?!  It tried to bite my butt!

Hmmm…as I must make everything a competitive event…

I took this shortcut down!!

Okay…yikes…that is where we are going!!

There’s our boat!!

Our tour guide…Ranger Studler…really!!

We saw a bald eagle & osprey.

The island…you can spend the day here…fishing…etc.

The Lodge on the top of the cliff.

We had a wonderful day on the boat and a very long drive back to Sacramento for our red eye flight home…at least we were all upgraded to First Class…

An amazing weekend!!

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon


7:30 AM

Marathon  Course Closes 1:00pm

Half Marathon  Course Closes 10:00am

6.7 Mile Run  Course Closes 9:30am

6.7 Mile Walk  Course Closes 10:00am

All courses are along the very rim of majestic Crater Lake and are at altitudes ranging from 5,980 to 7,850 feet above sea level. Be challenged by rugged mountains and breathtaking views.


Buses will provide transportation to the start line and back from finish lines as follows: Loading area for those staying in the Mazama Motor Motel or Campground will be in the Mazama Village parking area. Loading area for those driving in on race day will be at the Rim Village parking area. Those staying at the Lodge will walk to the bus loading area in the Rim Village parking area.

We stayed at the Lodge…which is definitely the place to stay!  It books up immediately so reservations should be made well in advance.  We walked down the hill to the Rim Village and caught the bus around 6:15 am.

Pre Race

The starting area…

Brrr!  I don’t know what the temp was, but us Florida chicks were freezing!!


The Race

The gun went off around 7:30 and off we went chasing Bill….who was running fast to warm up…or maybe we were just oxygen deprived??

We still couldn’t believe there was still snow!!

I convinced Kari to make some snow/ice angels…yes it was cold and wet!!

The scenery here was just magnificent!!!!

Water stops were stocked with water and gatorade…

So many of the trees were bowed out like this…anyone know why??  Very interesting…

I am not sure what a grouse is either, but maybe I should check it out??

And yes the hills were much steeper than they look!

Obviously we were having too much fun if I took the time to climb the hill for a pic on the tree…:)

The lake was the most amazing color of blue!!

I’m on fire!  Corny I know!

Kari Queen of the pine cones!!

We stopped at the 6.7 mile finish for watermelon and soda.

The trees just seemed to grow out of the sides of the rocks.

Notice the height of the tree pole…they were along the roads…does snow really get that high??!!

They say 50 feet!?!  Yikes!

We met two really nice maniacs!!

I made Bill wear my gloves…hehe…

The finish for the half marathon…and potty stop….and more watermelon….yea!

The last four miles were on this really nice dirt road…although there was a pretty good climb from 22-24….

Kari thought it was wrong to put a mountain at this point….

But I loved the downhill…and went screaming down…Bill said he clocked me at a 6:50…woo-hoo!

Kari is VERY glad to finish this one!!

The musketeers….

We feasted on watermelon and soda…the finish line food…and jumped on the bus for the ride back…

Kari is worn out…

and we are very dirty….

We rode the bus back to the parking lot where we were met by a ranger with our drop bags and then walked to the hotel to clean up…

This race is breathtaking…I loved it!!

T Shirts & Medals

All finishers will receive a commemorative medal and shirt.


Cristy  5:46.03

Bill  5:46.40

Kari  5:53.06

Post Race

Our very cool room in the lodge…two story loft…only one problem…

The bathroom is upstairs…not such a great idea after the marathon!!

We went down to the Mazama cafe for dinner…it was a buffet…and I was starving!!!

Kari shared a kiss and I shared a smoke…hehe…not really…

We then went back to the lodge to watch the beautiful sunset on the deck.  We spent the rest of the evening in the lodge and ordered a fruit and cheese tray…the restaurant in the lodge looked like a great place for dinner…maybe next time…

We enjoyed the evening in cushy chairs, next to the fire, with this as our view…enjoying the company of good friends…

A perfect end to a perfect day!

Life is good.


Kari and I flew to Atlanta and met up with Bill on our way to Sacramento.   We are spoiled hanging out in the Sky Lounge!!

In order to save a few pennies we flew into Sacramento and would make the 4 hour (okay it was more like 6) drive to Crater Lake National Park.  We also thought it might be a very scenic drive through Northern California.  We spent the night in Sacramento and slept in before driving to Willows to have breakfast.

We stopped at the Black Bear Diner.  This place was adorable!  The portions were huge and everything was delicious…and there were vegetarian options!!  There were homemade pies served in huge cereal bowls…looked very yummy but would have to wait until next time as we were all stuffed!

A little scary that this would be enough of a problem to warrant a sign!!

We drove past some beautiful lakes and had a beautiful view of Mt. Shasta.

We thought this was funny…I know, but hours in the car can make anything funny…

And then we went through the town of Dorris…we could stop here and stay at the Dorris Motel…even hourly…yikes!

Or even have lunch…they now serve good food!!

In Dorris they drive to lunch on lawn tractors…(I didn’t take a very good pic but the guy is waiting to cross the highway on his mower at the stop sign)  We would have missed all this if we would have flown directly into Klamath Falls!!

We finally arrived at Crater Lake…it was simply breathtaking!  We checked in and headed out for dinner.  There are only a couple of choices here.  The Lodge food looked delicious, but was a bit pricey.  We went to the Rim Lake Center, which was just a short walk, and grabbed dinner at the grab and go Cafe…Bill said it used to be a restaurant…but their soup in a bread bowl was delicious!

We came back to the Lodge and sat on the patio and watched the sunset!

We were all tired and decided to go to bed early…we needed to catch the bus at 6:00 am to drive to the race start!


The night marathon

Night of Flanders Marathon

June 18th 2010 at 8.00 pm for the marathon and 100K…8:15 for the 10K

Start 8pm

Time limit: 6 hours

Transportation & Lodging

We flew into Brussels from JFK on Thursday morning and decided to take the train to Torhout Friday afternoon.  We reserved a room at the Hotel De Beiaard in the town center. It was a lovely hotel!  It was very nice and convenient.

Pre Race

Entries and pick up of documents on Friday, June 18h between 5.00 and 7.30 p.m. at the city sports centre.

We checked in and headed to the sports center to pick up our packets.  It was a bit of a walk to the sports center and it seemed we were walking away from the town but after asking directions several times we were able to find it.  The packet pick up was very easy and we headed back to the hotel to get something to eat and rest before the race.  I asked Bill if there was a pasta feed before I realized that we were getting ready to run.  It is strange to prepare for an evening race!

We returned to the hotel and got some croissants (chocolate for me!) and drinks in the town center…and then returned for another serving!!

I loved these signs!!  Let the fun begin!!

I decided this would be my only chance to stand on the awards podium…so I better take advantage!!


A very flat course consisting of 2 loops to the neighbouring village of Lichtervelde and back to Torhout. 
The finish is situated in the city centre (Town hall) amidst a big crowd of spectators who are enjoying a local musical show programme.

The distance were indicated every 5 km.

The roads were well lit for the most part and  free of traffic.

Catering every 5 to 6 km with water, coca-cola, sports drink, fruit and light energy-snacks.

The race ran through very scenic country roads!  The sun did not set until somewhere around 10:30 so we didn’t run in the dark very long.  The race did a complete loop through the town center just past the halfway point.  There were carnival rides, a band, and LOTS of bratwurst, sauerkraut, beer, dried fish, (icky)and cheering people!!

The Race

We rested and then got dressed and headed out to the sports center for the start.  It was difficult to decide what to wear because I anticipated it getting cooler as the night went on, and I didn’t want to be cold waiting for the start, and I didn’t want to drop a bag.  I settled on shorts, singlet, and long sleeve. (which I ended up tying around my waist very early on)

When we left our room, the girl next door started talking to us…she was American too!  We walked to the start together and visited.

We started the race running a four hour pace.

We decided to run together and I was just enjoying the whole experience and beautiful country.  I started visiting with a girl, Mia, running in a pack.  We hit it off right away and became fast friends.  She introduced us to her running crew and her friend Patrick, who was running his first marathon.

Bill and I running with my new friend Mia and her running friends.

Patrick in the blue shorts and black hat in the back left of the photo.

We talked about the Zermatt Marathon that she was preparing to run in July.  She told me that she was only running 30K of the race.

At some point she stopped at a camper to use the toilet that belonged to her friend and I thought she was stopping the race, so I kept going.  We ran with Patrick and eventually met another friend Willhem (who had run ALOT of marathons).  There evidently was some kind of roller skating race going on at the same time as they passed us a couple of times.  We all ran together and had a fantastic time!  What a beautiful country and people!!

We finished in just under four hours and met Patricks wife.  We ran into the city center to finish in the dark with people everywhere!!

The aroma of beer, brats, and fish filled the air!

The experience was priceless!

We were so happy for Patrick, to have met Mia and Willhem, and to have experienced Belgium!

We exchanged emails and hurried back to the hotel to get some warm clothes and head over to the sports center to pick up our T-Shirts.

Post Race

Prize rewarding ceremony on Saturday, June 19th at 1 am on the stage in the city centre. (town hall) before arrival of the 100K

Dressing rooms and showers available at the city sports centre.

We missed the ceremony…couldn’t really figure out where it was…but later saw people carrying very nice trophy cups.

We walked to the sports center to pick up our TShirts…only available in large and extra large.

I checked with the results table and they gave me an envelope with some cash…WOO-Hoo I won a prize!  I’m not sure what prize…but I won!

There was some food–I saw fries–and beer and lots of people in the center, but we decided to head back to the city center for dinner (at 1am) and only found one place still open…the sign said snacks…kebabs and pizza.  An interesting combo!

We went in and they turned the pizza oven back on for us.  We ordered pizza and french fries and it was delicious!!  And Sunkist soda!  Yummy!!

Exhausted…we went to bed!  We woke up the next morning, had some coffee and pastries and headed back to Brussels to begin our holiday!


Prize money according to the place in the overall result and finishing time.

The finish for the 10 km city-run is situated at the starting zone.

All the results of the races will be put on the internet:

Me  357.14

Bill 3:57.14

Patrick 3:57.16   1st Marathon!!

Willhem ?

Mia…ran 20 miles for training for Zermatt!

Viborg, South Dakota

June 13, 2010

6:00 AM Start

Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5.3 Mile Run

Lodging and Transportation

We drove in from Storm Lake and checked in to the Swan Lake Christian Camp Lodge.  A very nice lady gave us a tour and showed us to our room.

It was a room with two sets of bunk beds and a double bed…all with very uncomfortable mattresses, but more than enough room for the three of us!  And a bargain at 25 dollars a piece!  There were no locks on the doors (it is a Christian camp after all) but she assured us everything was fine.

There were community bathrooms down the hall.

It was a beautiful area with views of the lake.


Packet Pick Up was at the lodge from 2pm until 6pm June 12th, and 5:15am until race time on June 13th.
A spaghetti dinner was available for $8 from 5:0-6:30.

We arrived at the lodge after our drive from Storm Lake, checked in, picked up our packet, and went into the cafeteria for the pasta dinner.  We found many of our same friends from earlier at Storm Lake and others that had run the Sandhills Marathon in Nebraska as well.

We unpacked and readied our things for the race and then went to the worship service.  We then went to bed early as I think we were all tired.


The course was altered because they too had experienced the storms and part of the course was flooded.  They decided the marathon would run the half marathon course twice…two loops.  I really like loop courses so it sounded great to me!  We talked with Erin and Cindy at the start and they decided to run with us…they were at the IA race as well.

We ran past farms (even a smelly sheep farm with very muddy sheep), country roads, and a little bit of main road as we ran through the town of Viborg.

We had alot of fun with our new friends!

Somewhere around 17 miles (or so) we came upon a 15 year old boy running his first marathon.  Connor’s brother had run a marathon when he was 15, so Connor was carrying on the tradition, and couldn’t stop to walk because he would have to shave his head (a bet with the brother).  We  all ran together for awhile and then Bill, Connor, and I finally pulled ahead (remember we couldn’t walk) towards the end and Kari stayed with our new friends.

We came upon the finish and we all started sprinting in when Bill stepped in a huge mud puddle and splashed mud all over me!  I had managed to stay relatively clean until the last .1 mile!

We finished and followed the tradition of ringing the camp bell!

Post Race

Showers and free massages were available at the camp after the race.  A free (donations were accepted to help fund camper’s scholarships) post race meal was also served in the lodge after the race.
I went straight up the stairs, took my shoes and socks off at the front door, and went straight to the shower.

The shoes and socks were then thrown away!!

Bill and Kari went straight to the cafeteria to get some chow!

I joined Dave and crew at the table and enjoyed some delicious cheesy potatoes while Bill and Kari cleaned up.

Dave with the Bell!!

Then it was off to Des Moines for our flight home!!

Medals & T-Shirts

They gave us a short sleeve tech shirt and a medal for finishing…ribbons for age group prizes.


Bill 5:17.54

Cristy 5:17.55 2nd AG

Connor 5:17.55 2nd AG

Dave 5:18.53

Kari 5:20.05 4th AG

Erin 5:20.05 2nd AG

Cindy 5:20.06

Storm Lake, Iowa

June 12, 2010

Marathon, Half Marathon, Marathon Relay, 5K  — 7 hour cutoff

Transportation & Lodging

We flew into Des Moines…not the closest airport but the cheapest.  We drove 3 hours to Storm Lake and checked into the Super 8.  Kari’s Cousin from Eastern Iowa came into town to run and Kari stayed back at the hotel to meet up with her for dinner.

The hotel had told us at check-in that we could get a late check out-just ask in the morning.  The next morning, however, the lady said there were no more available.  In the end at check out it was no problem…so a little confusion, but a fine, minimalist hotel.

Pre Race

  • 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. Race Packets may be picked up at Storm Lake High School
  • 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. Spaghetti supper available for purchase

Bill and I went to the high school, picked up our packet, and had a nice pasta dinner with Dave and some other fellow Maniacs and 50 Staters.  We headed back to the hotel to get to bed early and had the opportunity to meet Kari’s Cousin and daughter.  Then it was to bed early!

  • 4:30 – 5:30 a.m. Race Day packets may be picked up
  • 6:00 a.m. Marathon and Marathon Relay begin
  • 6:05 a.m. Bus leaves for Half-Marathon
  • 7:00 a.m. Half Marathon begins
  • 8:00 a.m. 5K Run/Walk begins at Marathon Community Center

We woke up to rain and lightning!  Ugh!  As I needed Iowa to finish my 50 States in October, I prayed for a stop to the bad weather!  I don’t mind running in the rain, if it is warm, but NOT lightning!  We packed up and went to the high school.  The Race Director made the announcement that the race would not start until the weather improved…so we would wait.  Every 20 minutes an announcement would be made until 8:00 and then the race would be canceled if it was not safe to run.  They must call it Storm Lake for a reason!

Maniacs tried to come up with contingency plans…run on the track, in the gym??

We sat around and visited…Bill took a nap on a bench…

The pre race talk and National Anthem was played in the school so that we could start right away if we had the opportunity.

But by 7:30 it was decided that we would start…and jump on buses if it worsened.


The course runs from Storm Lake to Marathon.

Aid, Gatorade, and water stations available every 2.5 miles (stations are closer towards the finish line). Fresh fruit and GU Energy Gel available towards the last water stations.

We all headed to the start and took off!  The weather looked daunting in the distance at times, but the rain held off and it ended up being a very pleasant day!

We met alot of nice people!  The Race organizers and volunteers did an amazing job!  We all three ran together and passed the time playing every car game imaginable.  We forced Bill into participating in our games…against his will I think…but we had a very nice day and enjoyed this race that runs through the Iowa countryside.

Post Race

  • Post-race dinner (I think it was a turkey dinner) will be available at the finish line.
  • Shower facilities are available at the Marathon Community Center.(Bring your own towel.)
  • Bus Service back to the starting line.

We finished the race, got our bags and a drink, and they made an announcement that the bus was ready to leave and there wouldn’t be another one for two hours…so we jumped straight on the bus.  There were no more seats…Kari got the last one by her cousin…but Bill and I had to stand.  I guess it was till better than waiting two hours!  Later we found out maybe it wouldn’t have been quite that long.  We quickly showered, checked out, and went to eat.  Then it was off to drive the 2 hours 40 minutes to Viborg!

Medals & T-Shirts

They gave us a nice short sleeve T Shirt and had some others with a nice design available in short and long sleeve to purchase with the proceeds going to the community.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon, 4 Person Relay, Pump & Run

Marathon Start Time   6:30 AM                      4112 Finishers (Marathon)


We flew into CVG early Saturday morning.  We arrived around 10 am, took a taxi to the hotel, dropped our bags off, grabbed a very bad breakfast at the hotel right before it closed, and headed off on the bus to the expo at the Duke Energy Center.  The expo started Friday, so hopefully it wouldn’t be too picked over.

The Pump & Run…hmmm.

Kari and I go on the quest for “Her Pig”…I claimed mine last time I did this race!

I like this one!  Could this be the one?  The Safety Pig?  Kari says no…

Okay so onward to enter the expo…possibly we will find it there!  If not, I know we will find some good shopping!

Cleopatra Pig??  Nope.

How could you NOT do this race!  Look at all the cute slogans!!

Kari and Bill do not look excited about Pigippides…the first marathon pig…oh yeah, I guess he died at the finish!

Not a good choice!

The expo had an abundance of “Pig” merchandise, but not as much other stuff…but  adequate I guess.

Kari kind of likes the finish line swine…after all it flies!

And he apparently had trouble breaking the tape as I did (a story for a another day).

Ahhh and then we come to my pig..the flying cheetah pig…the fastest on earth!  hehe

After weaving through the expo and exhausting Bill with our shopping extravaganza we got to the schwag pick up!  The pig has the best stuff ever!  We got a nice roomy Asics running bag , poster, and very cute technical running shirt.  Although Mike thought it was a bit too colorful for him.

Quinn called and just got to the expo…perfect timing as she didn’t have time to do much shopping.  She had the kids in tow and had to pick up her mom from the airport.  Her folks came in to help her with the kids and support her as she does her first marathon!!

We exhausted ourselves and decided to head to the lobby to sit down and have a coffee.  Quinn left and Mike and Steve showed up.  They expo’ed while we had coffee and watched the cheerleaders (from the competition next door) come and go.

We checked into our hotel, the Embassy Covington, and headed out for dinner.

Ira was staying close by and met us at the restaurant.

I found some good reviews for Pompilios on the internet.

We went early at 5:15 thinking it wouldn’t be crowded yet, but we had to wait 1:45.

So, of course,  we went to Starbucks (in a grocery store) and killed some time.

The wait was well worth it!  The place was very quaint and the food was good!   The toothpick scene from Rain Man was filmed here!

We were all starving by the time we got a table!

They brought us some free appetizers!


A pic worthy of the banquet slide show!

I ordered eggplant parmigiana.  It was delicious!

Steve got spaghetti and meatballs..look at the size of the meatball!

The serious guys!

After dinner it was back to the hotel to chat and catch up with Mike and Steve.  Bill fell asleep in 5 seconds (literally) and we stayed up a little too late, but had a fun night.


We got up early and I had my normal breakfast Starbucks bottled frap and a cake donut.  We got dressed, got trash bags from the front desk, and met up with Quinn in the lobby.  Her running club met in our parking lot and she dropped her bag with them.  We headed across the bridge to the stadium (in the rain) and found Ira right away in the crowd!  Everyone was huddled in the stadium because of the rain and LIGHTNING.  Eek!

We said goodbye and Bill, Steve, and Mike headed off while Quinn, Kari, Ira and myself lined up together.  We lost Ira pretty early, but the three of us girls had a great time.  Even though it was raining, it was warm enough outside that it wasn’t too uncomfortable.  The course goes through a lot of unique neighborhoods and  was lined with people.  It rained on and off through the race, but that ‘ seem to stop people from coming out.  The elevation chart is a bit deceiving because this course is a tough one with rolling hills the entire way. (at least in the opinion of a Florida girl)  Quinn ran a fantastic race with each 1/4 of the race being much faster than the previous one.  Kari dropped back towards the end but came in right behind us. Quinn’s mom was there to cheer her in at the finish…very cool!

There was a great finish line buffet with every kind of snack you could want!

We walked with Quinn over to her running club tent, visited with her and her mom, then headed over to the buses that would drop us off at our hotel.  The guys were waiting on us and STARVING!!


Steve  1:57.40  PR  Woo-Hoo!!

Mike  3:47.21

Bill  3:49.12

Cristy  4:35.51

Quinn  4:35.51  1st Marathon!!  Congrats!!

Kari  4:44.58

Ira  4:54.30


Very cool medals with a pig on one side and the, hmm, well,  back side of the pig on the other…with a pink ribbon that Mike was excited about!

We checked out of the hotel and walked over to First Watch for breakfast.

We said goodbye to Mike and Steve and packed into Ira’s car for one last trip to Starbucks and then off to the airport for our trip home.

What a fun weekend!  We packed a lot into two days!

Life is good!