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

8/14/2010

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.



Transportation

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!!

Notice…..SNOW!!!!

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.

Results

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.

8/12/2010

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!

NACHT VAN WEST-VLAANDEREN

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!!

Course

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!

Results

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: www.nvv.be

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.

Pre-Race

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.

Course

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.

Results

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.

Course

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)

TRANSPORTATION & PRE RACE

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!

Yummy!!

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.

COURSE

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!!


RESULTS

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

POST RACE

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!

Boston Marathon

April 19, 2010

Pre Race

We flew into Boston and met Bill at the airport.  We took the train to our hotels, dropped our luggage, ate some lunch (We ate at the food court in the mall), and headed to the expo for some serious shopping.  It would have to be a rushed trip since I only had 2 1/2 hours!  How could I ever fit it all in?!

I bought a hoodie, T Shirt, jacket, pin & patch.

I tried on numerous shoes…trying desperately to find a pair that leave me with toenails and blisterless.  Since my WONDERFUL Adizero LT shoes were discontinued I have had nothing but trouble!

I am currently running in Puma Complete Roadracers, which I love the way they feel, but they are leaving my feet a mess!

I even considered the Vibrams (even though I think they look funny), but they felt funny between my toes.  I am not sure what I think about the Vibram craze….

I may have narrowed it down to the Green Silence by Brooks for the next shoe to try…even though they are not green?!?

They didn’t have my size, so I will try to find them when I get home.

We shopped until the very last second then picked up our packets.  We got a great long sleeve tech shirt – teal for the girls & blue for the boys.

We met Chuck, Chuck (to be known as Chuck squared in the future) and John out front and headed over to Cheesecake Factory for dinner.  We had a bit of a wait so we headed over to the hotel, dropped our stuff, and hung out at Starbucks (where else) until time to eat.

We headed back over to Cheesecake Factory and I was ready to eat!!  I had sweet corn tamale cakes and jamaican black pepper shrimp…some of my favorite dishes!!

We said good bye and turned in after sorting through our schwag.

We took a taxi to and met the guys at Panificio for breakfast.  I had delicious french toast!  As we were leaving, we met the editor of Runners World.  Very fun!

Now it’s off to spend the day at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum!

Our trek begins!

We took the train and got off at the JFK/U Mass station.  The museum and U Mass must be close!

Even though it was chilly and rainy, it was a beautiful walk to the museum.

We walked through some cool neighborhoods and Callie had the opportunity to get some nice pics.

Okay, the walk was a little further than we expected!

The rain finally stopped and we made a pit stop at the University and then headed to the museum.

We FINALLY arrived at the JFK museum.

It is my goal to visit all of the Presidential Museums…this will make number 4 for Chuck and me…Bill, Kari, & John are behind!

Our official photographer!

We were all very happy to learn that there was a shuttle that would take us back to the train station!

The trip back was a lot faster even if it was not as scenic…

Now the train…

Chuck was showing off his new Boston jacket while we waited!

Callie wasn’t sure that she wanted to be associated with the boys!

They just look like trouble, huh?

We stopped at Starbucks before heading back to our hotels.  Callie and I made one last pass through the expo while Bill headed back to the hotel to do some work.

We met Bill at the hotel then jumped in a cab to go to the pasta feed.

So much for relaxing the day before the race!

We pulled up to the pasta feed just in time to run from the cab to the front of the line to catch the boys who were already going inside…woo-hoo!

The room was decorated with balloons that had videos of past races projected on to them.  Very Cool!!

Geoff Smith…1984 and 1985 winner from Great Britain.

Our meals consisted of salad, rolls, tuna fish pasta salad, pasta marinara with sausage, and mac & cheese.  I stuck with the meatless choices – mac and cheese and salad.  It was very good!

We got a big table inside and a girl from Idaho and her hubby joined us.  The pasta feed at Boston is fun and now I know we can sit inside…we have always been outside in the past and the weather can be chilly.

On the way out they gave out bags of Toblerone and Lindor chocolates, cookies, chips, etc.  Yummy!!

We headed back to the hotel and laid out all of our race stuff and hit the sack!

Race

We were up early and I had my traditional breakfast of a donut and Starbucks bottled frappuccino.

We headed out for our mile + walk to the buses.  We met a super cool guy along the way, Neil from…Idaho!  We talked all the way to the buses and we found out it was his first Boston.  We kind of adopted him into our group as we navigated the crowd to find the guys.  The guys had started talking to a couple of gals…also from Idaho!  I think the whole state of Idaho must be in Boston!

Chuck, the Idaho girls, and Neil…

me and Bill…

and John and Chuck…

enjoyed the long ride in traffic to Hopkinton with great company!

We were dropped off in the Athlete’s Village and wandered around for awhile looking for a warm, comfortable spot out of the wind to stretch out.  All of a sudden, I hear “Cristy!”  It’s Jan from Phoenix!  Wow!  What a small world!!

Here we are!  Look at my crew of guys!!

We finally find a spot on the grassy knoll!

Chuck settles in and has a snack!

I am sooo happy!  I love the experience of Boston!

John is ready to go!!  hehe!  He might be warm but he is still funny!

The buses in the back are our bag drop.

Woo-Hoo!!

Our new super fast friend Neil is ready to run his first Boston!  Yea!!!!

Bill disappeared into the port-a-potty line…Where is he?!  It is time to go!!

John is ready to go…we just don’t want to talk about what he plans to do with the empty bottle…hmmm.

Me and my guys!!

I think we are all psyched and ready to head to the start!

Bill, Neil, and I were in the first wave and headed down 30 minutes before the three musketeers.  We wished Neil luck as he headed up to his corral.

Bill and I started out running together, but after a short while I let Bill go as I wanted to be a bit conservative during the first half.  I had been suffering with some pretty severe back pain all week and just wanted to ensure that I could finish.  I caught back up with Bill after a few miles and introduced him to an Aussie that I met.  He was 72 and shooting for a 3:33.  I kept Bill in sight until I pulled off before Wellesley for a pit stop and to dislodge a pebble from my shoe.

I avoided the kisses and ran through the Wellesley girls on the opposite side of the street, although my ears were still ringing for miles!

I ran down the hill after the Wellesley girls and through the downtown area feeling okay.  I think it was on the next uphill slope that I started having trouble…my back started having spasms so I made the decision to make sure I could finish.  I walked up every uphill from there to the finish.

I made it to the Newton Hills and found orange slice heaven!

There is nothing that tastes better to me during or after a run than oranges!

…and I am pretty sure I ate about five whole oranges on my journey through Newton!

I knew once I made it to the top of Heartbreak that I would finish and just enjoyed the run.  Boston College may even surpass the Wellesley girls for enthusiasm and noise!  As we ran by their party seemed to be just getting started!  I had some stomach issues and ducked into an empty port-a-let.  I think it was empty because you had to weave through a sea of spectators to get there!   I ran past a girl that was struggling…so I decided to run with her for a bit.  She had a hip injury and was suffering.  We talked for a bit and she seemed to start feeling better (or she was very brave).  Off I went to the Citgo sign…one mile to go!

I love Boston because it is 26.2 miles of 500,000 spectators!

I turned the corner to Boylston and reveled in the moment.

I felt mixed emotions…so privileged and proud to be there, but a bit disappointed that I wasn’t able to have the day I had hoped for…but as the throngs of people several deep on Boylston cheered…I came to peace with the day…it is Boston…and I finished…loving every minute…what more could I ever ask for!

LIFE IS GOOD!!!!

I looked for Callie as I was running in, but I didn’t see her (she was there waiting for an hour but didn’t see me either…what a trooper!)  Bill was waiting for me at the finish line.  We got our medals and potato wraps and headed for the food tables for cookies and snacks, and then to the buses for our bags.  I still had an upset tummy (which is unusual for me and it lasted for a couple of days…ugh!) and I was starting to get cold!

At the finish, a sea of potato wrapped runners make their way to the buses to pick up their drop bags.

We got our bags, put on some warm clothes, called Callie, and headed to the hotel…stopping by Starbucks to look for Neil…but no sign…it turns out we missed each other.

Post Race

Callie met us at the room, I took a nap while Bill showered, then I took a long soak in a very hot tub. (also unusual for me as I find the thought of hotel tubs icky) but felt a bit better afterward…maybe it was the Pepto?

We took a cab to the North End to meet the guys, and walk to an Italian restaurant…well with some shopping pit stops along the way!

We had a great dinner at La Famiglia Giorgio!

I had a great stuffed eggplant!

Chuck J. had this yummy looking mussel dish.

We finished the evening by getting a Gelati at the Gelatateria, going to Mike’s Pastry for Cannoli, and next door for coffee.

I slept sooo sound!  Bill got up and met the guys at Panificio for breakfast, but Callie and I opted for breakfast at the Pour House and shopping on Newbury Street before we checked out and headed to the airport at noon.

Maybe this would have helped Monday!

Should we go to the airport or Wonderland…maybe the airport.

Results

Valerie Bertinelli ran to support research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute-The Jimmy Fund.  She finished in 5:14…

Bill  3:36.04

Cristy  3:48.19

John  3:58.12

Chuck  4:42.12

Chuck J  5:04.38

Neil  3:58.52

A Brief History of the Boston Marathon

John Graham, Boston Athletic Association member and inaugural U.S. Olympic Team Manager, was so inspired by the Olympics that he decided to conduct a marathon in the Boston area.  A route with the distance of 24.5 miles from Metcalf’s Mill in Ashland to Irvington Oval in Boston was chosen.  The first Boston Marathon was held April 19, 1897.  John J. McDermott of New York emerged out of the field of 15 as the victor with a time of 2:55.10.

In 1924 the starting line was moved to Hopkinton, but it wasn’t until 1927 that the distance was increased to the Olympic standard established in 1908 of 26 miles, 385 yards.  The race is held on Patriots Day, a holiday commemorating the start of the Revolutionary War, recognized only in Maine and Massachusetts.

Women in Boston

Roberta Gibb was the first woman to run the full Boston Marathon.  Roberta ran without an official race number (she hid in the bushes until the race started) and finished in 3:21.40.  She was the first female finisher for three years, 1966-68.  Katherine Switzer was issued a bib  number in 1967 as she did not indicate that she was a female on the application, only listed her name as K.V. Switzer.  B.A.A. officials tried repeatedly to physically remove her from the course once she was identified as a female.  She finished in her own estimate in 4:20.  The A.A.U. permitted sanctioned marathons to allow women to run in 1971.  Eight women entered  in 1972 and Nina Kuscsik became the first official women’s champion finishing in 3:10.26.  All eight women finished.

Wheelchair Division

The Boston Marathon became the first marathon to include a wheelchair division.  The Race Director, Will Cloney promised Bob Hall in 1975 that he would receive an official finisher’s certificate if he finished in less than 3 hours.  Bob Hall finished in 2:58.

Heartbreak Hill

Heartbreak Hill was given the nickname by Boston Globe reporter, Jerry Nason.  In 1936, John Kelley caught Ellison “Tarzan” Brown on the Newton Hills.  Kelley made a friendly gesture of tapping “Tarzan” on the shoulder and “Tarzan” responded by regaining the lead on the final hill, and as Nason reported, “breaking Kelley’s heart.”

Qualifying Standards

Qualifying standards were introduced in 1970.  The entry form stated, “A runner must submit the certification…that he has trained sufficiently to finish the course in less than four hours…”

Prize Money

Prize money was established in 1986, with the support of principal sponsor John Hancock Financial Services.  The winner was awarded $60,000 and a Mercedes-Benz.  The prize purse in 2010 will be $806,000

Starting Line

Elite women were given a separate start in 2005.  In 2006, the field was divided into two waves, the first 10,000 started at 12:00 and the rest of the field at 12:30.  This was also the first year for chip timing.  The following year, in 2007, the start was rolled back to 10:00 A.M.

Participation

The inaugural event had 18 entrants, 15 starters, and 10 finishers in 1897.  By 1995 the field had grown to 9,416 entrants.  In celebration of the centennial running in 1996, the field skyrocketed to 38,708 entrants, a world record at the time.  The following year, the numbers dropped back down to 10,471, but gradually increased over the decade to 26,331 entrants and 22,843 finishers in 2009.  The 2009 race sold out in late February.  The 2010 race was limited to 25,000 entrants and sold out in November.

Facts

  • John A. Kelley holds the record for the most races started (61) and finished (58).  It was Kelley’s third attempt that he finally finished the race.  He won the race in 1935 and 1945.  He last completed the course in 1992 at the age of 84.  He served as grand marshall from 1995-2004, missing only one year due to illness.  Kelley passed away in 2004 at the age of 97. A three-time Olympian, John Kelley was selected as runner of the century by Runners World Magazine.
  • The only B.A.A. member to ever win was John J. Kelley who established a course record of 2:20.05 in 1957.
  • The only men to have won Boston 4 or more times are:
  1. Clarence DeMar (7)
  2. Gerard Cote (4)
  3. Bill Rodgers (4)
  4. Robert K. Cheruiyot (4)
  • The last Americans to win the Boston Marathon were Greg Meyer in 1983 and Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach in 1985.
  • Since 1988, African men have won all but two races and African women have won all but one since 1997.
  • Course records are held by Robert K. Cheruiyot 2:07.14 and Margaret Okayo 2:20.43, both from Kenya.
  • In terms of media coverage, the Boston Marathon ranks only behind the Super Bowl as the largest single day sporting event, with 1100 members representing 250 outlets.
  • Approximately 500,000 spectators line the course annually.
  • In 2009, 1200 participants representing 24 charities raised more than 10.5 million dollars.

March 27, 2010

Antelope Island State Park, Utah

Races

50 Mile 6 AM    91 Finishers

50 K 8 AM

25 K 10 AM

Course is open until 6:30 PM

Cost $85 late registration + 1 can of veggies for post race party

This is a BEAUTIFUL, organized race with the most friendly, helpful volunteers!

Pre Race

Packet pickup is held at the Striders Running Store in Layton on Thursday and Friday. There is also packet pickup Saturday morning when you first get on Antelope Island-not at the start. There was no pre race pasta feed, but there are so many restaurants in the area that you will have no problem finding a place to carb up.

We arrived in Salt Lake City on Thursday and after an afternoon touring SLC, drove to Layton Thursday night. We went early Friday to Striders to pick up our packets, and buy some running gear. We then went to IHOP (very bad choice) had some pancakes, cruised the mall, and hit a 1:20 movie of the Ghost Writer. When we came out and it was SNOWING!!! Panic set in! I don’t like snow-at least not while running! W went back to the mall to Sports Authority and I bought some great running pants. We decided on Olive Garden for our pre race meal. I spent the rest of the evening trying to decide what to wear, what to pack in each of my drop bags, and where I wanted them to be dropped. There is so much more planning involved in ultra runs!

Course

Here’s your chance to run where the buffalo roam and the deer and the antelope play (oh, give me a home etc.)

It is home to bison, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, mule deer, coyotes, bighorn sheep, porcupines, bobcats, upland game birds, and countless birds (chukar, meadowlarks, seagulls (the Utah state bird), shore birds, etc).

Antelope Island State Park is on the largest island (28,000 acres) in the Great Salt Lake. There are about 45 miles of trails there with 500 head of buffalo to dodge.

Sometime they move…

sometimes they don’t.

The entire race has breathtaking views of  snow capped mountains, the Salt Lake, Salt Lake City, and Layton in the distance.

The 50 mile course will take runners out the same trail as the 25K and 50K runners. Most of the hills are in the first 20 miles. The 50 K does this early loop twice and the 25 K and 50 Mile run it once. The 50 mile does one extra section in the first part and then goes to other parts of the island.

You will be able to have drop bags at every refreshment stop for the 25K and 50K if you want (there are only two). For the 50 mile, there are three places you can have drop bags. You pass through the same aid stations multiple times.

There are numerous aid stations, but sometimes 5-7 miles apart, stocked with the usual snacks, drinks, and hot soup.

We got up at 3:30, got ready, and had some donuts and a bottled Starbucks frapuccino (my most recent pre race breakfast of choice). We headed out for the 25 minute drive to the island. We made one wrong turn on the way there but quickly realized it and turned around, however a very long line of cars followed us. I decided to wear shorts with my new pants over, a singlet, warm long sleeved running shirt, arm warmers, thin wind jacket, ear warmers, hat, and gloves. (oh and flashlight on my hat because it is DARK with no city lights) The temp was around 30 degrees but with a cold wind.

Okay I was perfect for the 1st mile and then got too warm & took off the jacket and arm warmers and changed the shirt by mile 7 when you run by the drop bags for the first time. The sun came up (the same time as our flashlight batteries died – whew). This ENTIRE course is beautiful! It is almost completely run on single track desert type trails. I felt it was pretty hilly and rocky in the first section, but I DO live in Florida, so … We met a dentist, Mark, from Utah early and had some great political conversation. We played leap frog the entire race.

Lone Tree (imagine that)

I had within the first mile of the race, terrible calf pain/cramping. I have never experienced that before and I panicked! I started focusing on the pain and the what-ifs. It did finally go away…maybe it was the cold start??


I found that ultra runners talk a lot less than marathoners. (except Mark) Since Bill doesn’t talk much anyway, I found myself with a lot of time to quietly reflect on life. The rest of the time I filled with a constant logorrhea. I often say that when running fast, you have to become comfortable with being uncomfortable, but I never have related that to slow, easy running. As we were hiking up the steepest incline, Mark makes that same statement to me (maybe I was whining?) I quickly realized what I was doing to myself…and what I tell people…running is 95% psychological.

Split Rock Bay & Elephant Head Trail

I have never had a desire to run 50 miles (or more) but this was an opportunity to run in Utah (I got food poisoning last time I was here) and it was billed as not too difficult. So, I thought why not? I have always known I could run 50 miles, but never found the idea of missing more than one meal appealing. It is amazing how negative thinking affects you. I started doubting myself…What if I don’t finish? What if I fall? What if I am holding Bill back? What if I go the wrong way? (not likely as the course is well marked – and it is an island) What if….?

I started evaluating the priorities of the day and came up with a plan which I announced…

  1. Don’t Fall
  2. Don’t step in buffalo pies

Mark says, “I just want to finish!”…hmmm I ponder and reorder…

  1. Don’t fall IN buffalo pies
  2. Finish

Instead of thinking of the unimaginable challenges of the day, I started enjoying the moments.

What a difference!

The reflection of Frary Peak in the Great Salt Lake

As you will see, Mark gave me several things to think about. He started giving us National Geographic trivia.

What are the four most animals, in order, with the most dangerous, maybe numerous, encounters with humans?

ANSWER:

  1. rattlesnake
  2. BUFFALO
  3. mountain lion
  4. grizzly bear

Okay, since my family owned buffalo growing up, (another story) I was unaffected.

We came back through the start area about mile 19, Bill stopped for an extended visit at the porta johns, and I sat around and ate donuts by the fire pit. (too many as my stomach hurt) I watched the 25 K runners start their race and then took off towards Lower Frary. This is the point in the race that I had my final internal battle. I kept thinking we have 30 mile left! I caught myself and started breaking it down to small sections, in the same way I would a marathon…3 miles turnaround, 5 miles aid station, 5 miles aid, etc…then I had no further trouble.

I was VERY hungry-for food-not snacks pretty early. There were two stops that had hot soups – potato/veggie broth & ramen noodles – that was good!!

There was an out and back section during the Elephant Head loop that the 50 milers ran. At the end you had to retrieve a sticker and place it on your bib. The nice man gave me a turtle sticker and Bill asked him if he had a pig? (also another story) After searching he found one placed it on my bib, and off we went…the moral is be sure to get a sticker so they know you did the extra loop.

All of a sudden, there are buffalo around mile 20, or so, crossing the road. I start thinking about Mark’s comments and start to fret. They start moving and I tell Bill, what if they run at us? There is not even a shrub to hide behind! They run across the road and start playing or chasing-hard to tell…but in a direction away from us!

The next million miles (okay maybe 21-23) are mostly very flat trails across the desert and we enjoyed the afternoon. It started warming up and we couldn’t wait to get to the aid station to shed some layers. I went down to shorts, singlet and a thin long sleeve and was pretty comfortable the rest of the day.

We headed back toward the finish with one more 6-7 mile loop around a hill (or small mountain) before running to the finish. I felt so strong as we trotted up through the rocks. You could look and see the buffalo grazing, the mountains across the lake, and the finish line in the distance.

I couldn’t believe how good I felt as we came down the road toward the finish. Bill and I raced each other in the final stretch to the finish line… It was a beautiful day! I actually had FUN running 50 miles! (sounds hard to believe)! I would have never even thought of running this race if it wasn’t for Bill-THANK YOU!!

It was an amazing day….Life is Good!!!

Final Thoughts

I found the 50 mile distance to be very much the same as a marathon or 50K for me physically, however it presented different challenges psychologically. I had the gift of having someone to run with the entire race. The solitude of 50 miles alone is not something that would entice me to become an avid ultra runner. Some of the people you meet along the way have done amazing races of crazy distances, and I would imagine running much of them alone.

However, this race was GREAT and I would probably consider running it again!

Miscellaneous Stuff

You may encounter Bison out on the course. The race has enlisted the services of the volunteer Trail Patrol to hopefully keep them off the trail. If you encounter bison on the trail, generally they will get out of your way, however, some of the bulls (1500-1800 lbs.) are obstinate and won’t budge. Bison will also charge you (and not with credit cards) if you enter their personal space (seems to be about 10-25 yards or so ). The charges are generally short but can result in having to clean out your shorts, and that leads to chafing issues. Head for a rock field if you can, they generally won’t follow. Don’t look them directly in the eye, they take it as a challenge. Go off trail enough to get around them or wait until they decide to go elsewhere.


Awards & Shirts

Short sleeve tech shirts in a very nice material

Finishers were given mugs.

Awards were given three deep in the usual 10 year age groupings as well as overall male (who finished in 6:31 – how is that even possible?!) and female (8:00) winners.

Results

Cristy 11:15.02  3rd Place Age Group

Bill 11:15.03

Post Race

The post race feed starts about 1:00 PM. Here’s the deal…everyone brings one can of veggies. They dump it into a kettle with buffalo meat and stir it up. For the vegetarians (me), they make a vegetarian version with some kind of faux meat…(don’t really want to think about that too much).  It was DELICIOUS!!!!

There was a nice finish line spread. We didn’t finish until 5:15 and there was plenty there for us! There were snacks, fruit, cookies, and of course the STEW!! There were massages available and hoodies for sale for $25.

We finished and I bought one of the great hoodies, ate two cups of the veggie stew (YUM!), grabbed some cookies and headed to the car. I ran into Mark, my new friend the dentist from Utah, said goodbye, and jumped into the car for the 25 minute ride back into Layton.

We stopped to take some photos on our way out of the park…


We went back to the hotel showered…

So that they would let us in the hot tub…

and examined my blisters…

courtesy of my new shoes!

and then drove across the parking lot to Cracker Barrel for a veggie feast…

well after all we did already run 50 miles!!

The end…