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!

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.


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.


  • 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.

Ahhh…the decision…to run or not to run…

I had a pretty good week last week of 69 miles.  I have been trying to get my mileage back up after a slow winter.  I usually average 70-80 mile weeks – but with alot of LSD (long slow distance).  I will talk about my thoughts on that on another day (or two).  I start my running weeks on Monday as I find that the average totals seem to not jump around so much if I race on the weekends.  I took off Monday – which is my normal day off – ran one 8.5 mile run last night with my running club, and did my usual 6 mile run with my running buddy this morning.

I am running the Antelope Island 50 Mile, my first, or 50K, if I chicken out.  So how much taper is needed for a run of this distance?  I have not been able to come to a conclusion yet.  I seem to feel sluggish with too much time off, but I always feel that it is better to go into a race well rested.  I have done quite a few runs over 26 miles – but not more than 35 miles – and have never altered my schedule, so the decision…

to run or not?