Marathon Re-Cap Monday! We'll get back to Narnia tomorrow. Today you have to listen to me brag about my athletic exploits.
The highlight of the race happened at the starting line. The Utah Valley Marathon starts in a tiny town calls Wallsberg. It's a farming community 20 miles up Provo Canyon. It is very pretty and very quiet at 4:30 am. The race was supposed to start at 5 am. Seconds before the starting gun, a man best described as an "old coot" drove a filthy pick-up truck onto the race course. He was hauling a 4-wheeler and had at least eight dogs bunched into kennels on his truck bed. He wasn't listening to the race organizers or the police or anyone, he was just plowing forward.
There are thousands of racers bunched at the start, packed in tight. A fire truck with its siren on would have a hard time getting through. But this clown just went for it, bulldozer style. He got all the way to the actual starting line, where he ran over the airflow tube to the inflatable arch. The arch collapsed and the crowd went, "Awwwwwww." He rolled forward off the air supply and the arch popped back into shape. Everyone cheered.
Then the gun went off and the racers swarmed around the pickup truck which was clogging the mouth of the starting line.
Here is the moment of the arch collapsing:
This guy and his dogs really needed to get down that road. He wasn't letting anyone or anything stop him. In a way, I like him, for his determination and his crusty anti-athleticism. But at the same time, what an idiot.
It was all downhill from there (literally, it is a very downhill race.) I predicted that I would get my slowest time ever, and I did. I ran a great first half; clean, clockwork 9:30 miles. Then around mile 15 I deflated (much like the inflatable arch.) I walked quite a few miles in the second half.
I finished with a time almost TWO HOURS slower than my fastest time (3:48:31, St. George 2008) so slow, I'm ashamed to post it (you can do the math.) I skimped on my training, and you get what you train for. It was marathon #8 for me, and I can at least be proud of that.
Okay, back to Narnia. See you tomorrow for the hardest-to-remember book! (Seriously, it's everyone's least favorite, right?)