|The new Vikings stadium! It looks like a pirate ship.|
|Lisa and I before getting everything lined up|
|the "sweat drop" bags were loaded into UPS trucks by bib number|
|They had a line of port-a-lets that spanned an entire city block!|
|Lisa, me, and Megan her running club buddy|
TC is billed as the most scenic urban marathon in the US, and I was seeing why. There were almost 9000 runners lining up there. Split into 4 corrals, we ended up in Corral 2. To give you an idea of how many people that is on one city block, here's the amount of people in front of me, then the amount of people behind me.
|Towards the starting line|
|Away from the starting line|
Before you know it, the race was starting! Apparently it took 6:50 for Corral 1 to clear out and then we were off on the course. It started out weaving through downtown Minneapolis before getting out to some of the lakes. There was a ton of water (lakes and river time) on the course.
|The first lake|
|"letting" Megan and Lisa lead (they schooled me the entire time)|
|Near the 10k mark?|
|I'm still smiling. Them? yea, not so much|
I love that bottom picture too because Lisa and Megan are obviously talking about something but it looks like they are in agony and I'm still trying to smile. Candid shots are the best. Really, we all still felt great at that point.
|Crowds are starting to thin a bit|
|Not smiling anymore|
Actually somewhere in the second half I came up with a mantra that got on repeat in my head:
This is our gift
We have been given a gift from God of strength and endurance
When the miles get tough, we show others our gift
We can always go farther
We can always be stronger
This is our gift
Repeat that to yourself for a couple of hours and you start to believe it. You also might go crazy. But then, you'd have to be crazy to start one of these things.
|Right before the finish|
|and right after|
|Got a nice free local recovery beer|
|Lisa and I with our finishers medals|
|Me in front of the Capital building in St Paul|
The other thing that I didn't like was that I made plans to meet up with Carly at the finish line, another blogger I've known for years but never met in person. She was apparently there, close to the same time I was, and I couldn't find her anywhere. That's just my own disappointment and doesn't have anything to do with the race organization.
Overall this was an amazing marathon. Beautiful course, well organized, incredible crowd support, Twin Cities has it all. If you're doing the 50 state thing too, or just want a destination marathon, I can highly recommend this one.
Once we did make it back to Lisa's apartment, we got cleaned up and she gave me a ride to the airport. The flights were uneventful, thankfully, but my legs did not recover well by sitting for that long. Finally by Thursday they weren't sore anymore. Lisa and Megan are real champions of consistency - they kept those 9 minute miles coming. I usually go more with the flow of the course, hammer sometimes and walk when I need to. This recovery time is no joke. On the plane, I was talking to a West Point grad who said my addiction to marathons was "better than Meth" - hence the title. When you're in that much pain you find humor anywhere you can.
and to think, I'm only 9 days away from my first 50 mile trail ultra.