Sunday morning, bright and early, Scott and I headed into the heart of Denver, along with thousands of other crazies, to run the Denver Marathon. I have run big races before (i.e. Bolder Boulder) but this was amazing. So many people, it felt a bit like a cattle drive. Moo. We were the 11th group to start, 18 minutes after the first gun. I was nervous to get started because I knew once our group started running, we were going to be out there for quite some time. The first few miles were run through the streets of downtown Denver. The spectators came out in full force. Of course, there were bands almost every mile, lots of local cheerleaders, cow bells and even a handful of those irritating horns that were banned from the World Cup. The streets were lined with excited fans. The next few miles we wound through the southern neighborhoods of Denver. Lots of big, old house to drool over and distract me from the need to use the rest room. The aid stations were awesome but the lines for porta-potties were even more amazing. I was feeling great but anxious as we approached the 12 mile marker. This is where the half and full marathon runners divide and go their separate ways. Gulp. Scott was really great at encouraging me. He starts telling me that this is where they separate the men from the boys and women from the girls. I am not buying it. I WANT TO BE A GIRL!!!! THAT WAY!!!! I WANT TO GO WITH THE GIRLS!!! I have run many half-marathons and I know it takes a lot of...well, endurace or something. Well, I stayed on my path and headed out with the other crazy heads toward Washington Park. Miles 15-20 were mostly in the park. There were at least 4 bands in the park. Just after the songs of one band faded away, you could start to hear the next one. Very fun. Again, there were tons of spectators. This race was a real people watching experience. We saw a running Elvis and a man dressed as a bumble bee. There were also tons of matching outfits. I am not talking about Team in Training shirts or advertising shirts. I am talking about grown women and men dressed to match their running partner or partners. People, this is not Cedar Point. If you have ever been, you know exactly what I am talking about. The matching orange and black compression socks are a bit much. So, my legs were starting to get sore at this point and my feet were screaming at me but I kept going. The 23rd mile was the hardest for me. It was getting hot, I was tired and we went out and back on a bridge over an industrial area. Yuck! We saw the kids right before mile 25 and that gave me a boost. The finish was another amazing experience. Thousands of people lined the last 1/4 mile, giving high-fives and cheering. I came across the finish in 4 hours and 40 minutes. Man, was I happy to see the end. Our friends, who are really like family, the Youngs, came up for the finish with their kids and two of ours. They were all a sight for sore eyes. Thank you so much to them for spending their day chasing us around Denver and meeting up at the finish. It really made the race even more fun!!! And thanks to my awesome husband for running with me and encouraging me all along the way. I only threatened to take him down twice and I only socked him in the arm once. He really is a trooper :) He facebooked updates and texted our location throughout the race. He may have been the only texting marathoner and drew a ton of weird looks and comments from spectators. He rocks! I first started running after Paige was born so that Scott and I would have something to do together. With four kids, it is hard for us to find the time to run together and more times than not we run alone or with friends. So, now 5 years later we are running a marathon together! Thanks to Scott's parents for hanging out with the kids for two days while we had some alone time. We couldn't have done it without you! And...thanks to my running partner and great friend, Kristin, for running with me, even when she wasn't training for her own race. She took valuable time out of her days to run lots of miles and mountains with me.
Okay, now I am beginning to sound like a recipient of an Oscar.
Pictures to follow. Scott was very good about snapping pics from his IPhone but they are still trapped there. Hopefully we can figure out how to get them to my blog. Another challenge for another day. And now, I must go back to my full time job, who happens to be pulling on my pant leg right now. It seems that even when I am not training for a run, I am always on the run.
Have a great day!