Saturday, July 16, 2011
Alternatively titled: Bitches may be crazy, but bitches stick together.
Running this marathon was not in my plans. I had run the half last year and with evening plans on race day this year, I figured I would take it easy and run the half again. Of course nothing ever goes according to plan. I found out that Katie was coming all the way from Michigan to run the 50K and Deana would be coming down for the half marathon from further North in Wisconsin. Needless to say, it didn't take long for Deana and I to be talked into switching to the marathon so we could run with Katie. Logistically, it worked perfectly. The 50K started an hour earlier than the full and did a 5 mile loop and then followed the marathon course from the start/finish area. Deana and I decided that we would wait for Katie to come through and then we'd all run together for the duration of the race.
I easily found Deana race morning and we slathered on ivy block that I had hastily purchased the night before after some warnings from previous years runners. (Turns out that it wasn't really needed, but at least we were prepared!) We lined up at 6:30am for the marathon start and were the only ones that walked out of the gate. We walked maybe about a 100 feet up to the aid station and parked ourselves and waited for Scrap as the rest of the marathon pack took off for the singletrack. Clearly we weren't in any sort of hurry.
We chatted while watching runners come through and keeping our eyes peeled for Katie. After around 13 minutes, she came into the AS and recognized us as she started waving from a ways away. The turtle trio was now together in person for the first time! Bitches be crazy!
We took off for the singletrack together in our little trio. After a few miles, we discovered it would be best for Katie to lead. I took the middle position and Deana brought up the rear. This worked well for the entire race as Katie was running farther than us and we decided that we would just follow her lead and walk when she needed to walk and run when she felt like running. I had absolutely no goals for this race other than to use it as a training run and enjoy the company of these two wonderful ladies. Oh, and I guess complete my first official marathon or something like that.
This race is a beast. Devil's Lake is surrounded by beautiful bluffs that we went up and down a few different times. The course also took us on awesome singletrack trails, a gravel road, some off trail sections (watch for those pink ribbons!) and some muddy, mucky, messy snowmobile trails (which would have been a lot worse if we'd had any sort of rain recently.) We found out it had the most elevation change of all the DWD races. As the local, I attempted to be helpful with information and would tell the other two, "We're almost to the top now" and, "This bluff is longer to climb, but not quite as steep as the other one." According to Katie, I provided false advertising. I think she was ready to smack me after one of the, "We're almost to the top now," later in the race. Sorry, dear!
I think we were all very well suited to run together. But I have to say that Katie has a mean power walk/hike. That woman can book it. I think Deana and I both were jogging at her walking pace for a while. Poor Katie also had some potassium issues this race and I think the extreme weather just made it worse. I told her that her fingers looked like the Michelin man. I was prepared to piggy back her to the next AS if anything worse happened, but thankfully we all made it to finish in one piece. Around mile 25, Deana kept urging Katie and I to take off if we wanted to. We told her she was crazy. We ran together for 25 miles! No one is leaving anyone; bitches stick together! And thus we rolled into the finish line just as we started -- together.
What's a race report without a time? We finished in around 8:25 (for the marathon; 9:25 for Katie for the 50K), but we weren't out there to race. We were on there on a hot and humid day to get in a long run and enjoy our time together. So the time is pretty irrelevant. Sadly none of us were DFL. Try as I might, I still have yet to log a DFL in a race. I'm not too worried, my day will come in due time.
We got to meet Rick (RisingForce) very breifly after the race -- he was kind enough to stick around and introduce himself. Sorry we didn't get to chat for very long, Rick!
For what it's worth, my SportTracks spit out the following numbers: 27.3 miles and +/- 7,000 feet of elevation change.
I had such a wonderful day running with these two! I wish that we all lived closer together so that we could run together on a regular basis. Thank you both for putting up with me; I know I can be a pain in the ass sometimes. Let's plan another race together in near future, eh?
Katie and Deana giving the signature METAL horns.
Katie heading up one of the bluffs.
Deana behind me.
One of the rewards for the long climb.
Of course we did one for the boys.