Monthly Archives: October 2015

The Final Marathon?

So, was Des Moines it? Was it my final marathon?

Short answer: I hope not.

The real answer is that I just do not know. But it probably was.

Over the past few seasons, I went from couch potato to Ironman and ultra-marathoner. I enjoyed seeing how much I was capable of accomplishing and trying to push myself further. Now that those milestones have been accomplished, I lack the drive and motivation to keep doing these events. Training takes too much time, and I just do not enjoy it any more. I am burnt out and exhausted. I am also questioning the health benefits and risks of ultra endurance training. There are studies indicating possible increased health risks for ultra athletes. They show that marathon runners have the same life expectancy as couch potatoes. I am not convinced that more is dangerous. But I also believe that the health benefits hit a plateau after a certain point. Running five marathons and one ultra this year was way too much for me, although I checked off the final goals that I wanted to achieve (ultramarathon and back to back marathons). I never had a DNS or a DNF. It has been a good run. But I need to re-evaluate my goals and my future in the sport. After a lot of thought and consideration, I plan on the following changes.

1) Things that I will NEVER do again:

Ultramarathon:
I am glad I tried it, but I really wasn’t motivated or enthused about it going in, and I was undertrained for the event. If I am honest, I hated everything about it. The small scale, the endless small loops, the trail running. I am happy that this one is behind me.

Ironman:
Unlike the ultra, I loved this event. The day was the best racing day of my life. The training was a wonderful experience. But it is far too much to do as a lifestyle. I sacrificed too much and I knew it was a “one and done” before I even registered. Overall, it exceeded my expectation and I treasure the memories.

Century Ride:
I have done ten of these. Six solo century rides, three Tour de Tonka, and Ironman Wisconsin. Again, more isn’t better. I learned to dread getting on the bike for my 6-8 hour training rides. Despite a good bike fit, everything hurt afterwards. I racked the bike for months after Ironman and only pulled it out for sprint triathlon training this season. The shorter rides were so much more enjoyable. I learned to enjoy cycling again.

Ironman 70.3:
This one surprised me. It likely should not be in the “never” category, but it is highly unlikely that I will ever do another. I have completed 5 of these and enjoyed them all (well, except the swim at Racine). But they are big events to train for and traveling to these venues is a chore. I had planned to do one this year but Wisconsin Dells got cancelled, and the rumored Ironman 70.3 St. Louis never happened. I found that I was relieved. That told me a lot. I find that, looking back, my Ironman journey is complete. I have everything that I wanted from the experience and that the book is closed and I feel very comfortable with that decision. If Ironman announced a 70.3 in my backyard, I would have to consider it, but right now…I would pass on the opportunity.

Olympic Distance Triathlons:
OK, this definitely shouldn’t be in the “never” category. But I never enjoyed the distance. It is to long to be a sprint and it is too short to be an endurance event. It seems to be the worst of both worlds…which is why I haven’t done one since 2012. At almost 4 hours, it is a long event. Since I won’t be doing 70.3’s anymore, it may end up being my occasional “long” triathlon events. But, for now, I am very happy with the sprint triathlons.

2) Things that I need to change:

Less training:
Already doing this. Exercise and fitness need to be part of my life, not take over my life. The three hour runs need to go. 30-60 minute runs or swims and 1-2 hour bike rides give me all the health benefits while allowing me time to be with my family, to do my job, to enjoy summer and to have other hobbies.

Less winter “training”:
I hated training for a spring marathon. Running in the cold, in the dark, through snow and ice was an invitation to injury. Wearing twenty layers of gear was miserable. Running twenty miles on an indoor track or treadmill made me hate running. I have friends who are serious runners and will battle through these condition as a badge of honor to be ready for a spring event. I, on the other hand, feel that runners need an off season. Up north, that off season is winter. Sure I will run on the treadmill, and even get outside when the weather cooperates. But it is a good time to do some strength training, swimming, elliptical cross training, or get on the bike trainer while catching up on movies. Change things up with no big event on the horizon. Sure, I will schedule a spring 10 miler or half marathon, and I will run 8-10 miles outside when weather permits. But feeling that I have to do a 3-4 hour training run in a blizzard is not for me.

Less traveling:
Destination races are fun. But doing too many gets expensive, keeps me away from home, and gets to be a chore. My inexpensive hobby is costing me a fortune. So, I will try to limit destination races to one/year (well, this isn’t happening next year…maybe 2017!) These will either be a destination that truly excites me, or something close by that I can drive to and only cost me one night hotel (Duluth, Fargo, Trinona).

Less event photos:
The bigger the event, the more compelled I feel to buy the photo package. I need to be WAY more selective. The cost adds up fast! I will be less motivated to buy the package for smaller and local events. I will consider it under special circumstances, or if I spot an incredible photo.

Less event swag:
I bought Ironman everything after the event. I also bought stuff after the first 70.3, marathon, half-marathon, etc. I got every kind of gear for every weather condition. Aside from replacement running shoes, I should be good forever…

Less events that I have to drive two hours to pick up a bib the day before a race:
I live in the extreme suburbs of Minneapolis and St Paul. Having to get a bib the day before can be a 100 mile round trip plus parking-frequently on a work day. This is especially annoying if there isn’t much of an expo. Twin Cities Marathon doesn’t bother me since I want to spend 2-3 hours at the expo. But Team Ortho or Hot Chocolate? No thanks. I will favor events with same day packet pick up or that will mail out the bib for a reasonable fee

Fewer Events:
When every weekend has an event, it becomes a chore and eats up free time. They aren’t special anymore.

No more Team Ortho events:
I have run all of their events for years. I have the same swag that I never wear. They are overpriced and always disorganized. They were fun, but not worth the money. (The 2015 Minneapolis Duathlon was postponed until 2016…so I will be doing one Team Ortho event next season…unfortunately).

Less focus on PR’s:
As my training volume has decreased, so has my speed. I doubt that I will ever improve upon my 2014 PRs, and I am ok with that. I will run races for the joy of running and to motivate me to stay fit. That is enough.

No marathons in 2016:
This is an absolute. I need the break. Marathons always seem like a good idea when signing up, so I am taking this off the table for awhile.

No more marathon “season”:
If I run a marathon in the future, it will be as a single and isolated event. It will be a decision that I make to go through a single training and recovery cycle. I will embrace the whole process or not commit to it. Marathons are special. Doing six in a “season” strips all the joy out of it.

Spend less money:
Seems to be a recurring theme in the above points…

So, what does this leave? Well, believe it or not, I still love running and running events. In 2016 I will follow the “2 hour rule”. I will not sign up for any event or do any training longer then 2 hours. So, races will be 5k to half marathons, and triathlons will be sprints. Bike rides will be limited to 2 hours or less. I am much stronger at short to medium distance events, I enjoy them more, and they are easier to train for. It is also in line with what most recreational and fitness runners do. It will be a part of a healthy lifestyle…

The schedule still looks fuller then I wanted for 2016. I won’t be doing the Team Ortho series, or any other series for that matter. Only three triathlons in 2016, the two Lifetime Sprints that are nearby, and HITS Wacconia. I plan on doing the Loony Challenge every year. It is a 5k, 10k, 10 mile combo during the Twin Cities Marathon weekend. It lets me be part of the biggest running weekend in the Twin Cities, get involved with our corporate team, get an armful of bling, check out a great expo…all without actually running a marathon. I am also headed to both DisneyLand AND Walt Disney World for a pair of  Star Wars themed Half Marathon. I love Star Wars and Disney and these will be the most enjoyable run-cations that I have had in a long time. So much for my “spend less money”, “buy less swag”, “don’t buy photos”, “travel less” rules that I just laid out…

In 2017, I will consider bumping up the running a little by adding the MN Running Series, and I MAY consider doing ONE marathon…but only if I am feeling a true desire to run and train for one. I won’t force it. It has to be a fall marathon for the reasons I listed above. The only bucket list marathon that sounds appealing is to run one of the World Major Marathons (Chicago or New York). Both are fall marathons so I could throw my name into the 2017 lottery and see what happens. I will actually be surprised if I feel the desire to apply for one of these races, but I am leaving the door open to the possibility…

The downside to this approach is that a lot of races that I wanted to check out will never be run. I had a big “parking lot” of events that I wanted to get to, and I did get to complete several of them (Twin Cities, Grandmas, Flying Pig, Detroit, Pittsburgh, KC, Des Moines, Houston, Route 66, and Disney). Many others are just being deleted from the “to do” list. These include LA, SF, Big Sur, Portland, Seatle, Fargo, Little Rock, A1A, Toronto Goodlife, Toronto Waterfront, Ottawa, Philadelphia, and MCM. Sigh…so many “what if’s”…

The question is…will I want to do it. I don’t know. I hope so. I don’t want my marathon “career” to end in Des Moines. But I know me. I tend to be all in or all out. I get obsessed with something for awhile, then lose interest, then forget about it and move on. I worry that this pattern will repeat itself with running. That is why I am trying to plan things so carefully. I want to adjust my activity to my level of interest and stay in the sport. But I know that, even if I keep running, that I may have no interest down the road in returning to the marathon once I have moved on.

I hope that the revamped 2016 season will rekindle my interest. Time will tell…

Leave a comment

Filed under Random Musings

Race Report: My Final Marathon

October 18, 2015
Des Moines, IA
Marathon #15
Event #88
I-35 Challenge-Day 2

“Forward Motion IS A Pace”

After a not so quick shuffle back to the hotel, shower and check out, I was on my way from Kansas City to Des Moines, and the second half of the I-35 challenge. The journey is just under 200 miles and should take about 3 hours.

My legs were just trashed from the hills in KC. I went slowly in my first marathon, but any illusions that this strategy would “save the legs for Des Moines” were dispelled. I would be changing my registration to the Half Marathon when I reached the expo. I was at peace with this decision. The I-35 challenge was to complete a half or a full marathon in each city over the weekend, so I would still technically be completing the challenge…but it wasn’t what I trained for. Iowa would have been my tenth state (enough to join the 50 Marathon State Club), my first back-to-back (which would have elevated me from one star to four stars in the Marathon Maniacs), and my fifteenth overall marathon. What bothered me the most was that I trained for a marathon double, and I would be taking my first DNS.

The drive was slow. I stopped every chance I could to stretch my legs and to hydrate. As I got into Iowa, my legs started feeling slightly bit better. Walking was not so arduous…but I was still gimping around quite badly.

I parked about a block from the expo. The walk wasn’t horrible. I saw several other runners in the same boat. Most of the late arrivals were I-35ers. “Did you run the full in KC” was the typical conversation starter. The expo was at the far end of the exhibit hall. By the time I got to packet pick-up, I had changed my mind. I had a flashback to T2 at Ironman Wisconsin. I barely able to stand up, I was dehydrated and bonking. I only had 15 minutes rest before starting the marathon. I finished that run in 6:09. For Des Moines, I would have 7 hours to finish, and have the benefit of a good hot shower and 10 hours of sleep. I would attempt to do what I came here to do. I picked up my marathon packet. I would succeed or fail, but I would try. DNF is better then a DNS.

The expo was good, bigger then KC, but many booths had already closed up before I arrived. After a quick dinner I settled into bed.

The next morning was chilly. The air temp was 38F and windy. The forcast called for gusting winds from the south and a rapid warmup into the low 60’s. Creative layering was the order of the day. I was walking pretty well. My feet were sore and my leg muscles were stiff, but in pretty good shape for the day after a marathon. When I laced up, I discovered a pretty severe new pain on the top inner portion of my right foot. It was right over the laces and I thought that I may have laced up too tightly, but loosening the laces didn’t help. These were a new pair of shoes (I ran 5k in them to test them out, but they were not yet broken in). I quickly switched to the older pair that I had worn the previous day (which had fortunately dried out overnight). Those were even worse. I examined my foot. There was no swelling, but there was a small point that was very tender. Great. The newer shoes were less painful. I left the laces a little loose around the pressure point and walked to the start. The foot hurt with every footfall. Nothing I could do about it now…it may vanish as so many pains are prone to doing during a long run, or it may get worse. Time will tell.

The plan was to go even slower then yesterday. My legs felt OK, but they were sore and tired. They would rebel at some point during the race, and the longer I could keep them happy, the better my day would be. I joined to slowest pace group (5:25) and vowed not to run ahead of them.

361045_208739067_XLarge

Once again the half and full marathon runners started in one big coral. The first two miles were a loop of downtown and the half marathon runners went off in another direction. That’s when the hills started.

361045_208743798_XLarge

KC had about 2400 feet of elevation gain. Des Moines has about 2200 feet. The difference is that almost all of the uphills in Des Moines hit between mile 2 and mile 10. So, for 8 straight miles, we were climbing. My legs were hanging in there. Slow and steady was winning.

A few words about the course. Des Moines is a small town. We pretty much left the downtown area at mile 2. When I looked at the map after the race, I was surprised to see that we had run the length of the downtown area twice. After that, we ran through some nice tree lines neighborhoods for 15 miles or so. It was nice, but just a collection of out and backs that got pretty dull. After that, most of the rest of the race was along walking paths in a large park area before heading downtown for the final half mile. Basically, there were a lot of filler miles, which you have to expect in these smaller venues. The filler miles were nice, but still filler miles.

What was AMAZING was the course support. There were aid stations at every mile! There were port-a-potties every half mile (there was no line up at any of these). And, they had dozens of cyclists on the course handing out candy, Kleenex, and basic medical aid. I lost count of the number of twizlers that were given to me by a random cyclist! Musicians also crowded the course, with entertainment every half-mile or so. Overall, this is the best supported race that I have ever participated in. There were quite a few spectators as well, until we reached the park reserve.

361045_209061769_XLarge

I chatted with the pacer and the rest of the group which helped the miles go slowly by. At mile 19, the inevitable happened…my legs turned to concrete. I was also collecting various different pains in my feet and ankle (the earlier foot pain had disappeared by had now returned, along with multiple toenail pains, blisters forming, pains in my heels, arches, Achilles, ankle, etc). I knew I would not be finishing with my pace group, but planned to hang with them as long as I could. At mile 23, I gave in and let the pace group go. I was run/walking at this point, taking a walk break every half-mile or so. But the last few kilometers clicked by and I saw the finish line.

Finish Time – 5:26:09

The post race area was great. Got my medals, pulled pork, pizza, nachos, and a couple of sandwiches for the road.

I-35 Challenge complete!

361045_209061196_XLarge

Next up, a long drive home, and one final race before the off-season…Monster Dash Half Marathon on Halloween Day…

2 Comments

Filed under Race Reports

Race Report: Kansas City Marathon

October 17, 2015
Kansas City, MO
Marathon #14
Event #87
I-35 Challenge-Day 1

The I-35 challenge. It was one of two events that defined this running season. The first was my first (and last) ultra-marathon. This would prove to be harder.

Two marathons. Two states. Two consecutive days.

I have a hard time walking for a couple of days after a marathon. So, the idea of running a marathon on dead legs intrigued and terrified me. Training was a challenge. Back-to-back long runs took a lot of time, and caused a world of pain. I started to lose my passion for running and I caught myself just going through the motions at times.

At last, the time had come for this challenge. The Kansas City Marathon would be the first leg on Saturday October 17th followed by the Des Moines Marathon the next day.

The drive to KC was uneventful. I arrived in time to get some BBQ before hitting the expo. The BBQ was great. The expo was small and rather boring. I got my bib and shirt (bib number 10!) as well as a second bib and shirt for I-35.

image

Race morning came and the weather forecast called for mid 30’s and climbing into the 50’s by late afternoon. I got dressed up in layers and thermals when I saw that the current temp was 48F. I went outside to see for myself, and quickly changed into shorts and a t-shirt. I did add throwaway gloves, headband, arm-warmers and a garbage bag to the ensemble since it was cold when the wind kicked up and I really wasn’t sure what the weather would do.

The staring line was one block from my hotel. Sweet! I left the hotel at 6:45 for the 7:00 am start. It was one mass start for the half and the full. I seeded myself well towards the back. The plan for the day was simple…go slow, and save the legs for Des Moines. The plan for Des Moines was even easier…go as slow as I can and try to survive the day. Basically, I was aiming for two consecutive “personal worsts” in these races. Keep in mind, I have always been a slow plodder on the marathon…and getting slower (having just completed by first finish of over five hours at the Twin a Cities Marathon just two weeks earlier). I decided to start with the 5 hour pace group and slow down from there.

The first eight miles or so were great. It was a beautiful but hilly course, and we got a great tour of Kansas City. At that point, the half and full split and the course got lonely really fast. The course also got boring. It was pretty obvious that most runners are doing the half and the course was structured that way. The additional 13 mile loop seemed like an afterthought with endless filler miles. Also, crowd support dropped from “limited” to “non-existant”.

That said, it is a tough and hilly course…and those hills did not let up. The volunteers were great and we got everything we needed.

Unfortunately, by mile 20, my legs were trashed. By mile 22, I was rethinking the whole I-35 challenge. By mile 24, I decided to change my registration in Des Moines to the half marathon. I was taking walk breaks every quarter mile and my feet and ankles were in serious pain. By the time I hit the finish line, I was at peace with my decision.

Finish Time – 5:07:23

134211-922-001h
The finish area was just OK. They had limited food (I think that there were more options at the adjacent festival…but I did not have time to check it out). The medal was awesome. As I left, Chick-fil-A was handing out free sandwiches…tasted great and I needed a little pick-me-up. Then, off to the hotel for a quick shower, late check-out, and a long drive to Des Moines…

Leave a comment

Filed under Race Reports

Race Report: Twin Cities Marathon Weekend/Ultra Loony Challenge

October 3-4, 2015
Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
10K, 5K, 1 Mile
Marathon #13
Events #83-86

This was a weird one.

Leading into this event, I felt off. My training was not ideal, and I was running considerably slower then in the past. I knew that I would finish, but the finish time would be disappointing. I elected not to worry about it. I have struggled with my motivation this season. If anything could snap me out of it, it was this weekend. The TCM is a beautiful event on a fantastic course. It is always the highlight of my season. To top it off, the weather promised to be absolutely perfect…the best it has been since I started to participate in 2012.

Then a shadow fell on the event.

Black Lives Matter announced that it would hold a protest at the event. They would deliberately block the finish line to prevent runners from crossing it. The rhetoric from that group indicated that finishing a marathon is trivial when people are dying. Caring more about finishing a marathon then about this issue was “white elitism”.

There was a lot of anxiety among runners that this would set the stage for a potentially violent protest. Police and marathon officials did not make any statements for several days except vague comments about the safety of runners/volunteers/spectators. People were questioning if the marathon would be canceled.

I will refrain from discussing the views of BLM or my opinion about them. But their tactics were horrifying. There are many several awful things going on in the world that need our attention. There a lot of strong and opposing points of view on political issues. From climate change to ISIS. From PETA to lack of clean and safe drinking water for millions of children in Africa. Both sides of the gun control debate, both sides of the abortion debate. All of these are issues full of passionate opinions and beliefs. Do all of these concerns warrant our attention, discussion and action? Yes. But to state that one group with a concern or agenda (legitimate or not) should have the right to prevent others from performing any activity under the threat of violence should be viewed as a crime. BLM stated that they would not interfere with the marathon or runners if TCM publicly demanded that the DOJ investigate the St Paul Police department. To me, that is extortion.

In response, the St Paul police and mayor announced that any disruption of the marathon would result in arrests and that there would be a strong police presence at the event. However, the local BLM also received closed door meetings with the mayor and the governor. I feel that this was a mistake. It has set a very bad precedent. Any group can now feel that can threaten a marathon and the runners involved to get favorable attention from elected officials. This likely will not be the last time this occurs. One would think that, after the Boston Marathon bombing, that there would have been zero torrerence to this kind of mass threat to the safety of 12,000 athletes. Apparently not…

In the end, a 10 foot tall fence was erected along the final mile of the course. There were clusters of 4-5 police officers every 100 yards or so towards the end. It felt like I was running in the Thunderdome from the Mad Max movies.

I never saw a single protestor.

For me, the goal of the event was to enjoy myself and to reconnect with running. The Twin Cities Marathon is the best marathon event that I have ever completed. It is a great course, great organization and fantastic crowd support. This year also promised to be the best weather that I have ever seen for this event. It would be in the low 50’s, sunny with light winds. Perfect!

I was competing in the Ultra Loony Challenge which is the 10k and 5k on Saturday with the full marathon on Sunday. I decided to add the 1 mile untimed fun run since it offered a separate metal which complements the other race weekend medals (no bling left behind is my motto).

I arrived in St Paul early. I parked by the expo (about a half mile from the race start). After hiking up the hill, I was able to pick up my bib for the short races and headed over to the corporate team challenge tent. My company had a team so I had access to this tent right next to the start and a coworker kept an eye on our gear while we were running. It was still chilly when the first race started (10K) at 7:30am so I wore long sleeved thermal top, tights and gloves. I intended to pace myself and go slowly (I did not want to blow out my legs for the marathon) and I partially succeeded. It was an out and back along Summit Avenue (the final three miles of the marathon where I would be in a lot more pain the next day). I kept an average pace of just over 9 min/mile for the whole distance…which is quite a bit faster then my recent training runs. Overall, I was quite pleased and was really enjoying the morning.

10K Finish Time – 57:06

10k finish

By the time I got back to the corporate tent, I was overheating. So, I ditched the gloves and the thermal top (keeping only a short sleeved running shirt). I didn’t bother bringing running shorts since I figured that would be a little bit chilly, but I was starting to regret that decision.

I met a couple of office mates who had come down for the 5K. It was great running with some familiar faces! We didn’t have much time to talk, and we quickly made our way to the start coral. This was another out and back on Summit Avenue, but with the turnaround moved a little closer. By the time I started to run, I was a little cold again, but warmed up fast. I again went a little faster then I had wanted and my pace was a little under 9 min/mile. It was turning into a perfect day!

5K Finish Time – 27:43

5k finish

I got back to the tent and chatted with a few other runners while waiting for my colleges to get back. Once they did, they were willing to watch my stuff for my 1 miler.

I have to admit, I felt silly doing the one miler. It was an untimed kids race. Most of the adults were running with their children. But, this year’s medals were very nice and I was willing to look foolish to bring home more hardware. Not much to say about this one. Same start and finish, turnaround was even closer. Same general pace as the other two events.

1 Mile Finish Time (unofficial) – 9:06

Once back in the tent, I did a quick change and headed to the expo. TCM always has one of the better expos and it was fun wandering around and checking out the gear. I didn’t need anything, but I did get a couple of pairs of free socks (can’t remember the last time I had to pay for these). I got my bib and my legs were already sore (not a good thing with a marathon the next morning). So I packed it in and head home to rest.

I drove to Minneapolis very early on Marathon morning. The marathon starts at 8am, but the equally large 10 mile race starts at the same location at 7am. I got there early enough so that I didn’t have to fight for a parking spot. It was chilly outside and I just hung out in the car for a while. I wasn’t sure what to wear for this race. Start temps would be in the low 40’s, but it would climb into the upper 50’s and be sunny. So, I could freeze at the start or roast by the finish. I ended up with tights, long sleeve thermal top (with a hood), throwaway gloves, and a “Police Lives Matter” cotton t-shirt (my little rebuttal to the BLM threats earlier in the week). Usually, I would avoid cotton, but I was lucky to get this in time for race day (random gift from someone on FB who’s husband is a cop and who has a friend that makes them). I figured that wearing cotton over a thermal top would not be a problem (it wasn’t).

In years past, runners could wait inside the metrodome to stay warm before the race. Since the metrodome has been demolished and the new US Bank stadium is under construction, we had to wait in the cold. Fortunately, low 40’s with layers was warm enough.

This was my third running of this marathon (and easily the best weather I have seen for this event). It is my favorite course, and I remembered why on this day. The start is in the concrete jungle of downtown Minneapolis. We leave the core by passing the Basilica and the Walker Arts Center before hitting the chain of lakes (running around four different lakes by the halfway point), followed by a run along one side of the Mississippi River, over the bridge into St Paul, back down the Mississippi and along the beautiful tree lined Summit Avenue before running past the St Paul Cathedral with a finish at the State Capitol. With the exception of the first 2 miles, the entire course is trees and water. Every mile is beautiful and packed with spectators. There is not one moment on the course where there weren’t at least a handful of well wishers cheering us on.

My legs were tired from the previous day, and I was struggling by the halfway point. By the time I got to St Paul, I was feeling lightheaded and was taking regular walk breaks. My goal at this event was just to finish. I knew that my finish time would not be one that I would boast about, but I elected not to worry about it. As I approached the finish, I realized that I was in jeopardy of getting my first 5+ hour finish. I tried to pick up the pace but to no avail…

Marathon Finish Time – 5:00:25

MarathonFinish1

The finish line festival really isn’t anything special. I got some chocolate milk and chicken broth. Fortunately, I had access to the corporate team challenge tent with better food options and changing tents.

TCM’s race medals have improved dramatically over the last few years. The 2012 medal was horrid (I refer to it as a lump of coal on a string). This year’s medal won’t win any “best marathon bling” awards, but is quite satisfactory. The series medals are the same as last year’s (which worked out for me since I got the loony last year and the ultra-loony this year and the two medals look great together…but I hope they update this hardware for next year). The finishers shirt was a huge step back. The last two years were awesome. This year was a plain white shirt with the word “Fin15her” on it.
image

I doubt that I will ever do this marathon again, but would recomend the race to anyone. Next year, I will go back to the Loony challenge and compete in the 10-miler instead of the full marathon.

1 Comment

Filed under Race Reports