I ran very smart, starting in about 7:30 pace and warming into sub-7s. It was hard to judge paces since there is about 1200ft of elevation change. Two of the hills are literally 1.5 miles long and average 3.3% and 3.8% grade. Yikes!
I ran with two of the other lead women until about 8 miles. It was fun to chat with them and have company for the first part of the run. There was a water stop at 8 miles and somehow we became separated. It was also the start of the first of those long climbs, so perhaps that's what separated us? I was a little sad to lose my conversation and company! :)
|Top 3 women! Fun to have such great company!|
The rest of the marathon went by pretty quick even though I was completely alone. I took the time to look around and enjoy the absolutely BEAUTIFUL scenery. At one point I had to make a beeline to the side of the road for a bathroom pit-stop (first time during a marathon!). I tried to wait for a porta-potty, but I don't think they had any...
With 2 miles to go, I tried to see what I could do. 6:00-6:10 miles for those two and I was closing fast on the guy ahead of me. I tried to keep my head up and reel him in, but just didn't have enough time :)
There were a lot of people that recognized me from my expo presentations which was super fun. One 12 year old (Ryan Vasileff - keep that name handy, he'll be speedy! 1:32 1/2 marathon at the age of 12) specifically sought me out to take a picture. He went to one of my talks and asked a bunch of questions. His goal is now to make an Olympic team :)
|Ryan and I. Hoping he stays in contact with me so I can follow his running dreams! :) (Also note: we're the same height!)|
|Awesome medals! Nate ran the 1/2 marathon in a new PR, despite the hills. Not bad for hopping in the day before the race! Think he's ready for a great race at Fargo Marathon!|
|Awesome medal! It rained a little during the race but the sun came out for awards. So nice to feel the sun (and to be on green grass!) - it snowed another 3-4 inches in MN today :)|