Welcome to Running and Rambling! Stay updated on product reviews and all new articles as soon as they're posted by subscribing here.

April 26, 2009

Scenes From a Marathon

The 24th Big Sur Marathon is in the books.

This was a different experience in many ways for me: I had absolutely no expectations for the day, and didn't care about how long I was on the course or how much time I wasted taking photos or being social. (Really.)

I'll explain more and have a regular photo essay/race report in another day or two; in the meantime, here's a Monterey Herald article I banged out for tomorrow's paper.

**
Running Life 4/27/09 “Scenes From a Marathon”

Donald ran the 24th presentation of the Big Sur Marathon, while Mike did the 5K and worked at the finish line for an hour in his capacity as a race board member. Here are some observations from inside the lines and behind the scenes:

Real men wear … lavender? We’ll get this one out of the way early: The color of this year’s race shirts seemed awfully girly. So much so, that it triggered a conversation between Donald and the expo volunteer handing them out:

Volunteer: Here’s your shirt.
Donald: OK, but … can I have the men’s color please?
Volunteer: Yeah, um … that’s the one. Sorry.
Donald: Me too.


It never gets easier: No matter how many times we do this race, the 3AM wakeup call is always the hardest part of the day. You’d think we’d eventually get used to it, but we guess we’re still waiting.

Are we there yet? Part 1: As soon as the course left the trees at mile 5, someone near Donald looked at the road ahead and asked, “Is that Hurricane Point?” Not yet … but keep running. You’ll find it.

Most unexpected dose of hipness: was provided by the Palma High School band, overheard playing a Violent Femmes song at mile 9. Sure, the song was “Blister in the Sun”, which isn’t the most promising phrase for a group of marathoners, but the simple fact that they know that tune is pretty darn cool.

The beast is back: For the last couple of years, runners have been lucky to enjoy very mild breezes – but this year, the wind roared back with authority. It slowed everybody down by several minutes, and even pushed some folks around near the top of Hurricane Point. We kind of like it when the wind flexes its muscles – we don’t want anybody tempted to call this race easy.

Are we there yet? Part 2: At two different points on the Hurricane Point climb, a group of runners crested a hill around a curve and shouted “Woo Hoo! Made it!”, only to peer around the bend and realize that the hill keeps going. Here’s how you know you’re at the top: when you’re leaning downhill, but not moving because the wind is blowing so hard. Until then, it’s better not to ask.

You’ve heard of us? Having names on race bibs ensured that nobody was anonymous on the course. We’d like to think that the people yelling “Go Donald!” and “Nice job, Mike!” happen to be fervent readers of our column, but we know better. The bibs were a nice touch.

If you want a lot of friends, carry balloons: there were huge swarms of people around each of the Clif Bar pacesetters, who carried balloons indicating their estimated finish times. In between, there were long stretches of open pavement. The pacesetters did a great job bringing hordes of runners home right on their predicted pace.

Ask an obvious question … : the most common answer by finishers when asked "how do you feel?" by Mike: “Tired!”

However, by Mike’s estimate, 98% of the finishers crossed the line with a smile. We’re guessing that the other 2% were happy, but just too tired to smile.

We hope your experience at this weekend’s marathon was a good one. Congratulations to everyone who finished. Rest up for a while, then get training – there are only 52 weeks until we get to do it all over again!

7 comments:

jen 4/26/09, 8:53 PM  

Congrats on another Big Sur finish! Fun article.

Thomas 4/27/09, 6:25 AM  

Ah, come on. Lavender is so you!

Sounds like you had plenty of fun. Congratulations.

Peter Lubbers 4/27/09, 8:00 AM  

Great article! Sounds like everyone had a lot of fun out there. Good stuff.

Backofpack 4/27/09, 8:26 PM  

As if running with the drag caused by balloons wouldn't be hard enough on a calm day...add in the wind and it must have been brutal!

I did so like that course last year...even without my promised strawberries because some tall guy ate extra.

Dave 4/28/09, 5:15 AM  

oh the marathon....I think sometimes it is good to run a marathon in order to appreciate the seclusion of the trail race....when I ran the Dallas Whiterock this past year, 17,000 people seemed like a lot....;-)

Annette 4/28/09, 9:27 AM  

Sounds like a good experience! Glad you enjoyed your hometown race. Now get out there and sport that lavender shirt with pride. ;)

Alisa 4/28/09, 11:49 AM  

Congrats! This race looks killer but also so beautiful maybe the killer-ness is worth it!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

  © Blogger template The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP