Many people told me the altitude would be awful, and that I'd die a terrible, lung-bursting death. Thankfully, that didn't happen. After lots of discussion with Coach Scott, we agreed that any running difficulty on marathon day were due to the sun, more so than the altitude.
The race was set to start at 6:30am. And, it did. However, there was a porta-potty issue, and there were still people in line to go after the gun went off. Coach Scott made the start by 30 seconds. I ran with my friends Jenn and Amanda, and we think we probably started 4-5 minutes late. Not chipped timed, but we weren't concerned. Just out to enjoy a run in the mountains.
|Amanda and Jenn, all smiles early on.|
We went back and forth with the 5 hour pacer for most of the run. He'd pass us uphill and during water stops. We'd pass him not long after. He was fabulous. He'd yell and encourage and was generally a great guy. And, he had no one running with him. Jenn said she doesn't like pacers who talk. However, this guy changed her mind.
|Hannah (me!) and Jenn at mile 11+ |
Around mile 18, Jenn said "Peace Out" to Amanda and I. She was dehydrated and knew she wasn't going to keep our pace. Despite how craptastic she was feeling, she really had a fantastic run. Congrats to her on her first (and only, she says) trail marathon!
Amanda and I hung together the next 4 miles or so. We had picked up our pace a bit. I suddenly started calculating and thought about that PR. We kept pulling away from the 5 hour pacer. I wasn't at all confident that it would happen, but at the same time, I felt like if I was going to abandon one of my lovely ladies (Jenn) then I better make it count.
Around mile 22, Amanda sent me on. She told me I looked good, and to go get that PR. Still wasn't sure it would happen. I figured I'd miss it by at least 5 minutes. That, and with our start being late, I knew I had even less time to work with. Again, I knew if I was abandoning a friend (a second friend. I feel like a total jerk, for the record) then I better make it count.
|The lovely moutains.|
|Mile 24+ Almost there. Whoohoo!|
|One of my best friends from high school lives in CO Springs.|
Here we are after the Finish!
Next up: Prairie Fire Wichita Marathon on 10/10/10, Rock 'n Roll Denver Marathon 10/17/10, and Rock 'n Roll Las Vegas Marathon 12/5/10.
The weekend was incredible. Especially when we (Jenn, myself, and Scott and Jenn's nephews) convinced Coach Scott to stop on the way down Pike's Peak for a little photo shoot. Why? I don't know. But I think the pictures were amazing. Bam.
|Coach Scott. |
For more shirtless pics of this beast, visit his blog.