Friday, October 15, 2010

Prairie Fire Marathon (Race Report)

What a fun weekend! The Prairie Fire Wichita Marathon was a definite success, and I highly recommend it. Not terrible at all for its inaugural year - they did a great job. Even more fun was running it on 10/10/10.

The most important thing, first.  How cute is this picture? I was so thrilled to give Clayton my medal post-marathon. He deserved it!

Clayton and I.
He's done with treatment and Cancer-free! Awesome!

Saturday evening was the Team in Training Inspiration Dinner. It was a very fun evening, and nice time to bond with my fellow teammates.

My husband and I pre-Inspiration Dinner.

Sunday morning I met up with my friends. Most of them were doing the 1/2 marathon, in preparation for our full marathon in Denver. We chatted, took pictures, and generally enjoyed the excitement of the event. We were all able to run together for the first 5 miles, before the 1/2 marathoners split. They continued on and kicked butt on their training run (with a medal at the end).

Here is where the race recaps get difficult for me. So many fun things happened.

* I received a phone call at mile 5 from my awesome friend, the Fair Weather Runner. She was busting a move in Chicago, and we enjoyed running "together" for a little bit. (Congrats on your run, my darling!)

* A little boy rode up to us on his bike, stared us down, and said, "I could beat you like this." We all agreed that yes, he could beat us.

* Lacy said hello to me, even though she was booking it on for a sub-3:20 marathon! She's awesome.

* I got to see my husband and our three daughters three times during the race. He is super-Dad!

* My friend Jennifer almost ran through the biggest road kill I've ever seen. Nasty.

* Running through Cowtown. What an awesome place!

* "Officially" meeting a Facebook friend/local runner. During the race. It was awesome and hilarious - I'm so happy she had people cheering with a sign that had her name on it, or I totally would have missed out on making the connection.

* "The Guy With the Cowbell"  He was everywhere. We saw him no less than 8 times, and he was so encouraging and great every time. Even more awesome, I found out that he is the husband of my Facebook friend that I met on the course. Love it!

* Jumping. Lots and lots of jumping.

Why? I don't know. 

What can I say? Running gives me wings...

The course was awesome. The spectators were awesome. I genuinely felt great the entire time. I felt like I completed the marathon wisely, given that Denver was on the horizon one week later. Official time was 4:36:32 -  a PR by over 11 minutes. Not terrible. Average heart rate was still high (179 - down from 184 in Colorado Springs), but I'm just accepting that as part of my fate.

Post-race was a blast.

So thankful for Michele.
Best running buddy in the universe!

Nickki, Dane Rauschenberg and I.
We all enjoyed getting to know him - great guy.

Group shot.
(And, I am extremely short.)
The victory celebration with Team in Training was a good time, too. It was such a fun ending to a fun weekend. Even better, with all of the Facebook pictures floating around the celebration continued all week long. Just in time to get me ready to leave for Denver tonight for marathon #5!

About that race in Denver...I'm dedicating it to Rick. I was so saddened to hear of his death. He had been such a wonderful running blogger buddy, a constant source of support, and he was so excited for me and the training for my first marathons. I'm thankful to have connected with him, and I am wishing his family peace. He was such a great guy and friend to many.

Looking forward to bringing back lots of pictures and a great race report from Denver. Michele is running her second marathon, and my friends Eric, Desi, and Nickki are all on their very first. I have no doubts this weekend will be amazing.

Have a great weekend! Make sure to smile and be thankful for life.