21 June, 2009

Marathon Madness

Saturday was The Big Day: Greg's First Marathon. He's been training since last fall to run in the Mayor's Marathon. It's an annual event held on the Saturday closest to Solstice. All this meant that I had to get up at 6:30am - yes, AM - on a weekend. (Because we all know it's all about me, right?) I was only snappy with him once, as I was still waking up, and he was only grouchy with me once, as he was dealing with pre-race jitters. =)

We picked up James & Stacy on the way to the race. I'm not sure why they opted to leave the warm haven of blanket heaven and dreams, but I'm grateful. We hooked up with his training buddy, Jeff, and Jeff's family (Julie & Milo) while we were there. Race organizers thoughtfully provided bug dope (since some of the course is through the woods), and rain coats (look at the picture carefully - it's very funny) since it was cloudy and threatening to rain.

After a little bit of stretching and a trip to the port-a-potty, the runners were ready to go. I was amazed at how many people were here to run the race. This event also has a half marathon and 5.6 mile race, but both of these started later and in a different location - so everyone at our starting point was either there to run, or to see someone off at the start. I didn't realize there were that many crazy people around here... Oh, wait! Looks like I was one of the crazies since I was there, and Greg was even crazier since he was running... ;)

When Stacy agreed to join me for the hurry-up-and-wait-while-you're-supporting-a-marathon-runner, she mentioned breakfast. Well! If I'm going to have to be up early, then wait around for a few hours, why not kill some time by eating greasy eggs & bacon?!? It was a *great* idea. Plus, we found out Julie (Jeff's wife, aka Mrs. Furious of roller derby fame) was going to be in the Pride Parade (with the Rage City Roller Girls) downtown. So, after the boyos got to running, we booked it to breakfast downtown so we could also catch the parade.

The morning clouds cleared out, and we had some really nice weather. (I'm still wondering how Greg didn't overheat in his long-sleeved shirt and running pants...) The parade was lots of fun (and breakfast was delish - mmmmmm, bacon!!). One of my favorite entrants was this last guy. No affiliation and no paperwork for the MC to read off - he was just a guy who wanted to join the parade, so he grabbed a flag and started walking. Gotta love it!! =)

From there, we headed to the fourth (of only five) viewing spot along the course. I was hoping to catch sight of them there and cheer them on, then go to the fifth area, then book it to the finish. We unpacked the camp chairs, our snacks, and the books, then settled in to wait. Didn't get any reading done, since we cheered along every runner (and many walkers) that crossed our path. But no sign of Greg or Jeff. We waited an hour, but knowing that Greg's goal was to finish in under six hours, we were worried that we'd miss everything - including the finish. So we packed up, skipped the fifth viewing spot, and headed directly to the finish.

It's a good thing, too... we were waiting at the finish line for maybe 15 minutes when Jeff came in. He finished in 5:47 - even with a bum knee, tweaked somewhere along the race but he persevered and was able to finish. We waited some more, and just as I was getting antsy, Greg rounded the corner for the home stretch. He finished in 5:56 - accomplishing the goal of competing in a marathon AND finishing in under six hours. You can see the official times here.

We did have a celebration dinner that night. It was lots of fun, and nice to visit... even if two of the participants were stiff and sore and not very mobile. I hear there's another Anchorage marathon in August - Humpy's Marathon. So maybe this post will have a followup: Marathon Madness II... =)
Way to go, Greg!!


Mara Severin said...

FANTASTIC! Greg -- I know what a challenge it is for both you and your support system (good work Penny!) to get through a whole marathon (and all the months of training) Congratulations on a great finish. I've been swearing to run another one after the one I did 7 years ago and every year I let it get off track. So I admire your training and persistence!

BTW, Penny -- I loved your account of the big day. Thanks for sharing.


Angie Di said...

Congratultions Greg on your marathon! I ready your post every week and I am amazed at how busy you guys are. it is awesome to hear how active you are in your community and Life in general.

Keep it up!

Angie Kirkman

Anonymous said...

How cool! I agree with you nothing burps like bacon! ;) PSC

Holly said...

Way to go, Greg!!! That's fantastic!