I've got my puppy. I've got my glass of wine. Life is good. This was not taken at the 1/2 marathon. It was taken near a sofa. Daisy doesn't come to many races, she spent the weekend with Kiwi and the Millers. Thanks Millers!
While Daisy was off on holiday this weekend, Julie and I headed over to Olathe to run a race. You could either run an entire marathon (26.2 mi) or half. We both chose the half. The race director is active on Julie's internet running forums and he managed to recruit lots of people from there. Some ran the half, some ran the whole thing, we all hung out together -- it was lots of fun.
He's a map of the course (which I casually looted from http://www.olathe.org/sports/marathon/coursemaps.asp ).
The course started at Garmin (the top sponsor), then meandered around a big mall for a few miles before taking a jagged path up through a neighborhood. Eventually, it wound back around South, flirted with a nature trail, and dumped us back at Garmin. The people running the full peeled off at mile 12 and spent lots of time on the nature trail (which I hear was very pleasant and wind-protected).
Julie won (first girl, a few guys were faster). I don't remember her time. I saw her a few times and she looked fast. It was kinda scary. I ran the thing in 2:02. That’s about 3 minutes slower than my time in Dallas last December. Fair enough. I don’t think I was in as good a shape as I was then. There were two of these little foot bridges in the last mile (e.g. below) and they seemed like horrible hills. I got tired.
I don’t have any pictures yet of me gasping my way along, but I may soon (from the guys that hide in the bushes and take your picture so you can buy them later). I did manage to finish before an 8 year old girl, so, I've got that going for me. Next year she'll crush me. Those 9 year olds are tough.
Here’s one of Julie collecting her loot:
Her plaque was neat. It had these rough-cut top edges that made it look pretty cool. You can see it on our (i.e. Julie’s) plaque wall if you visit.
A little bit later, the wind picked up and that banner attacked a girl that won an age group award. They switched to using a much sturdier tree as the photo background. Fortunately, we (the halfers anyway) were done before the wind got too feisty. Julie got her plaque, but the age group awards are those short cylinders lined up on the table. When you shake ‘em they make a tornado -- very popular.
Sadly, even though Garmin let us use their parking lot and presumably paid for a bunch of stuff, they didn’t really have a presence. They didn’t have a booth at the expo and nobody was representing them at the race. It was a little bit of a bummer. Runners love Garmin. They don’t call their GPS watches “Forerunners” they call them Garmins. Opportunity lost. Perhaps a product of the same befuddled strategy that brought us the Nuvifone? (yeah, that‘s right, no link)
After everybody finished and had a chance to shower, we all convalesced at Rob’s house (the race director, from the internet). There we found 2 awesome dogs (below: Airedale, different dog, same kind, same idea, very expressive ears) and snacks.
It was a really fun trip and it was great to see/meet everybody.
I think I need new shoes. I haven’t bought new running shoes since last October. I had lots of good lower leg pain after the race -- a really clear signal that your shoes are worn out. I was hoping that if I ran fast enough, Julie would let me buy new shoes, but I didn’t set a new personal record (recall: 3 minutes slow), so we’ll have to see. Aside from the shoes thing, I feel great. I mowed the lawn today. It’s all good.
Ooh, to finish off, here’s one of a box fort I built for the cat after I forgot to take our boxes in for recycling.