WASHINGTON  -  Tacoma City Marathon
05/06/2012                 http://www.tacomacitymarathon.com/
State #19
Finish time:  5:08:01
I signed up for Tacoma a long time ago.  We were just starting to get
serious about moving into the RV, so all I knew for sure was that we had
to head northwest before May 6th.  The reason I signed up so early is
because this was the "unofficial" Marathon Maniacs reunion race, and I
had just become a maniac.  
When I woke up on race day it was very sunny and highs predicted in the
low 60s, but temps were supposed to be low 40s starting out.  I was a bit
worried about being overdressed as the left the hotel.  When Richard
dropped me off at the start, I was sure I was overdressed.  Everyone else
was in short sleeves and shorts, and the sun was shining brightly.  
However, within two minutes of me arriving at the start, the sun hid
behind a cloud.  Typical.
They always have the maniac group shot so early, so once again I didn't
plan to be in it.  I got to the start line with about 10 minutes to go.  It was
so fun seeing all the maniac gear being sported at the start line!  I
snagged a photo with "Endorphin Dude".  He is a titanium maniac,
meaning he has 10 stars, from running 52 marathons in 52 weeks.  
Yikes!  Maybe I need a cape and a cool moniker.
I don't know the actual numbers, but it seemed like at least one out of
every two runners was wearing maniac apparel.  Yay Maniacs!  
As usual, I was quickly near the back of the pack, with just a few runners
behind me.  The weather was getting cooler, so I was feeling pretty smart
about my tights and long sleeves while everyone else was shivering.  
About mile 4 it even got foggy.  Who would have thought, cold and foggy
in the pacific northwest?
Around mile 9 the sun finally peeked out and started burning off the fog,
but then we ran into the park at Point Defiance and were shaded for the
next several miles.  I was really pushing it.  It was a very hilly course, so I
knew it would be very difficult to set a PR, but I went for it anyway.  Mile
14 it started getting hot, and we weren't done with the hills yet.  The
course got blah and un-scenic for several miles as we ran through
neighborhoods.  Boring!  At mile 17, I caught a glimpse of a pretty view
of the water with a bridge, and although I didn't want to waste a single
second, I stopped and asked a race volunteer to take my picture.  See
how high up I am, I think we started at the bottom!  
Around mile 20 we finally got
out of the boring
neighborhood and onto a
pedestrian path.  I was
worried that my PR was
slipping away.  It was harder
and harder to push it.  And it
was getting hotter and hotter.  
Good thing the race director
was also a maniac, so he
knew how important it is to
have ice at the aid stations.  I
kept cool and plodded on,
trying to cipher how fast I had
to do each upcoming mile in
order to hit my PR - not as
easy as it sounds with
"marathon brain".  I didn't see
the photographer in time, so
he got another one of
those
pics of me just steps from the
finish line.  I love these.  I
know I look awful, but I make it
look so hard.  Like I just really
did something difficult and
strenuous, you know?   
I crossed the finish line with time to spare, knocked 4+ minutes off my
best time (which was on a flat course in the cool fall) and made it back
just in time to sit in on an impromptu maniac group photo.  I knew I didn't
need to get up early for the pre-race pic!  (Top center)
So I set a PR, got to see a bunch of maniacs, got an additional maniac
medal just for being a maniac, but I can't forget to mention how cool the
Tacoma City Marathon medal is.  It has a bottle opener in it!  How fun is
that!?  Icing on the cake!