|WASHINGTON - Tacoma City Marathon
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!