The alarm went off at 3:40 am. I was dead asleep. I knew the forecast called for rain today, but I hadn\’t seriously decided that maybe I didn\’t want to run a marathon in the rain. Marathons take me a long time so getting too cold is a consideration. But not today. The temps were in the 50s. Looking at the radar, the rain didn\’t look too hard. After some coffee and yogurt, packing my stuff, I was on the way to the race. Only a 20 minute drive. I was there very early so no problem getting a parking spot where I wanted. I sat in my car and read a book.
About an hour before the race, I went over to the festival area near the start. I had on a light weight poncho because of the rain. Most people were standing under tents, which is where I stood. I used the porta potties. They had alot of them so no waiting. About 15 minutes before the start, I got myself into the starting corral. I was positioned near the 4:50 pace bunny, although I lost him as soon as the race started. There were thousands of runners, doing the full marathon, the half marathon or 10k, all lined up together. I couldn\’t hear what the announcer was saying at all. Everybody shut up for the national anthem, which sounded like a recorded rendition using a clarinet and no voice. Wait, you cant find a good singer in the city? There were fire works when the horn blew. It took me at least a minute to begin to even move forward.
The race starts in an area known as Crown Center. The first part of the race goes north into downtown, and then circles south along The Paseo, The Plaza, along Ward Parkway, Brookside, Waldo, a bit into Johnson County, along Ward Parkway, back toward The Plaza, West Port, and back to Crown Center. It was a very decent tour of Kansas City and featured some really affluent sections with massive stately old mansions.
It rained lightly for about 2.5 hours. I ran at a 10:19 pace for the first half. I knew I could keep up that pace for 16 miles and that then I\’d start to be whupped. I had a secret wish to finish in under 5 hours.
For much of the first half, I was wondering if I really should complete this race. The rain was not thrilling me and 26 miles seemed like a long way. But, as I approached the split where the half marathoners headed home, my body swung itself into the full marathon course. I resigned myself to finishing. All this mental struggle even though I was having a banner day: fastest paces in several years. I did great but did slow down for the last 8 miles. I didn\’t do any walking except for through aid stations. My jogging in the last 4 miles was slow, even on the down hills. My legs hurt, but no blisters or other injuries.
I started to hope for a sub-five hour finish. That would be major for me. I kept jogging although I\’m sure I looked like I was barely moving. It wasn\’t raining and the sun shone in spots. The last mile was a gentle down hill but still I couldn\’t bring myself to pound my quads very hard. Lots of people were at the finish line. I made it! 4:49 by my Garmin (which doesn\’t include 2 pit stops). Second in my age group.
No pictures until the race photographer publishes. Due to the rain, I didn\’t take my cell phone on course.