|Crusing along the race course.|
One of my favorite parts about running marathons is the joy of traveling to new locations. Sometimes these adventures are planned out way in advance and then again sometimes they just fall into place at the last minute. My trip across the country to the great Northwest was one of those last minute choices. The original plan was to run a marathon in the Midwest this weekend, one I could easily drive to in a few hours. As luck would have it that race was full of entrants. This seems to be a trend in the running industry. I still wanted to compete in that race, as I have been successful there in the past, but after emailing the race director to see about getting entered into the event I was denied! This is the first time that a race has stated that they would not let me run due to being full. Most times race directors are gracious enough to accept another athlete, my credentials of a 2:25 marathon personal best and over 50 marathon wins is typically a good addition to any race. Now to play the devil’s advocate here, it is very likely that this particular race did not allow me into their event because they were afraid that adding one more 134 pound runner onto its course could cause the roads to buckle. That is about the only explanation I could come up with to justify their actions. Regardless of this I was not going to let it ruin my weekend. I quickly jumped at the opportunity to run in the Bellingham Bay Marathon out in Bellingham, Washington. This was my first trip to run in Washington, which raised my level of excitement greatly. I always enjoy racing in new places and seeing new faces on a different course.
|Celebration lunch with Nina|
|Trying to expand my early lead.|
The race started off slowly with a 6:12 mile, but soon after that all the muscles were warmed up and ready to run. Since I felt really strong I decided to push the pace. Mile after mile clicked off in the 5:28 to 5:33 range, these miles added up to crossing the half marathon mark in 1:12:55. Time went by really quickly as I enjoyed one of the more scenic marathons I have run. By mile 20 I was informed that I had over a 4 minute lead. The goal of winning appeared to be achievable as did the goals of breaking the course record and running under 2 hours and 30 minutes.
|Hanging out at Mile 22 aid station after the race.|
I will be racing marathons the next 4 weekends for a total of 9 marathons in a row. I look forward to setting new goals for each event and pushing my body to the limit to achieve them. I often say, "My desire to succeed far exceeds the pain I put my body through." Sure I might have minor pains but I make goals not excuses. Until next time folks...