Time: 2hours, 26 minutes, 51 seconds
Place: 12,298th of 24,674 finishers
I was lucky to be able to share a room with ladies from my church who were also running the race. This is a view of West End Ave. looking towards the start line.
This is looking straight out towards Centennial Park. Please note the white line in the middle of the picture . . . those are port-a-potties. Look closely and you can see the lines and lines and lines of people waiting to use them. Thank goodness I could use the restroom in my hotel room before heading down to the start!
This picture is looking towards the left out of our room. People were lined up in their corrals to start the race. It was like nothing I have ever seen before. Around 34,000 people ran the race.
My friend warned me several months ago to do some hill training before the half. She neglected to tell me the whole marathon was uphill (or at least it seemed that way). I joined the 2:15 pace team at the health expo before the race.
I had been able to finish my training runs in 2:30 including water and restroom breaks. I thought with the added adrenaline, I would be able to run at that pace, but I didn't take the hills into consideration. I kept up with the pace team until mile 7. What that means is that I maintained a 10 minute mile pace - up and up hills - for 7 miles. At mile 7 I was huffing and puffing and got a side stitch. I knew if I slowed down it would go away. So, as much as I hated to lose them, I slowed down, got some water, and watched my pace team go on without me. My side stitch went away and I picked up my pace and continued on. The crowd support was great! There were people holding signs. My favorite was by far said, "Your feet are hurting only because you are kicking so much @$$" I also smiled when I read, "Run like a tornado is chasing you." By the way, the weather was beautiful. It was about 60 degrees and overcast and a little windy. The forecast had been for severe weather. The marathoners were actually diverted if they did not get to a certain point in the race by a certain time. The rain did come, but luckily I had made it back onto the shuttle by then. Ok . . . back to the race. There were kids along the course just waiting to give me a high 5. There were several places to stop and have a banana or orange slices, as well as water and Cytomax (yuck - a sports drink like Gatorade - I did not like it). The longer the race went on, the steeper the hills got. I saw mile 11 and knew I was almost finished. I also had heard about the hill at 11.5. It's the one in front of the Capitol Building, it kept going and going and going. I kept pushing on walking and jogging. I turned a corner and saw LP Field. It was still a mile or so away, but I saw it and got a little choked up. I almost cried. I knew if I cried I wouldn't be able to breathe, so I took a couple of deep breaths and got control. The closer I got to the end, the larger the crowd got cheering me on to finish. I could see the finish line! I crossed the finish line in 2:26. Besides getting married and having a child, running a half-marathon is the most meaningful, amazing thing I have ever done!