This past weekend (Oct.18th).........Who would have thought that when I signed up for the Marathon2Marathon race in Marathon, Texas that it would be so incredible? What a fantastic experience and one of the best kept secrets of all of the marathons in this part of the country. The organization of the race was outstanding. The volunteers were hard working and dedicated to making the race a huge success. Andy, Larry and I were all excited to start the first race of our Texas Quad of marathons. We were not disappointed at all. The number of participants was small in terms of some of the larger marathons around the country but that just made the experience all the more positive. Volunteers that worked the aid stations were very friendly and helpful and the stations were well stocked and easy to get to. The pasta dinner the night before the race was put on by several volunteers and was excellent. The post-race party was an outdoor event under the stars. I didn't realize that the stars could be so beautiful. They were so clear and bright.
The race course was challenging but also a thing of beauty. The race started just outside of Alpine, Texas and followed a straight line (other than one curve in the road) back to Marathon. It was run on a highway between the two cities. We, of course, ran on the shoulder of the road. You could see for miles at a time. It was amazing to have such views of the surrounding area. Running with mountains all around you as you are running in the lower elevations was something that I will remember for a long time. The course had several rolling hills with a "where did this come from" hill at mile 22. As you finish the race, you can see the finish line for miles and hear the sounds of the crowd waiting to cheer you through the finish. The people in the town really supported this race. They made you feel so welcome. The weather was fantastic. It was cool to start the race and warmed up as the morning went on. There is something very special about starting a race and watching the sunrise. It was spectacular!
We stayed at the Gage Hotel which was incredible! The food at the Gage was amazing! There is so much to do in the surrounding area that you could stay for a week and still need to come back for more. It is truly a runner's paradise.
A special thanks to Berta and Sheri who crewed the race for us. They did an outstanding job of keeping us going as well as helping other participants too. Their support was very much appreciated! I was very happy with the Hammer Nutrition Products that I always use. They were fantastic! My Brooks Infiniti's felt great the entire way and provided great support!
Many stories and memories were created and I'm sure will follow soon in this blog. The lady on roller blades that until mile 15 or so Larry and I couldn't figure out how she kept showing up coming down the road at us over and over again. The man that kept going to the "green porta-cans" until at one of the last ones he said he was sorry he had to catch up with us but the door was stuck. More on these adventures at a later date as well as race pictures. Larry and I had a great time running together and I am blessed to have such a great friend to run with at these marathons. Congrats to my son Andy who finished in 9th place overall with a sub 4 hour marathon! It is an incredible blessing to be able to do these marathons with him. What a day!
I can't wait to go back next year. You should check it out and reserve the October date for a great marathon. Pictures of the race this year will be posted soon.
This weekend (Oct.25th), Andy and I journey up to Madison, Wisconsin to run a 50K in The North Face Endurance Challenge. We will be joined by running group partner Brett. It will be an exciting time!
Forward we go! May your roads and trails be happy and safe!