Thursday, August 30, 2012

#8 West Virginia's Parker's Marathon

#8 is in the books!
 Craig and I completed #8 of the 12in12in12 this past weekend in West Virginia, Parker's marathon.  It was TOTALLY different from all the marathons we have done up until this point.  It was run on an old railroad track that is now a running/hiking/horse riding trail.  It was pretty cool, but not easy, that is for sure.  I don't know why, it was definitely softer than running on the road, but my legs definitely hurt worse during this race than any of the past marathons I've run this year.  Nice scenery.  Not much crowd support.
The trail went through a quarter mile tunnel that was pitch black, so dark they gave us flashlights on the way into the tunnel and collected as we came out.  It was very cool.  Here is a video we shot as we ran into the tunnel.

Craig out for a Sunday stroll, a 26.2 mile stroll

For any negatives about the race, it was all made up for and more at the end.  The spread the volunteers put out for the runners was the best and most generous I've ever seen.  Burgers, dogs, chicken, tacos, pasta salads, potato salads, grilled fish, vegetables, waffles and more.  It was incredible.
And this was a whole table full of homemade desserts!

  The Dutchman's Daughter, house turned restaurant.  Perfect place for a pre-marathon dinner
We were only there for a short period of time.  We left PA around 1:30 on Saturday and got to our hotel around 9pm Saturday night.  Then we left after the race, by 12:30pm. 
 West Virgina gets a bad rap around the country, but all in all, it was aesthetically pleasing.  Even if we didn't have cell phone service the whole weekend we were there!

Next up for the 12in12in12, Portland, Maine marathon September 30th.  And we actually realized the we should rename our challenge to the 12in12in12in12.  That's an extra 12 if you're paying attention.  That's because we will have run all of our marathons in different states at the end of the year, so it will be 12 marathons in 12 months in 12 states in 2012!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

#7 San Francisco

Completed marathon #7 of the 12in12in12 in San Francisco this weekend, and it was memorable.  I must say, I knew going into this challenge, that it would be an experience, but honestly I wasn't really sure what to expect.  And a lot has happened so far, including arriving in Myrtle Beach 4 hours before the marathon after driving all night, and running in jeans for two of the marathons.  But this weekend may have topped it all for one reason: DEAN!

For a while now I have followed the ultrarunning adventures of Dean Karnazes, and to say he is amazing, just is the understatement of the millennium!  I can't list all of his accomplishments, they are things you wouldn't even believe.  And his story about how he became the ultimate ultrarunner is incredible. You have to read about him for yourself, here's his website:  He's got two great books, Ultra Marathon Man and Run! that tell his story, and will inspire you to do something incredible yourself.  Honestly, they are incredibly motivating.

So, back to San Francisco.  Craig and I are running around mile 3 and guess who runs by us?  You guessed it, DEAN!  I lost it.  I yelled "Dean" and he kind of startled him.  Then I ran up next to him and got a chance to talk to him.  I am not sure how to describe it, but it was AWESOME!  We talked about, well, him of course and the Badwater race he had recently completed and about his books.  Up to that point, I think he hadn't really been noticed by anyone, he was just blending in with the marathoners, even though he was really just out for a training run, probably one of his 2 four hour training runs that he does each day.  Someone else came up and introduced themself to Dean so I thanked him for chatting and then left him alone.  I tried to take a couple pictures together but they didn't come out very good because we were moving, but here they are anyway.

Back to the marathon.  It was a great race, very scenic and I must say very hilly which is to be expected in San Francisco.  But I felt really good throughout it so it wasn't difficult for me.  We had the chance to run over the Golden Gate bridge, but it was early in the morning so it was still shrouded in fog and we couldn't even see the top of it.
That is the Golden Gate from a mile or so away, you can see the fog and clouds sitting right on top of it.
 Here are some of the other San Francisco sights we ran past.

 These were two unique marathoners: one was a naked woman (really it was a naked suit she was wearing) and a guy in a dominatrix outfit, which included a collar, attached chain, and tight leather underpants.  Sweet outfits, they make my jeans marathon look unbelievably tame.
 Famous hippy Haight and Asbury streets

 Uh, not really sure, but had to take a picture of the legs out of the second story window on Haight street
 Unique marathon sign
 AT&T park where the Giants play.  But Craig and I got a better view of the park the day before.
On Saturday we decided to go down to the Giants v. Dodgers game and see if we could get tickets.  Tickets at the window for seats were over $100 each, and for standing room only they were over $50 each.  Scalpers were selling them for around the same outside the stadium, even though we got there in the 4th inning.  So we went to a gate and bribed a security guard $20 and he let us both in, it was great, he even did the whole shake hands, exchange money trick.  I have to remember to smile when I take pictures of myself, that's my concentration face I guess.
That's San Francisco, marathon #7.  Next month is a very small marathon in West Virginia, should be a very different experience.