Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Updated Map

Getting to put a big "X" through Montana makes the map look better!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Pictures from Missoula

#43--Missoula Marathon

Missoula, MT
July 14, 2013

This weekend I completed my 43rd marathon and 41st state, running in the 7th annual Missoula Marathon.  I've gone almost 4 months since my last marathon, which seems like an eternity.

My sister watched our sons for the weekend, while my wife and I took our 3 month old daughter on the trip.  We flew from Lincoln to Denver to Missoula and back.  Missoula is a very cool college town nestled in between the mountains of western Montana.  It is beautiful, as anybody who has seen "A River Runs Through It" can attest to.

We arrived Friday night after an uneventful flight.  The Expo and packet pick-up was held at a downtown park, where the finish was going to be for the race.  There was a 5K Saturday morning that added to the general level of excitement.  Packet pick-up was easy and after that we walked through the Missoula Farmer's Market.  I've been to many and this was one of the best.  After checking out the vibrant downtown and getting some lunch, it was time to get off my feet and rest for the marathon.

The marathon and half marathon were each point-to-point courses, starting at 6 AM.  All runners had to take busses to the start.  I had to get up at 3:15 in order to eat, hydrate, and get to the bus on time.  The start of the race was punctuated by fireworks provided by the University of Montana Army ROTC.  Temperatures were in the high 40's and it was calm and clear at the start.

The course was mostly flat and very scenic.  I ran the first 1/2 in 2:07.  There was a long steep hill at this point that got me out of my groove.  I was a little under-trained for this race, too, as my achilles has been acting up and I've been forced to cut back on my training for the last 6 weeks or so.  Add to that the upper respiratory congestion that I caught from my daughter, and the last half was pretty tough.  I held on to finish in just over 4:37, a very average time for me the last several years.

The finish area downtown had lots of food, drinks, and music to entertain runners and their families.  We enjoyed as much of this as our 3 month old would allow, and then it was back to the hotel to shower and rest.

The Missoula Marathon was a great experience.  The city is beautiful and really embraces the race, with a whole weekend of activities and events.  The race itself is well organized and executed.  With 1,500 runners doing the full and 3,500 runners doing the half, it is just about the perfect size race, too, in my opinion.  I am glad I chose Missoula for my Montana marathon.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

#43 in the books

Completed my 43rd marathon today in Missoula, MT (41st state).  This was my daughter's very first marathon trip.  Although she gave me her runny nose and congestion on race day, it was nice to have her support!  I'll have a full report later.