I didn’t really plan on running a road 1/2 or full marathon again after I discovered trail marathons because trail marathons are far more beautiful and enjoyable and my slow times don’t really matter on trail marathons because really just getting up and down all the hills and somehow making it to the end of the race is all that really matters. That being said a number of months ago someone at church sent me the link for the inaugural Long View Marathon (and 1/2 Marathon) and I decided to sign up. I signed up because I thought she was going to run it with me, but then something fell through and so I ended up on my own. I trained but not really. Mostly just let my runs happen when they did with my life and craziness and called it good.
So Saturday morning the 5th I found myself at the start line of the 1/2 marathon. It was a point to point race, starting at a park in Fort Collins and ending at the Community Center/Library in Loveland. The morning was cool and crisp but promised to be a sunny beautiful day. I didn’t really have a goal for my time or even a plan for the race, which is so not like how I usually approach races. I knew Clint and the kids were going to meet me at the end and other than that I didn’t really have a plan. We started a few minutes after the planned start time and took off down the bike paths that wind themselves through Fort Collins and Loveland.
Despite not having a set plan for training, but still training loosely (I’ve run over 800 miles for the year so I’ve got a plan even without a formal plan) I felt pretty good. It was a really flat course which was a nice change from all the trail races I’ve done in the past few years. Since it was called the Long View Marathon I did stop and get a good shot of Longs Peak at one point on the course and also took a shot of Boyd Lake as we wound our way along 4+ miles of it.
As usual I hit a huge wall around mile 10. I don’t know what it is, but its either mile 10 for a 1/2 or mile 21 for a full marathon and my legs are just done and my motivation is gone. However there was another runner that hit that same wall and so we decided to stick out the last three together since we just kept passing each other back and forth. We had a good talk the last couple of miles in and just encouraged each other on.
Clint and the kids were waiting for me at the finish line, and after handing the library books off to Clint that they had checked out while waiting for me, they grabbed hands and ran the last few yards over the finish with me. The time displayed in the photo was not my time, the clock was set for the marathon race which had started 40 some minutes prior to my race. We took some photos and the kids admired my finisher medal.
We then headed up to the park that I started at and played on the playground for a bit. We spent the afternoon in the hot tub and just relaxing and enjoying the day. So despite signing up for a race that I thought I was going to train and run with someone only to find out I was on my own and the whole time thinking, if I had known that I would’ve signed up for a trail run that I actually wanted to run, I did finish with my fastest in race mile split and fastest 10K time. So I really can’t complain. And I had the best finish line cheering crowd that anyone could ask for.