Whoot! Whoot! What a day. It started at 4:45 am as we got up and around and headed out the door towards Kiawah Island. They parked us riff raff not staying on island in the tomato fields and bussed us to the starting area. Once we arrived, they had a huge conference room open for all of us runners to sit and stay warm. Not like we really needed to stay warm. The temperatures were great. I think mid 40's at the start. But, it was great to relax inside beforehand. They even had a pre-race yoga class which we did not partake in, but it was something nice for those that wanted.
The race started at 8:00 am. They had pace signs for 7, 8 and 9 minute miles. And then what was after 9-cuz there are those of us that do run slower then a 9 minute pace? Well, I guess that meant you were a walker. That was the next pace sign after the 9 minute pace sign-Walkers. Thought that was kinda funny. We think it was because they ran out of parking lot space to put the pace signs-who knows. Either way it wasn't a big deal-just kinda silly.
Off we go. It's pretty crowded the first couple miles. Doug and I are running together. About mile 3 he turns to ask how the pace was. I told him it was too fast for me. We kept going and at mile 8 I turn to him and tell him that we're still going too fast. We'd been doing approximately the same pace since mile 3! Yet, we continue on at the same pace. I didn't want to crash again like I did in SA but something kept me going. At least through mile 8. Ha!
This course runs through the neighborhoods of some of the private homes on the island. These houses are amazing. And to think a lot of them are vacation homes. They were absolutely some of the most gorgeous houses I have ever seen.
The course was essentially 2 out and backs. For some, that is a real downer. I usually don't particularly like out and backs either (especially when it's through an industrial area or something of the such) but I loved running this course. I didn't mind the out and back at all. The course was also f.l.a.t. flat flat. I'm not sure you could get much flatter.
The waterstops...super. They had water, full strength Gatorade (I hate when RD's try to dilute the Gatorade and you can't even taste it.) and they had bananas and oranges. At every stop. We actually even passed up some water stops as they were about every mile and it just got to be a lot of stopping and drinking. I'm sure they have them every mile because you don't ever know what the weather is going to be on race day. I bet it can get awfully warm sometimes, and then you would need them every mile.
So loop 1 is done. We shake loose the half marathoners that out numbered the marathoners 2 to 1. Once we did that, it was pretty quiet. There were still people to see and talk to, it just wasn't as crowded. We had a great time on the loop talking with people. Everyone seemed to be having a really nice time and was super friendly.
After completing lap 2, we crossed the finish line in 5:09:12. With that said, that's my 2nd best marathon time! I was pretty happy. I beat my previous 2nd best marathon time by like 18 minutes! Whoo Hoo for me! And...did I mention. On.My.Birthday! Oh...I might have mentioned that somewhere.
Afterwards they had a fantastic post-race luncheon. They had pasta salad with all sorts of yummy stuff in it like chicken, olives, carrots and green beans. They also had white bean soup and brownies. And free beer. We all ate outside next to the water and chit chatted about our journey today.
So this makes marathon number 17. And I've done a full or half marathon in 20 different states now.
I loved this marathon. I love this city. I recommend it to everyone. Like I said before, it may be 2 out and back loops, but the scenery is gorgeous. It's much better than running down strip malls in Phoenix or industrial areas in Portland. I would run this marathon time and again over some of the others I have done. LOVE LOVE LOVE it.
Now it's time for a nap and then off to have a great birthday dinner to celebrate...me! And our marathon.
Speaking of my hon...I'm not sure I'm buying this ankle injury anymore. The last three marathons he's run, he's run each one faster than the last. I would say he's healed, however, I can truly see his ankle swell like a balloon after each marathon he runs. He's a real trooper.