I headed out for Duluth yesterday morning, approximately 6 AM. Imagine my suprise when after driving for 15 minutes I realized I was heading for Minneapolis, not Duluth. Good grief! I guess I had other things on my mind...
I arrived in Duluth at 9:08 AM; the marathon began at 9:30. Not a good way to start out. I was stressed, looking for Lester River Park and of course couldn't remember WHICH road to turn onto. A kind woman was walking her lab and gave me correct directions.
9:24; arrived at the race. Found a parking place, grabbed my snowshoes out of the car and ran to the race start. Oops. I need a number and pins. Back to the race check in point. It's 9:27. Affix number, check in, get to start line. SHEESH!
JULIE BERG..ARE YOU HERE? Says the race director..YES I'M HERE! OK, we are off..
Race day conditions were excellent. It had snowed on Thursday, making a nice fresh topping on the snow cover. The trails were in excellent condition. Packed, not icy, not soft and deep, just wonderful.
The 1/2 marathon and marathon began at 930, the 10K at 1000. This is nice, as I enjoy seeing all the runners. It was fun to see the 10K'rs come speeding past. There were only 10 in the marathon..the runners get big spaces inbetween them and I hardly saw any of the marathoners. The course is a loop course, I enjoy loops as we get to see others, get to pass the start finish. Actually, the course was 4 loops and I always get lost somehow..I didn't let Scott get too far away from me as I had to have follow someone who didn't get as mixed up with directions as I do. I'm awful.
It was 9F at the start, NO wind and sunshine. Yeah!
The course is on trail, lots of ups and downs, across rivers, meadows, wooded trail, a bit of road, just spectacular.
As we ran into the 1/2 way mark at the start/finish, guess what I did. I FELL! Flat on my face. My snowshoe hooked on something, the toe of it bent in back of me, my leg caved in on top of it and I was splatted on the ground. It was a horrible time to fall as the 1/2 marathon runners were all standing around the finish line, the photographer was right there and there I was. Flat on my face. They asked if I was OK, I said "Yes, I just wasn't getting enough attention" Way embarassing.
After that my shin began to give me problems. I suppose I somehow strained it. The pain began in my shin, then with about two hours left of the race the pain concentrated in my knee. I took a few Advil but they didn't help. There was only one pace I could keep up: a pace where I lightly ran, kind of hopping, trying to releave the pressure on my knee. It hurt most running downhill; I gritted my teeth and made fists with my hands so I wouldn't scream. Damn. It hurt.
I sucked it up and kept on. I certainly wasn't going to drop, I just wished I could finish pain-free.
At 6:15 I crossed the finish line, happy to be finished with the race. Happy to visit with my friends and talk about the fun we were having.
I found out that I was the only woman who began the race. Gee, guess I won, hu? I have a real nice pottery bowl that says Woman Champion. Pretty cool. A very nice sweatshirt as well. This race always has awesome finisher sweatshirts for the marathoners.
The post race party is a great time. Lots of friends, lots of pizza and pop and talking big. It was so nice to see everyone again. Races are few and far between in the frozen north, I loved being able to see everyone.
At the post race party, at Fitgers, I won something else...
A two person KAYAK! Oh my gosh, I couldn't believe it. It is huge! An $850 dollar value. Guess I'll learn to kayak this summer up at the cabin :)
It was a great day!
Today I strapped back into the snowshoes are ran 5 with Topaz. He was slighted yesterday.