Perhaps because this was a reunion event for the 50 States Club, I saw more Marathon Maniacs on the course than in any other race.
The weather was perfect. We took the start at 5:30 am and the sun did not come up until mile 23. I felt good, ran all the way through, barely slowing down for water a few times. Had trouble "fueling," but my lover brought me a Starbucks Frappucino at the midway point, and I could swallow that. Going by the comments on the course, if he had opened up a little delivery business for the day he would have been profitable.
It was a smooth affair, steady and uneventful until the end. My hips and thighs hurt as badly as if clamped in a vise, but I did not care much, I only had one or two miles left to go, and I was not about to slow down at this point. I only wished I could run faster.
I hurried across a street where a policeman held up traffic for me to pass. I had not reached the opposite sidewalk yet, when it happened. The pain in the hips vanished, as if someone had physically taken it away. Unshackled, I bolted loose.
I have sprinted toward the finish before, but not like this. This was long, strong, sustained, and almost effortless. I could read it in the reactions of the bystanders. It did not look like an end run, strained. It was fresh and fast and calm.
I could see the finish when I felt the nausea coming up. I asked whatever force had freed me from pain to give me 30 seconds: oh, give me another 30 seconds.
It did. I felt horribly sick after the finish line, but obviously it did not matter anymore. I did not throw up, but I spent the next few hours shaky and ready to do it.
Finished under five hours, which is fast for me. But I still wonder who ran my first, Shiprock 2007, in so much less than that.