|I'm going to invent a napping marathon for these situations. I will win my age group every time.|
|How do I maths?|
We got really lucky, and the rain almost completely stopped when we left for the start. In the bathroom line we got some tips about the course from someone who drove it the day before. He let us know that the hills in the first half were all rolling, and that after that, there were several much flatter miles. This ended up being a huge mental help, since I knew when we went up, we really would go down. I had studied the course profile, but all the hills looked awful on it to me.
We picked a random spot in front of the line and asked someone to take a picture of us. We had to take a second one after we were told to look happier. Sorry it's hard to look excited when I'm shivering.
|I love my fleece hat, if only it didn't make my eyebrows look demonic.|
MDI had certainly been scenic the day before, but it was even prettier (somehow) in the morning light on foot.
|I found it hilarious for some reason the class trip is to Quebec. But it's the land of my people, so I can't hate.|
|Unrelated, but Maine, how are you so pretty?|
|I think this is Somes Sound, but I don't actually know.|
|He could be the next Loch Ness Monster if he does get fired and needs a new career.|
At this point, we started walking up the larger hills and got caught in a group on one where we had to squeeze between construction barrels and traffic. A racer next to us struck up a conversation about the hills and how he was struggling. I agreed we were as well, being from flatland Michigan and innocently inquired as to where he was from. His answer: San Francisco.
|How can you expect anyone to find hills to train on there?|
I'm not usually successful in maintaining a poker face in daily life, and at mile 23 in a marathon, I think I conveyed "wtf" almost immediately. He then explained he trained using Crossfit and hadn't run more than four miles at once in over a year. He admitted he knew it would be hard but didn't think he would struggle this much. I'm not being facetious when I say I nearly beat him with a nearby construction barrel.
|This meme has never been more appropriately used.|
There's not enough room in this post for my Crossfit rant, but this is why I absolutely loathe Crossfit. I've recently started strength training and love it, but there's a difference between that and a cult that says you can effectively compete in long-distance running events without any specific training, let alone anything close to the recommend training. As soon as we had enough room to take off, we did like bats out of hell with probably the most impolite good-bye ever. And the poor guy still had no idea what he did wrong. If you ever take anything away from my blog, let it be that running helps you run.
When we got to mile 25, a man lounging in a lawn chair informed us we were at the top of the final hill. I'm still not sure if he was officially part of the race or a spectator wanting to giggle at our pain. He was camped in the parking lot of the Top of the Hill Restaurant, so it wasn't like you wouldn't know you had made it to the top without him. But honestly, with 1.2 miles left to go, it could've been a Bigfoot telling me where I was and I would've just rolled with it.
|If you look closely, you can see we still had hills to run up. What liars.|
|I'm going to request to use this picture for my work ID.|
We got our mylar blankets, which we honestly didn't really need, and collected our drop bag. The school entrance wasn't signed, and we had to ask where most of the bags were. We swung through the equally hard to find food tent and got a finishing picture from some runners we had been leapfrogging through the second half.
The next shuttle came, and we were going to be the first two people off.
I begged the two people (who were together) in front of us to give up their spots. I could see why they might think we were lying, but they had to have heard us discussing the situation and definitely stared while I counted. It's not like we pulled this out of our butts at the last second. It was warm outside, and we were essentially asking them to wait an extra 30 minutes for a guaranteed sit-down spot on the next shuttle. They literally got in line one second before us, so they hadn't waited any longer than us. They nearly said no, at which point I probably would've cried, but they did finally acquiesce.
We still couldn't understand how we almost got bumped - the bus held 45, and we were 44th and 45th in line. Once we got on, Michael was still over the line, so he started pushing. I saw the terror in the other runners' eyes as they were getting inexplicably shoved back. We managed to squeeze on, and I discovered the problem. Several people ahead of us (standing) had absolutely giant Ironman backpacks on. I don't want to take away from their accomplishment, but if your gear is forcing people off the bus, it's not okay.
|One person per bus at Kona.|
I nearly fell off the bus when we got back, and when I dropped something in the intersection, I almost just left it there. We stumbled back to the car and got through our post-race routine as fast as possible. I changed my shirt on the street, and I'm pretty sure all the non-runners were scandalized.
The stress continued as we had to get off the island without making any wrong turns. We went as fast as we were comfortable with on the way back. We wobbled to security and heard our names called for final boarding as we were putting our shoes back on. We ran to the gate, only to have the agents laugh at us - apparently "final call" means we still have ten minutes. Long story short, we made it on the flight. The post-marathon was like it's own marathon, and it was 100% more stressful and nowhere near as fun.
I then spent the following two hours after the flight on the Michigan Flyer listening to someone enumerate all the people she wanted to punch in the face. I just wanted to rest, but I also didn't want to die after everything I had been through.