Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Vancouver USA Marathon - 6/21/15

Brad ran his second marathon Sunday!!

Immediately after last year's half marathon, Brad was so excited that he signed up for this year's full marathon. The endorphins were pumping, and the expo price was just $55. He was registered before he even really realized it.

SO... about six months ago, it was time to buckle down and start training for that 26.2. He used a very aggressive training plan - so aggressive that he had to back off a bit. It was just too much. Still, he worked his tail off to prepare for this race, despite some nagging aches and pains. A couple weeks ago, his sometimes-chronic low-back acted up, and he doubted his performance right up to Saturday night.

We decided to fight rush-hour traffic Friday to get our bibs and leave Saturday open for all-day relaxing.
After a lot of pep talk, we both slept surprisingly well Saturday night. The alarm went off at 4:30 a.m.

Prepping complete. Time to go:
We arrived with plenty of time to hit the potty line before it got super long, eat a couple Clif Blocks and find the pacers in the starting corral. Clouds came in overnight, providing protection from the blazing sun. However, it also kept in the heat. It was already 61 degrees when we woke up. YIKES. Too hot.
Brad's race started at 7 a.m. but mine didn't step off until 9 a.m. - so I had plenty of time to take pictures. Nervous but ready to get it done:
Brad planned to run with the 3:45 pacer and see what happened:
"Elvis" sang the National Anthem... poorly.
This race has the best course support! Ski patrollers on bikes cruised the whole course:
I was waiting right around the corner from the starting line when Brad rounded the bend. Then suddenly the guy next to him was on the ground! Brad says the guy kicked the underside of Brad's shoe and went down. Everybody was OK:
There he goes!!!
When I did the Vancouver USA Marathon two years ago, I ran the first half with Mel, who was pacing the 4:45 group. Without her help, I don't think my race would have been that successful and awesome. She paces every year, and I spotted her at the beginning of the race with the 5-hour runners. Go, Mel, go!!
I hung out in the car for a while, then met up with Mike and Eryn. Mike was running his very first half marathon!!
Our awesome support/photography crew:
Mom and Dad took pictures along the course:
I planned to run around a 9:30 average. Mike asked if he could tag along with me. Sure!
We ran the first half right around a 9:30, then the big hill hit - and the heat started getting to us. We both took our first walk breaks up the hill and had a hard time getting back into it after that.
Eryn, who used this as just a training run, was doing run/walk intervals. 
Mom and Dad spotted Brad at about mile 24.5 - still with the 3:45 pacer and looking strong!
Mike and I ended up running the whole thing together. I was honored to help (hopefully it was a help!) him finish his first half! And I was also happy to take it a little slower. I've decided spring/summer races aren't for me. I need those cooler temps.
Eryn! Nearing the end:
Mom and Dad made it in time to see Eryn finish:
Congrats to everyone for their races! 
(Brad looks super creeper in this one:)
The crew:
So proud of this guy!
And this one!
The clouds had parted by this time, and it was too hot to stand :)
In the evening, Eryn, Brad and I went to Shari's for some refueling. Mozzarella sticks for this one:
A good day for everyone! :)

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