Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful 13 Half Marathon

The Thankful 13 is the only half marathon I know of in the state of Utah held on Thanksgiving morning.  And what a fun race it is!  I look forward to running on Thanksgiving before eating a big turkey dinner.  It sort of helps justify all the extra calories consumed right?
 I paced this race last year and was privileged to have the opportunity to do so again this year.
I got checked in with the pacing leader and got my pink pacing shirt and 2:20 sign and was getting ready for the race to start and mingling with friends.  
All of a sudden I recognized a face that I had known for years but only through the blogging world.  I had never met this fun lady in real life and so I was stopped instantly in my tracks.  We greeted with smiles and hugs and chatted for a little bit.  Her name is Jenny and I have read her blog for probably 6 years now.  What a fun surprise to meet her and her daughters.  Her oldest daughter was running today and Jenny was there to support her.  Fun!
Mingling with Run Away Friends is always a great time!
So many friendships have been formed through the years in this little running family.

We got lined up for a pacer group photo and I was so delighted to get to have a partner to pace with me.  It's very rare I get that opportunity.  Her name is Jessica Bird and she was the sweetest little lady to run with.  
We listened to the National Anthem as the military held the flags,
And then we got lined up and ready to run this race!
This race has grown bigger each year and there were certainly a lot of people running today.  I'm guessing a lot of them had the same thoughts about running off the turkey dinner before eating it.  Well, and the fact that running races is just pure fun.
A couple weeks before the race we could submit to the RD a list of 13 things we were thankful for.  He posted signs all along the course of some of those things submitted.  I was quite surprised to see one of mine out there.  Of course a stop for a picture was necessary.
Jessica, my pacing partner is pregnant and wasn't feeling very well, but still did awesome pacing.  She would be announcing to some other family members running today her big surprise!  Congratulations cute little lady!!
It's sort of a rarity to have people hang out with you for an entire race.  They oftentimes use your pacing sign as a goal to either stay ahead of that time or are a little bit challenged to keep up.  Although there were people all over this course today, Jessica and I had 2 people hang with us the whole time and what a party we had.  There was much chatting, laughing and fun conversations going on.  
We paced the 2:20 spot and came in a little bit early at 2:19:07.  Good times indeed!  I love this pacing job!
The medal on the left is called a trilogy medal and was earned for running 3 races with this Runtastic Events group.  The medal on the right is for running the Thankful 13 today.
I love this event and will probably run it each year.
The after race treats were so delicious:
pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting, and hot chocolate.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween and The Burn Half Marathon

Halloween came and went without any challenges for me this year.  You see, I'm sort of a candy/chocolate/cookie/cake aholic and Halloween can be very tricky for me with eating waaaaay too much junk.  Well, this year I decided to hand out coupons for little mini frosty's at Wendy's.  VOILA!  Problem solved.  I had no candy here to tempt me before, during, or after the trick or treaters came.

Mark and I also went on a double date with our new friends Cory and Colette Nielson.  We went to dinner at Joe's Crab Shack, which I had never been to before and had a delightful time.  The food was delicious and the company was so fun.  We then headed up to Salt Lake to Trader Joe's to do a little shopping.  It was fun to wander the store having them tell us what was good.  I bought a lot of cool items and look forward to tasting and feeding my family some new things.  We ended the evening by coming back to our house and visiting Kali and Wade and the grand kids who were here in their Halloween costumes.  Miles was Batman and Harper was Tinkerbell.  We held little baby Graham who is still just so sweet and little, just a tender package from heaven. 
The next morning was November 1st and a half marathon way out West in Butterfield Canyon I had signed up for.  I thought it was a timely event for those wanting to burn off extra Halloween candy eaten.  This was actually a 10K of complete uphill action for a gain of a little more than 2700 feet.  The RD would then have vehicles to transport those who wanted a ride back down the mountain to the starting area. OR, for those wanting to make it a true half marathon they could turn around and run back down the hill.  Who wouldn't want to do just that?  Running down hill is the reward for all the climbing!  A complete thrill!!

I met up with a group of running friends and had fun visiting with them at the starting line area.  We are definitely a crazy bunch of runners. 
My friend Josh is the king of Selfies and makes them part of his pre-race ritual.  Well, he actually makes them part of his whole race experience.  He is a nut!
 This was definitely a smaller race since this was its first year.  It was actually called an underground race and we didn't find out the location until 48 hours before it happened.  It was all pretty hush-hush so that the RD didn't have to get permits and could keep the costs way low.  He later told me that he is planning to turn this into a full blown event next year.  I think it's a great idea!  The race started at 9:00 am and we were off.  I ran the race with my friend Cory and we would switch off each mile with who was in charge of walking or running.  We tried to run as much of it as we could but wow was that tough!  There were some pretty steep areas that absolutely could only be walked.  The weather was absolutely perfect for a race morning and the scenery was incredible.  

As we were nearing the top we ended up running alongside a really motivated, cute little 12 year old boy named Alec.  ( He pronounced it Ollick) and he told us his story of how he became a runner and how many siblings he had.  He talked about school and family life and we praised him and hung with him for quite awhile.  He was a great kid who kept us smiling.  
 At one hour and 29 minutes we reached the top of this beastly mountain.  It really was quite an adventure getting to the top, but it was so beautiful.  I forgot to take a photo at the summit.  Shoot!  This photo of a few of us at the top was taken by the RD.  Just notice where I happen to be hanging out.  I'll give you a hint.  I like my race goodies!  I'm over there enjoying them, or pondering what to enjoy.  Regardless, I don't skip race treats.  That's definitely one of the perks of races for me. 
 Coming back down the mountain was casual, beautiful, easy, quiet, serene, and rewarding after the tough climb.  I will never tire of running half marathons.  They are my favorite race distance. 
(I still love me a great ultra trail run though)