When we decided to work on a farm outside Austin for a month, I looked up what races were happening close by. What luck that the Austin Marathon was February 15th and my good friend Gene wanted to join me in running it. Gene’s good friend TJ and his wife Fran live in North Austin and we were able to park our van there overnight to get an early start on race day. After a pasta dinner plus wine, a terrible movie (Godzilla), and a good night sleep we awoke early and Paul drove us into Austin.
Now if I haven’t mentioned this before Gene is a competitive runner and a threat in his age group and more. I, on the other hand … OMG! I had only 6 weeks to train so I found an on-line program to cram for this event. It really didn’t say much except for do the distances, don’t go too hard, and you will finish. Most of my runs have been with Paul and we keep them conversational and enjoyable. The longest run I did was 20 miles and it was pretty flat and easy so when Gene and I reached mile 19 together I knew I was fading fast. He on the otherhand was using the marathon as a training run and was able to pick up his pace and kick out a 3:32 for first in age group. I struggled the last 6 miles or so but did a solid 3:40 marathon! I was pleased with the results and can’t wait to get my 2nd age group award in the mail.
I enjoyed the casual feel of the race. No corrals at the start (just self seeding) supportive fans the whole way, a variety of live music being performed, a not completely flat race, and a huge heavy finishers medal. All of this made it much nicer to participate and I would recommend it.
Here are some of the more interesting and entertaining signs we read along the marathon route.
You run slower than Betty White
Hurry and finish before Kanye takes your medal
Don’t quit like Jon Stewart
(at mile 19) If you were Brian Williams you would think you had finished by now
Run with Joy!
Run now mimosas later
I appreciated the humor along the way. Thank you