It’s high time I wrote about our great race experience last weekend.
(Particularly since the crazy Boy is running another marathon today. Yes: today.)
We drove to Kansas to participate in the Eisenhower Half and Full Marathon. The Boy needed a redemption marathon after having to pull out of the Dallas Marathon because of his Devastating Injury (DI).
He suggested we stay with my parents for the weekend to squeeze in some family time. Since the race was just 40 minutes away (door-to-starting line), it was a great plan.
The fun thing about smaller races is that you really have a chance to experience what makes a community great.
For example, The Boy has run the Tyler Rose Marathon for the past three years. This is a fairly small event(usually around 200 marathoners and 1000 half-marathoners). The turnout from the city to watch the race is quite small as well – family will come and watch, but otherwise it’s a race without much fanfare.
The Eisenhower – another small marathon with less than 200 marathoners and around 300 half-marathoners – on the other hand shows the very best of small town life. Everywhere we looked, businesses had signs up thanking runners and welcoming us to town.
Ranchers patrolled the course on horseback, encouraging runners. A local retirement home, the Brown Memorial Home for the Aged, rang song after song on its bell tower through the entire race. Boy Scouts and youth groups offered water, Gatorade, fruit and granola bars at every water stop.
It was an awesome, awesome race.
And can I just say that there’s nothing like approaching the final mile and spotting your family members standing on the corner, shouting “GO AUNT SHANNAH!!” and getting the entire crowd standing with them to shout “GO AUNT SHANNAH!!” as well?
Awesome. I’m pretty sure that’s why I finished in my fastest half marathon time ever – 2:29. That my friends is a full 11 minutes faster than my last half marathon.
Take that broken foot. I’m officially over you.
The Boy had a good race as well, though the strong Kansas spring sunshine came out and took some steam out of his racing engine around mile 20. Instead of hitting a new PR, he still finished in the top 20% of runners with a very respectable marathon time of 3:50.
It’s also awesome, I might add, to have the race organizers feed you breakfast before the race and a huge pancake and sausage brunch afterwards. (Note to people who aren’t from Kansas – it’s the breadbasket of America and there’s nothing like a Kansas wheat pancake.)
The only thing that makes it more awesome is to eat that great brunch with the best-ever cheer squad.
All in all, the Eisenhower Marathon gets four enthusiastic thumbs up – The Boy notes that he’s pumped to be able to actually give a thumbs-up after the DI – from us. We would definitely make the seven-hour trip to Abilene to run it again.
And, since this is posting as The Boy is running a marathon today, I’d like to give him a special shout-out for a great race.
I really like him.
Thanks to my dad for the excellent snaps. The ones that look crisp and clear are his. The two that have funky color and are slightly blurred are courtesy of my iPhone.