|Mile 14 had the most beautiful water-hander-outer in the whole race!|
(My wife Michael ... duh!)
Michael and I signed up for the North Face Water Stop at about mile 14 through her triathlon group, KC Tri. But I was really surprised to find that when we got to the stop to set up, it was Michael, me, our friend Christi ... and four other people we didn't know. Only seven of us, which seemed a little light. But it ended up being enough people and everything ran fairly smoothly.
This was the first time in four years that I had not ran either the half or full at this race, and it kinda bummed me out a little. But after crashing at Wichita last weekend, my legs were not quite ready to run another race. I'm really very biased, but I love the Kansas City Marathon. It's my hometown marathon and I just love the course and look forward to it every year. It's a little hilly, but in my opinion, it's one of the most beautiful marathon courses I've ran. And it will always hold a special place for me in that it was the Saturday marathon of my first ever back-to-back Saturday/Sunday marathons last year (Des Moines was on Sunday). To this day, the 2011 Kansas City Marathon is still probably my favorite ever. Everything just clicked that day and it was perfect.
It was really interesting to watch each of the runners as they passed the water stop at mile 14. Some looked strong at that point ... others were already about to die. Some were smiling (mostly the women) ... some had a look of concern and determination on their face. Some slowed down to take water ... some stopped in the middle of the water stop, which made one lady curse the guy in front of her as she crashed into his back "REALLY ... SH*T!!!"
There were a couple of funny moments too ...
|Me lining up cups|
One guy with quite a bit of treble in his voice, who in hindsight might have been hitting on me, said, "You have a runner's body, you should be out here with us!" Uh, thanks I guess? I just laughed and told him was doing a great job.
And as he stopped to take a cup of Gatorade, a head-phoned clad older guy, with a slight foreign accent, took out one of his earbuds as if to show it my wife and said, "Listen, they're playing our love song!" Ha - priceless. Michael just said, "Okay, that's good?" as she handed him the drink.
There was also a heart-breaking moment. A girl ran up to one of the other volunteers about 2 hours into the race and said, "I think I missed my turn for the half-marathon!" Again ... our waterstop was at MILE 14!!! The poor girl had missed the race split back at the Country Club Plaza area around mile seven where the half-marathoners head back downtown and the full marathoners keep going. She was devastated and we all felt horrible for her. But the volunteer drove her back to the finish line so she could cross and get her medal. How bad would that suck?
Michael and I also saw tons of people we knew. There were a lot of Michael's triathlon friends running the marathon, and I even knew Jadin, the 4 hour pacer. About the time the six hour pace went by, a lady stopped and asked me, "Do you live in Lee's Summit? Aren't you that guy who's always running?" I just laughed and said, "Yeah - I live there - and I do run a lot." I actually recognized her too. She lives a couple of neighborhoods over from ours and I've seen her several times. She looked pretty strong at that point, and I think she might have been pacing a friend.
All in all it was a great day. The weather was perfect for running - about 45 degrees with no wind, and it was a beautiful sunshiny morning. We had a great time, but it would have been a whole lot more fun with more people we knew. But we'll definitely do it again some weekend when we're not racing. And as corny as it sounds, it was just great to finally give back a little to a sport that has given me so much. Hope your running's going great ...
... be great today!