Goody Bag: Technical t-shirt + offers from local shops.
Course: Hilly, mainly along the hard shoulder of a relatively busy highway
Organisation and volunteers: Well organised event with enthusiastic volunteers who were great at cheering you on.
CPs: Every 4 miles with water, snacks, oranges.
Weather: Started cold (@ 5 degs C/40s degs F) going up to @ 17 degs C/63 degs F plus rain and sun
Start Time: 07:00
Start Location: United Methodist Church (UMC), Reeds Spring
Finish: At UMC
After: Check out Reeds Spring town
Overview: This is a themed run that is a lotta fun and has the potential to go even better. Finishers and spectactors can watch the movie Forrest Gump over and over again and/or play a game of table tennis. Many runners brought their own bottle which helped to reduce the trash being thrown further down the route. In addition, Julie (a volunteer) was a roving support station going up and down the course to check on runners and had supplies if required.
A word from TG:
The night before, I did what any normal tyre gal would do before a marathon......I dressed up my tyre and gave Chamey a beard.
Gotta admit my brain cells have been having a hard time sleeping. In fact it seemed, despite the comfy hotel rooms, sleep had mostly been fleeting for the better part of the week! It could only mean one thing was happening. The body was preparing for the red rage. The time when a gal is emotional: angry, sad, perhaps happy for a moment. It's a time when men don't want to be around a gal! It would probably explain my agitation when folks want to talk to me especially after mile 13 during a marathon. After all just because am running slow, it doesn't mean am on a social!!!
However I did manage 1/2 a plate of pasta, 1/2 a salad and an ice cream and to be socialable with Bob (speaker and runner). So just to make sure I would feel extra crabby in the morning, I slept at 01:30 and got up at 05:30. There was no reason to go to bed late but when the brain cells are humming, sometimes a gal has gotta go with the flow.
Back to Ecuder to continue the write up:
Arriving in at 07:30, Forrest Gump, the movie, is being played first thing in the morning. It's a great distraction. Ya don't have to greet anyone, ya just pretend to be focused on the movie until start time, and that is what we did. Alternatively we could have played table tennis in the other room, but am not sure how anyone else would have felt about me, Ecuder, being on the table.
The cold tarmac ground tried to suck me in, but TG stayed strong and we managed to overtake a couple within the first mile, and then a second person after the second hill on the main highway. However these guys were only doing the 4 mile event. It was just going to be TG and me against the tide of traffic alongside us.
After passing a very enthusiastic check point/aid station (CP) at mile 4, the grey clouds began to spit sporadic water drops. After a couple of miles it began to drizzle more consistently. The game changed, the tarmac could no longer take grip and I could glide more easily on the wet surface. TG whooped. The stars were in perfect alignment.
By mile 13, TG was still motoring. The rain had slowed down as we started the second lap and were forced into the gutter as there was no hard shoulder on this first part back to the highway, with some cars passing too close for comfort. Every agitation appeared to give TG more power.
Back on the highway, the rain had stopped and the sun began to shine. Having no more rain water to lick off her face, TG finally began to drink from her water bottle.
Seeing the awesome Steve (volunteer) at CP5 cheered TG up as he pre-emptively filled up her water bottle. This was the first time TG stopped to have a piece of orange and a quick chat. Heading back out with the sun in full beam, TG had now slowed down. She needed some special gas.
The lovely Julie (volunteer) came to run the final stretch with TG and to chat with TG. Not sure that was the special gas TG was looking for! Questions were responded with cryptic answers. Julia decided instead to talk about food, I decided to sing along, and TG decided to pick up rain sodden race numbers that had fallen off runners. For a moment TG stopped to smell the air.....she could smell the fir off the nearby fir trees.
TG picked up one last fallen race number and worked hard up the final hill. Having got to the top TG moved, sensing the end was near. Julia was talking to TG, but TG didn't hear a thing except for an internal clock ticking away. We motored to the end point to just make it under 7 hours.
****New official record: 06:59:39****
Later, back in a Branson hotel bar, some motorists were talking about some strange gal, with a reptile strapped to her back dragging a tyre....
TG: Thank you to the passing runners for their support, to the lady runner who gave me a hug and to the organisation for letting me run and speak at your race. I think I like hills :-)