For the first time in TG's short marathon event history, she was pulled out of a race for being too slow at Arrowhead. Having suffered an achilles injury in the event, meant she had time on her hands and so redirected her focus onto various building projects around the neighbourhood. However poor lifting practices whilst carrying sand bags/cement and bricks meant she would suffer
with back injuries 4 times that year and one groin injury despite the building sifu (master builder Andy) telling her "less is better".
The year also introduced a number of unsavoury characters to blight the year, forcing TG's alter ego to become more discerning rather than to trust every Tom, Dick and Harry. And finally for a number of relatives and close friends' parents the death bus came a visiting sucking those close to us into the other world. It was a sad time accepting death is part of life.
The turmoil of change continued with a bad chest infection. However, Dec 2012 ended with being a guest speaker at a Tedx talk to inspire other women to challenge themselves, to find out who they are and what they can achieve.
a) Being accepted by 3 other marathons within a 2 week time period
b) Speaking at schools about reducing trash and providing sustainable business ideas
c) Becoming key note speakers at pre-pasta dinner events to spread a message about reducing trash
d) The inspiration for the "pledge tyre".
In 2013 7 pledge tyres were left in different states around the USA (see Pledges)
The year ended with 12 marathons completed plus a cheeky tyre-less 100 miler, a PB that totally smashed TG's last PBs and completes 40 tyre pulling marathons of varying marathon distances. Here are the 13 listed below.
50K Ultra Marathon
Here we met the awesome Donkey Boy, who felt strangely attached to Red, even when he hit the wall. At the Richmond checkpoint we met the bubbly May who easily hit her target of 40 marathons before 40 and now can't stop running.
This marathon took us through the dog poo streets of London, which are lovelier on the Southern side as more dog owners are poo conscious. This is also the marathon that Red retired on and is now used as a training tyre.
Modesto Marathon (24th March) This was Ecuder's first run, first marathon. He was in training mode. He was also thrust into the limelight at the Modesto Marathon expo.
This is a closed road marathon (couple of thousand participants) that starts in the city, meanders into the vineyard countryside and farm lands before heading back into the city. The organisers and volunteers are enthusiastic and generous, giving as much as they can back to runners. They have a brilliant expo and pre-pasta dinner that is well worth attending, breakfast/coffee in the morning, food at the end, free massages, and more! This organisation is super friendly and is a recommended marathon.
I would meet these wonderful people again in Santa Rosa later on in the year.
Have to thank Ray (the RD); Bob, hope you completed your 52 marathons; and Julia for getting me to the finish line/helping me break 7 hours....a new PB at 6:59:39
Ray is doing a number of themed marathon/ultra events throughout the year....and instead of taking a tyre out on a run, he carries a cross on his runs.
The Garden Spot Village Marathon: is an exceptional out and back road marathon. That is part closed though this was not fully closed otherwise we would not have been able to enjoy Amish horse and carriage trotting by. Rave rave rave. From the start, during and to the finish. A village style expo; pre-pasta dinner with amazing cakes; incredible hospitality from Erica and Scott (organisers); breakfast in the morning and a start tent to hide from the chilly elements; an amazing buffet display at each check point; and a brilliant welcome at the end to cheers and more food. There is no excuse to to be hungry or thirsty at any point in time on this event. Furthermore there were massages; hot tub; showers and a swimming pool that you can enjoy after. And finally there that quaint ole "going back in time" element being right smack bang in the middle of the Amish community....cute Amish kids in traditional outfits waving us on, horses and carriages plodding by, etc etc etc.
Although hilly TG would have beaten the last PB, if she hadn't decided to pick up runners' trash along the way. Also briefly met Bob again and thanks to Laurel for coming over (from Hatfield McCoy marathon).
TG has thoroughly enjoyed all her marathons but this is one she would extremely highly recommended marathon that out spoils any other marathon she has been in. There is prize money for different age categories and there is no time limit.
Richmond Park Marathon (5th May) is TG's local and is a lovely 3 circuit hilly marathon with deer watching, ducks/swans on lakes, views over central London, and having friends offer their local baked delights. It is a public park so be prepared to also be running along side cyclists, walkers.....and the occasional tyre puller :-) TG pulled into another PB with a time of 6:55
As always excellent organisation, with spot prizes, massage tents and lots of friendly faces. Thank you to Gaz and Ray (organisers) for their fantastic support.
Ridgeway 40 (11th May): is a 40 mile trail ultra marathon with a mid-point magically cake checkpoint. It is awesome and one that is hard to leave once you've stopped, salivated over the huge selection of cakes and had a cup of tea....especially when the choice is heading back out into weather that is a mixture of grey skies, wind swirls and spitting rain....or the nice warm tent with siren volunteers enticing you to stay.
TG pulled into another PB with a time of 11:45.
After the Up....Comes the Down
Feeling on top of the world, TG's alter ego decided to get back into building a drain.... and despite being told "less is better" attempted to drag several kilos of rubble around and unsurprisingly put her back out once again. This meant another forced rest and 4-6 weeks out of action. Tyre-less she completed a 100 mile event (see here and here) at the end of June and strained her hamstring. Another forced rest for 6 weeks, though this time the focus was on IT projects, so the only other injury risk would be RSI.
Leading Ladies (18th Aug): is a women's only road marathon that goes mostly downhill. All marathons should go downhill....great for the quads. So despite having done no training from the last 100 miler, TG managed to complete the event in 07:30. Before, during and after, met so many incredibly inspiring women.
Despite hot temperature warnings, this was a surprisingly cool marathon starting in the mountains. Ecuder made many friends and managed to gatecrash some marathoners' tour of Rapid City and its surroundings.
The pre-pasta dinner was held in the exquisite grounds of the De Loach winery and is certainly well worth attending (TG likes food and cake!) with the sun setting, the occasional eagle seen (am sure it was an eagle) and the surround sound of live American Indian flutes being played. Runners are again spoilt at this marathon with fresh fruit, pancake, and cold beer after the marathon. If you're a goodies bag diva - then this one excelled with a bottle of nice wine and a jacket to celebrate their 5th anniversary.
Another excellent US marathon.
Day of the Dead (3) and Day of the Dead (4): is a 4 day back to back marathon series. TG and Ecuder did the last two day and met/hung out with a bunch of fantabulous people (Andy, Charlie, Mark). This marathon has lots of food before, during and after and has no time limit and has a prize for the person bringing up the rear!
This was Reu's first marathon and had to endure goatshead spikes. TG was glad she had to purchase thicker sole sandals for this event (having forgotten to bring hers). For the medal squirrels, these medals are unique skeleton tiles that celebrate the day of the dead.
McDowell Mountain Frenzy 50K: is a trail ultra marathon in the beautiful McDowell Mountain regional park. There are a number of other length events at the same time. There are rocky tracks; single-pass trails; steep up and downhills and throughout exceptional desert scenery. There was food before, during and after the event. Food and drink check points about every 3-6 miles.
Much gratitude to Jamil and Nick (organisers) for their most excellent support and to Paradise Valley High school for giving Rizzy (the pledge tyre) a home.
TG and the tyres are thankful to all the brilliant organisers, volunteers, amazing high school teachers, other runners and to all the new and old friends for their help and support. Thank you to everyone who has listened and heard my message and have pledged to reduce their trash by first reducing their single-use plastic trash, making 2013 a positive year of pledges to change. Now to reign in the time in 2014!