Sunday, May 13, 2012

Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon Pace Report

My wife is tough. I had the privilege of pacing her for her third marathon, and while she didn't quite reach her ambitious goal, she still managed to set a PR. She was so tough that after the race she barfed a couple of times for good measure. While I was getting her a sweatshirt, I came back to find her sitting on the grass. "I just threw up in front of lots of kids and people," she said. Way to go, hun.

It was an almost perfect day for a marathon. The race started out in the low 40s with a slight breeze and sunny skies. Several friends from Minnesota Running Wild were also running the race. Laura and I spotted Don on the way to the bus that took us to the start line so we chatted with him on the way there.

After a couple of warm up miles with Don (he was doing crazy mileage in preparation for a 24 hour race and I though it'd be fun to do some extra miles with him) I looked for Laura at the start line. I got a little nervous when I couldn't find her right away, but I managed to catch up to her right before we started.

The Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon is exceptionally well-run. The race started out in a high school parking lot and traveled to the Lake Wobegon Trail--a flat, scenic, asphalt trail through central Minnesota. Laura and I set off at her goal pace, and we chatted as the initial crowd thinned out. At mile 1, Laura was able to toss her long sleeve to our buddy, Adam. I played pack mule for Laura, carrying a bottle of water and a bottle of Gatorade so she wouldn't have to slow down at aid stations.

Around mile 17 Laura started getting tired and we slowed up a little bit. She was, however, a trooper and ran all the way to the finish. I had a lot of fun running with her and telling her a different story at every mile marker. We finished in a 3 minute PR for Laura and held hands while we crossed the line. It was so romantical I think I saw a volunteer throw up a little bit.

Running hand-in-hand

The happy finishers
I also had a good time hanging out with Minnesota Running Wild friends after the race. We enjoyed beer and pizza in the grass near the finish. Leah had just run a BQ of 3:27, with Don's pacing help, and Gerad had come in second with a 2:36. I'll get to see some of them again on Thursday night when I race the TC 1 Mile in downtown Minneapolis. Then, I've got a little 5k on Saturday. It should be an exciting week of racing!

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