Monday, May 12, 2014

Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon

Springtime has brought me a rush of inspiration about running. The outdoors, other runners, and longer days have me feeling better about my running, work, and life. On Saturday, I drove up to Avon, Minnesota to watch some friends run in the Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon.

I've been talking with my good friend Jon about his training since January, and I wanted to surprise him with an appearance at his race. I arrived at Avon in time to watch Jon run by mile 18 around 9 AM.

During a two mile jog while I waited for Jon, I ran into my buddy, Dan LaPlante. I told him to get moving because he was less than a minute behind the third place runner. I jogged with him a while (if you can call running around 6:30 / mile jogging), said some motivational garbage to him, then ran back to see Jon.

Jon at mile 18
After Jon went by, I called Jon's wife, Linda, to let her know I was headed to mile 20 to catch Jon again before the finish. Jon was still looking strong at 20, and so were several other runners who passed by.

Jon still looking strong at mile 20

Linda showed up to meet me at mile 20, so I asked her if I could jump in her car and ride to the finish. I wanted to run a few more miles, so heading back to my car from St. Joseph seemed like the perfect way to spend fifty minutes of a beautiful day.

The finish area was a gorgeous central Minnesota May morning.  I got several shots of the joy and determination on runners' faces as they ended their 26.2 mile journey from Holdingford to St. Joseph.

Dan LaPlante coming in at 2:52:26 in fourth place

Jon bringing it home after yakking around mile 21

Just short of his BQ

It was tough to watch Jon finish in 3:05:48. Even though it was a 12 minute PR, he missed his BQ by 49 seconds--less than 2 seconds-per-mile.

After Jon hung out in the medical tent for a bit, Linda and I let the mixed emotions of such an amazing race sink in for Jon. It was great to hang out with the two of them for a while, congratulate some of the top finishers, and chill out in the grass on a beautiful morning.

Jon, Linda, and puppy with the St. Joseph water tower
I jogged through a field and back onto the trail. I spent around 6 miles cheering for runners as they neared the finish, and got to see another running friend, Leah Blix.

I ended my day with Jon and Linda at the Maple Grove Granite City where we enjoyed good food, beer and conversation.

Now I'm back with my own training, and hoping to stay healthy as I wind up my base phase of training for the Chicago Marathon. My knees weren't happy with me for falling on my bike Sunday morning, but that's a story for another post.

Happy Running!

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