Whew... It's finally over! I speak of the St George Utah Marathon.
For those of you who have or are presently training to run a marathon, you know the feeling. (Okay, I'll admit that to those extremely few-in-number who train for an Ironman Triathalon, a marathon is the easy part; but for the other 99.998% of the population, a marathon is a pretty arduous task.)
To give a little perspective, a marathon is a run of 26.2 miles. We marathon runners share an individual and collective psychosis to even THINK of running this distance, much less to actually accomplish the same! All I can say is that, there is a great feeling of accomplishment (and relief) to realize that the human body--and mind--actually has the capacity to endure a run of this distance.
VOMIT: Over the past few years since one of my friends--and, in spite of the fact, I still consider him a good friend--got me hooked on running, I've participated in a few marathons. My first one was Myrtle Beach Marathon in South Carolina. At that time, I had to train throughout the cold Utah winter of 2003-2004. By the time I'd finished my 16-week training period, I was in top shape and ready for the race! The night before the marathon, I went to a local restaurant for the traditional pasta dinner to get the necessary pre-race carb-load. Though I ordered spaghetti and meatballs, the chef thought I ordered salmonella. As such, I spent the late hours of that Friday evening, and the early hours before the race, either bent over or sitting on the unhappy toilet in the condo. During the race, I continued with these symptoms and was unable to pass by a single toilet on the route without putting it to necessary use. Finally, after completing the first half of the race, I'd decided that I'd had gotten more than my money's worth and bailed out of the race.
Subsequently, I've run in the Salt Lake Marathon, the Top-of-Utah Marathon (twice), and the St George Marathon (twice). Other than finding out (at mile 22.5 of the 2nd Top-of-Utah Marathon) that I had an odd heart condition, they've all been good experiences... that is until this latest race in St George.
On the eve-of-the-eve of the race, I got food poisoning again! Having already been through this experience once, I was not very excited about the then forthcoming run. The aftermath leaves one quite dehydrated and with a significant depletion of electrolytes. These factors make a difficult run even more intimidating.
KUDOS: To make a short-story long, the organizers of the St George Marathon saved me by hosting a very well organized race, including: very well placed & frequent water stops, numerous toilets along the route, and perfect weather! Okay, so they might not have had anything to do with the weather; nevertheless, the scenery was spectacular, the weather was absolutely perfect, the local crowds were fantastically supportive, and KUDOS to the organizers and community!
If you're thinking of running a marathon, this is likely the most scenic race that you'll find anywhere in the country...but then again, I'll confess my bias, being that I live in Utah! Make sure to register early, as the marathon selection is done on a lottery basis because of its popularity.
Happy running, and see you down the road!