There was a lot of talk last week, post Boston Marathon, about the Salt Lake City Marathon. Could Salt Lake keep the runners safe? How can the race honor Boston on such short notice? How can the racers honor Boston? Thanks to social media, racers organized to wear green for the race. The race organizers got a large banner that all the racers could sign that was sent to Boston. And the race was as secure as could be. In fact, the race was so awesome, even BuzzFeed had to cover it. Seriously, the article is so worth the read. Even Josh got a picture mention.
The race was amazing, even in the cold and pouring rain. Mark, Addison, and I were decked out in green and ready to race, but wasn't as ready for the weather. However, by the time we stared lining up for the race (5k again for us), the excitement from all the other racers and the general feeling of running this one for Boston took over. The race started for us 5k runners with the opening to the song "Sweet Caroline," a race opener for Boston. We were running by the end of the first verse and, despite the race promising we would all sing along, I was the only one singing. I am sure I cheered up all the old ladies watching the race. I got several thumbs up for knowing the words.
As soon as I was out of earshot of the music, I put in my earphones and began dodging and weaving all the slower racers. Although they told us to line up based on speed, some people didn't get the memo. And because we ran with Addison in tow, us parents with strollers had to start in the back. It took Mark and I almost a mile to pass all the people that SHOULD have been behind us. Of course, Mark took off like a shot from a gun, so by the half mile mark, I couldn't see him anymore. Either he was way ahead of me by then OR the pouring rain, that I was now running right into, blocked my view of him. By the mile mark, the clock said I was 12:25 into the race. This was not a good pace if I wanted to break the 35 minute 5k (I was really hoping for a sub-30 race, but knew that wasn't going to happen), so I picked up the pace. Just then Isabel's song came on and I knew she was there with me, pushing me on. Which worked really well. The clock read 22:31 when I ran past it at the 2 mile mark. And I knew I wasn't going to make it under the 30 minute mark, but I could be close, so I speed up a little heading to the long stretch back to Liberty park. Then, it happened. The last mile was all uphill! Half way up I started feeling that pulsing throughout my lower body that means I am going to quit whether I want to or not. I kept pushing and I talking to Isabel telling her how I want to finish this strong for her and for Boston. Just as I was pleading my hardest, two things happened. First, a great song came on that makes you forget how hard running can be. Then I was passed by a woman that was cheering everyone on she encountered. We ran with each other a bit, cheering and screaming. By the time we entered the park I knew I was going to finish this strong, maybe even before the 35 minute mark as I had hoped. The last turn came and I focused as hard as I could on the finish line and clock running faster and faster. Still, despite all my efforts, I came in at just over 36 minutes. Yes, I took 5 minutes off my first race, but didn't hit the mark I wanted. Still, I wasn't disappointed. I just ran as hard as I could in the pouring rain and cold. I was drenched and cold. And I did it with ALL of my family. How could you not be happy with that?
After getting our pictures taken and collecting all the food we could possibly take, we headed for our car to dry off and get warm. Remember how we ran with Addison? She was cold and started to let us know about it. But after stripping her down to her dry clothes and giving her a banana and bag of pretzels, she cheered right back up to her normal self, excited about her morning adventures. Mark said she had a great time during their run.
When fueled up and dried off, we headed back out to get a massage and watch Josh finish the half. However, our awesome massage therapist took extra time on us because, in her words, we needed a lot of attention, and we missed Josh completely. But while Mark was getting his massage, I was watching all the half runners, completely green with envy. I never thought I would think this, but we were ready for a half. We probably should have ran it, but May 18th is marching up pretty fast.
Despite the weather, the race was awesome. And, by the way, my official race time was 34:55! I forgot to take off the minute whatever off my finish time because, being the last of the pack, we didn't cross the start line as soon as the clocks all started. Mark finished in 29:23. How could you not be happy with that?
The Race in Pictures
Staying warm before heading out to the start line.
Addison decked out in green with her green piggy ribbons.
Waiting for the starting gun.
The crowd filling in to start running
The 5k start and all the races finish line.
My handsome man ready to run.
Running through the streets of SLC.
Running in the rain.
The last uphill until the park finish. It was almost a mile.
Drying off and refueling post race.
My first race bib.
Addison had a great time going from the back seat to the front seat. Which is good. IT took us an hour to warm back up and dry off our jackets. She is such a ham.