Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pere Marquette Run

I had absolutely no business doing this race. Not that the thought would stop me.  I did not get in on the initial registration, limited to 650 people, since it sold out in under seven hours.  I was hoping the girl with the broken butt would give me hers.  No dice.  I did not utilize the 'wait list', which I should have.  My good friend Mary asked friends and scored an entry for me.  Unfortunately, it was after I did this. The girl with the entry contacted me and said her friend wanted it.  I was alright with that, since I really needed my ankle to heal.  On the last day of transfers, Nov. 30, the girl with the entry contacted me and said I could have it.  With minimal training, ankle still hurting, and never seen the venue, I grabbed the entry.  I knew it would be fun and painful.  Sign me up.

Rock Racing's Chuck and Robin 

Pre-race with the incredible Abby

 I was chauffeured by Mary Piper, with her daughter Abby, to Pere Marquette Lodge for packet pickup.  I received my race number, #522, and then received a vest.  I have so many t-shirts and was stoked to get a glow in the dark safety vest. That vest will keep me alive on the streets of MO.  Thanks Team Godzilla  .

Can you see me now??

I was able to visit with a few friends before the race.  I visited with SuperKate a little too long and missed my wave.  Oh well, I got in the first available, wave 24 of 25.  Don't feel bad for me.  Kate, I enjoyed our chat and don't blame you for anything.  But, next time you want to run with me, just say so.  I hoped I dressed properly for the 26 degree weather.  If I didn't, I was going to pay for it, in one way or another.

SuperKate always smiling ( Patrick Albert)
I had heard about the HILLS.  Not one person described them accurately. You have to experience them for yourself.  I was given a great piece of advice, " pace yourself up the hill, and bomb down it".  I did not get to use this advice since I could not breathe when I got to the top of the hill, which made it very hard to bomb down it.  There were some ridiculous rock stairs to climb, and just when you thought you were at the top of a hill, you realized it wasn't over yet.

Some of the stairs  ( Patrick Albert) 

I had my ankle wrapped and felt pretty confident that I would not re-injury it today.  However, that did not stop me from compensating.  I taxed the right side of my body heavily while dragging the left side through the trail. It was totally worth it. I can't come up with anything to compare this trail to, except when Jim and I bushwacked our way through Chubb  during the '10 Castlewood  8 race.  PM was as beautiful as it was ridiculously hard.   What's funny is.... I like riding hills, running them, not so much.

Says it all  ( Patrick Albert photog)

A funny thing happened at mile 5.  The volunteers had a huge box of chocolate candy, M & M's and my kryptonite.  I reached for the Reeses, popped it in my mouth, started to chew, it's semi-frozen.   I had just passed the last water hand-up and wouldn't get this chocolate down without water.  I bent over and spit it out, apparently a bit violently.  The guy behind me thinks I am throwing up and wants to help.?.  He grabs me around my middle, I freak, and he almost got punched. No worries though.  He wont ever do that again, hee hee.

FAF Laura and Abby with hardware

The amazing Emily

New category because of him.  80 and over

My hero, 71 and still going
I finally crossed the finish line at 1:36:50. Which may be off a bit since I missed my wave.?.   The picture below almost captured the pain.  I was able to breathe normally after a minute or two.  Wow, what a tough trail.  I will be back in 2012.  Who's with me?

Trying to breathe ( Mary Piper)


  1. Awesome work there! Looks like a challenging course - and a great time of year to run it. You really have to keep an eye on those running events because the do sell out fast... Too bad the mtb races are starting to get like that too.

  2. I got up at 12:30 a.m. to make sure I could register. :) There's just no way to really tell people about the course til they're there. I've hiked that park my whole life and was still taken aback by how hard it was last year.

    Take 2 minutes off your time to account for the time between your wave and your actual start. You kicked some butt out there. I was really impressed, especially with how recently you started running again and hurting your ankle. You rock!

  3. Matt, it was ridiculous. Events fill up very fast around here. @ Kate, thanks for the props and the clarification on timing. I would not be able to describe those hills either. It's definitely a must see, either hiking or running.