Webmaster Bill and I, along with training partner Dennis Hanna's son-in-law Joey Heinrichs traveled to Salmon, Idaho for the fifth annual Salmon Marathon.
Joey is going to try to qualify for the Boston Marathon today. He needs a 3:10, but would really like a 3:05. He is also on a quest to run a sub 4 hour marathon in all 50 states. And thanks to him, I am too. Which means I have to re-do a few of my states. Thanks a lot, Joey.
Back in Wisconsin, training partner Dennis is running the first annual Lapham Peak Trail Marathon. For those of you familiar with the Kettle Moraine, the Lapham trails are the hilliest of them all. The course will do 4 of the notorious 'black loops'. I have done 3 of them in one day, I have never done 4. Dennis asked me to help him figure a goal time for the day. Based on piles of running data I have collected over the last few years, I tell Dennis he will easily be over 5 hours.
Because this is marathon number 3 out of 4 in 9 days, I will be very happy to hit something near a 3:30.
The race starts at a very charming one room school house in the tiny town of Tendoy, Idaho. As we kept warm in the school room on the cool morning, we read letters that the school kids have written to us. This warmed my inside.
As we gather for the start, a local photographer wanders into the field, warning us that he will be taking a picture of the start, he'll be right in front of us, and begs us not to run him over. He tells us that the last 2 years, he's been knocked over both times at the start. We point out that he's wearing dark colors that blend in with.. well.. everything, and he jokingly asks me, in my bright yellow-green shirt, to stand guard for him.
Joey started a little more towards the front than me. Right after the start, I saw our photographer, frustratingly announcing "That's 3 for 3!" He had been knocked down again. I guess he is a slow learner. How many times do you need to try the same thing before you stop being surprised by the same result? And guess who knocked him over? I'll give you a hint... Its starts with J and rhymes with oey.
As we run through the scenic valley with mountains on either side, we are treated to wonderful views of the ranches along the way. Off in the distance, a collaboration of dozens of mooing cows creates a really cool sound for us.
Dennis' marathon starts 15 minutes after ours. So, nearing the 2 mile mark, I look at my watch and think of Dennis starting his incredibly rugged journey. I on the other hand, have an overall downhill point to point course, with a couple significant hills.
As the miles go by, I continue to look at my watch, and figure out about when Dennis will finish his first loop. And then his second loop.
Webmaster Bill was at mile 5, and at mile 12. He was able to tell me that Joey was doing well. Our course has a short out and back section, and I saw Joey when he was at mile 16, and I was about 15. He looked strong and seemed to be feeling good.
As I got a few miles from the finish, I looked at my watch and saw 3:05. By this time, Webmaster Bill is at the finish, so I won't know if Joey met his goal, until I get there. I look at my watch again at 3:10, knowing that is Joey's cut-off time for Boston, and I really hope he's relaxing at the finish.
As I got to the finish, I saw Bill first and yelled "Did he do it?" Bill answered yes, and then I passed Joey, on the sidelines, cheering for incoming runners. I high-fived him as I entered the finish chute.
Joey had finished in 3:06, his very first BQ. I also achieved my goal with a 3:28. Both of us earned first place in our divisions.
During our awards ceremony, I got a text from Dennis. He had finished in 4:59, which I found incredibly impressive. His course had over 5,000 ft of elevation gain.
When I did the Grand Teton Marathon in Wyoming last week in over 6 hours, that course had 4,975 feet of elevation gain. Dennis also got first in his division. His first first ever! I wish I could have been there!
One little snafu... the date on his award is incorrect. It should read Sep 8, 2012, rather than the 28th.
The Salmon Marathon was a great little marathon. Very scenic, well organized, and volunteers and locals were all very friendly. The letters from the school kids were my favorite thing. The mooing cows were pretty darn cool too.
For those keeping score, and thanks to Joey, I have to add another stat:
marathons or longer = 68
marathons = 50
states with a marathon or longer = 25
states with a sub 4 hour marathon = 19
Joey's states with a sub 4 hour marathon = 19
More pictures can be found here