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Ocean Drive Marathon: 2014 Recap - Its a bird. Its a delayed plane.
Webmaster Bill and I traveled with Abby and JoeWee Heinrichs to New Jersey for the Ocean Drive Marathon. We flew into Philadelphia, and made the 1 hour 45 minute drive to Cape May.
We arrived at packet pickup, got our stuff, checked out the course map, checked out the vendors, and headed out for some sight seeing.
Our dear JoeWee is a birder. The Cape May area is home to not one, but 2 locations for the Cape May Bird Observatory
. JoeWee is a kid in a candy store here, as we begin our excursion at the visitor center.
Every thing a birder could possibly want or need is in this little gift shop. Including an entire display of about 50 different bird stuffed animals. Each one makes a different sound when you squeeze it. Every single one. Twice. If there had been any more birds, I might have gotten us kicked out of this place.
After shopping, studying, and researching, it was time to head out to look for bird species for JoeWee to add to his lifetime list. Despite the rain, drizzle, fog, wind and 40 degree temps, the 3 of us are willing participants. We smile and nod and look and listen and agree when JoeWee bursts out "Hey Look! A paisley chested puffin swallow! Those must be its breeding colors."
We toured the area via nature trails, near the ocean, and past inland pools. The sound of the pounding ocean off in the distance, wind and rain in our faces... ok, it was a lot better than it sounds. A closed pier offered a closer view of the paisley chested puffin swallow, so, rebels that we are, we ignored the sign and got a closer look.
Race morning weather wasn't a whole lot better. 50 degrees, rain, and wind. Abby ran the 10 mile, which followed the first 10 miles of the marathon course. The last 8 miles of the marathon were dead into the wind. All you could do was lean in and look down.
At mile 23, we passed a 'Bridge Out' sign. We zig-zagged past staggered concrete barriers and up a huge bridge approach. It was a 2 lane road, only about a foot or 2 of shoulder on each side. When we got to the top, there was a section where all the concrete was gone, except for the steel girders and shoulder. Fortunately, they put some wet plywood down for us that nearly stretched the entire center portion. This offered a wonderful view of the raging current about 30 feet below. This would be a good place to pay attention to footing.
JoeWee finished in 3:27, and somehow ran a 4 minute negative split. (In normal-human-speak, that means he ran the second half 4 minutes faster than the first). Quite impressive, since the second half was considerably tougher with the wind. Abby finished her 10 miler in a very solid 1:35. I finished in 3:42.
We didn't have much time to spend after the race. We grabbed a quick snack, changed out of completely soaked clothes, and headed to Philly for the cheese steak challenge. We got cheese steak sandwiches from both Pat's and Geno's... apparently a world famous rivalry. We concluded that they were both very tasty, and we could not tell them apart.
We spent a little time sight seeing in Philly, saw the Liberty Bell, and the Rocky steps. More rain and wind kept us from doing much else.
We headed to the airport. Our flight was supposed to be at 5:30, back to Milwaukee. Abby and JoeWee were headed to Denver on a 7pm flight. Weather in New York caused our flight to get cancelled, and we couldn't get out until the next morning. Abby and JoeWee were delayed for miscellaneous reasons until 11pm. Yuck and yuck. However, our new travel plans treated us to a 3 hour layover in Detroit. While in Detroit, I learned that it takes me 14 minutes to briskly walk from one end of the terminal to the other. Did I mention I forgot my book at home?
OK... here's the score...
JoeWee and I both have 41 sub 4 marathon states.
I have 79 lifetime marathons.
Icebreaker Indoor Marathon: 2014 Recap - A New Challenge
I've said it before... Icebreaker is my favorite marathon. Its all about the people. You might initially think that running 95 laps on an indoor track would be boring. And if you were doing it alone, it would be. But during a marathon, its fun. You see everyone in the field the entire time, rather than just the people running your same pace. You see the spectators and volunteers, the entire time. You get to know the volunteers, and they get to know you, during the few hours you spend here. It truly is like and 'open house party' where you run laps.
Anyway, this year posed a new challenge. Not the cookies... I love making the RUSA cookies, and have it down to a science. No, this year posed a new challenge. I was a bit nervous, and hoped my experience would simply allow me to prevail.
As many of you know, I am a self proclaimed Diet Coke snob. I will only drink diet pepsi if there are NO other options... like I think it would fall on my list right after drinking water from a dog dish. Race Director Chris Ponteri claims that all diet cola comes from one factory, and they simply put different labels on the container. While I solidly believe this practice is used at the gas station - all gas, no matter what grade or price, comes from the exact same tank, I claim that I could absolutely tell the difference between Diet Coke and diet pepsi.
And so the challenge was made. Chris challenged me to prove I could tell them apart. And somehow, a bet evolved. Training partner Dennis Hanna bet Chris that I could properly identify 2 out of 3 diet colas... Diet Coke, diet pepsi and an 'other'. The other could be any brand of diet cola. The loser would have to listen to the winners iPod for a 1 hour run at the Pettit.
And so after the marathon... side note... Ruth Lunz won the women's Gold Medal challenge this year. I got to run with her a bit during the marathon. This was her first time doing this challenge. She ran smart, stayed steady, and looked great the whole time! Congratulations, Ruth!
OK - after the marathon, Dennis and Chris poured 3 cups of diet cola for me, and set them on a table. I took a look at all three, lined up, and started at one end. I have to identify all 3, and then they will tell me how many I got correct. I pick up the first one, give if if a sniff and said "Other".
Hang on a sec, I said, I need to get a pretzel or something to eat between each, otherwise, I will taste the previous one when I drink the next one. I didn't know it at the time, but Dennis turned to Chris with a look of "I hope you like Frank Sinatra" (one of the staples on the Dennis iPod).
I came back, took a drink of each, and it actually was a bit harder than I thought. I took a few seconds to think, and declared: 1. Other, 2. Diet Coke. 3. diet pepsi.
Got all 3 correct.
And it was marathon number 78 for me.
Louisiana Marathon - Marathon, Half Marathon: 2014 Recap - Best Post Race Party
Webmaster Bill and I traveled to Baton Rouge Louisiana with Abby and JoeWee Heinrichs, and met up with a small flock of Wisconsin friends: Mike Beix, Mike and Michelle Kranz, and Luai Tabbal.
While wandering around the expo, we stumbled upon Cade Remsburg, being interviewed by a reporter. Cade is a recent 50 sub 4
finisher from Iowa. We run into him everywhere. Nice guy, and consistently fast.
The marathon started near the capitol. This was the first race in history where the promised 'plenty of port-a-potties' at the start was actually true.
JoeWee, Luai and I ran the full marathon. Mike, Mike and Abby ran the half. Nice marathon, nice weather, nice day.
The finish line party was the best. We were each given 10 food/beer tickets with our entry. About 20 different food stations were available for a sampler portion of all kinds of different local cuisine. We had jambalaya, gumbo, shrimp something, alligator something... all kinds of tasty treats. I tried just about everything I could get my little paws on. And beer. I think I had a record 2 beers!
After the marathon, we headed to New Orleans for one night. That was a blast. We had the famous Hurricane drinks at Pat O'Brien's. They were dangerously delicious. Whoa. We had dinner, and went to a handful of bars, and got to experience the famous Bourbon Street.
I really enjoyed our night out, with our group, and can cross Bourbon Street off my list. It is definitely something to do once.
Lifetime marathon number 77
Sub 4 marathon state number 40
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