b and i decided early in 2017 that we wanted to run the escalante marathon together. i had never wanted to or thought i would ever run a marathon (it always seemed unhealthy--26 miles!?). but when b told me about this one--running through one of my favorite places in the world--i just couldn't say no.
we arrived friday evening and got our race materials and checked into our hotel. we were both worried--b had a cold, and i was scared i hadn't prepared enough and that my feet and shins wouldn't be able to handle it.
and then the next day, we got up early to ride the bus from escalante to the starting line in boulder. we saw the sunrise as we drove over there. it was amazing...and very chilly. we started the race in extra layers that we could peel off as we ran.
the first 13 miles were gorgeous (running along the highway through hogs back, calf creek, the monument itself). it was so cool. i felt great.
then we hit the real hills in the course--from about miles 13-19. and oh my were they killers. we both had to walk through significant portions of that stretch. once we got to the top of all that, though, it was just a gently sloping downhill for 7 miles into the finish line in escalante. i thought the last 7 miles would be easy. but those hills were such a killer, that i still had to walk through a fair bit of those last 7 miles. but the great thing was--i knew i would finish, i knew i would be ok, and i knew i could come in under 5 hours (my only time goal).
one of the coolest experiences of my life was turning the corner from the highway that runs through escalante onto the little side street where the finish line was. i had worried about brian during the whole race--since he had been ahead of me the entire time. i hadn't been able to see him since about the 3rd mile. i wasn't sure if he had been able to finish the race or not (remember, he was quite sick with a cold). but, as i turned the corner towards the finish line, there was brian. standing near the finish line. i was so happy to see him! at that moment, even more than finishing, i was so happy to see him standing there waiting for me.
we accomplished a very cool thing togther!
we wandered around the finish line area for a while--slowly--and had a piece of pumpkin pie. then we crossed the street and went to our motel room. amazingly, our bodies were in really good shape. my main problem was my body was tired and my hips felt tight. when i took off my socks and shoes, i saw that one of my little toes had bled some. but that was all!
b did amazingly well given his cold, and his body was doing remarkably well too. one of his big toes got pretty bruised, and his body was tired, but that was all too!
we ate a little in our room, showered, and lied down for an hour or so. i worried about our bodies getting stiff from lying still for too long--so we got up and slowly made our way around escalante town seeing some shops and sights.
(btw, my time was 4:51, and b's was 4:32.)
the next morning, we went to church and had brunch with some friends who we had met probably five years earlier and turned out to be the race organizers. we had a lovely time with them and then drove back home. somewhere between the finishing of the race and thinking i never wanted to do this again and sunday morning, we had already decided to do this race again in 2018!