February 18th

I ran the Lost Dutchman 1/2 Marathon this morning and thanks to a silly error, I ended up running an additional 2 miles. It was my first time running this race and I was just happy I made it to the start line in time. In the time crunch, didn’t look at the map for the course. I never do, actually. I just situate myself in middle of the pack and follow those in front of me until I see the sweet, sweet finish line. Typically this works without a problem. This morning, not so much.
I felt like a silly sheep after making a turn at mile 3 (following the runners ahead of me.) We ran for a mile before we noticed angry runners were streaming back past us. Quickly it was decided we’d made a wrong turn and more than 100 of us had to turn back to join the rest of the race.
I was running alone, although it was easy enough to hear the grumbles of those around me as we headed back to the pack. It seemed the excitement of the race immediately fell to the pavement, only to be trampled by 200 disappointed feet. I could feel myself being pulled into the cloud of discontent — so instead I forced a smile, turned up my iPod, and said to the woman running nearest to me, “Ha! Now we get a 15 mile run for the price of 13!” She looked at me like I was mad. I smiled wider.
Where the Lost Dutchman lacked in race management (seriously, no food on the course? Are you kidding me?), it won in the scenery department. The Superstition Mountains are stunning and even though I’m an East Valley native, they still catch me in awe. The sun rose over the dark purple mountains, surrounded by bright pink clouds. The sunrise was glorious. The saguaro cacti stretched their arms toward the morning sun. The quail were chirping and scattering about. Even the not-so-native snow birds were there in full plaid effect, cheering from their driveways.
I love the desert. This really is the prettiest race I’ve ever run, hands down.

Now, a wee bit of advice from a weary, exhausted runner. If you are planning on running or walking or being at a marathon or 1/2 marathon, please consider the following:

– It is proper race etiquette to be at the very, very back of the pack if you are walking, or planning to walk any portion of the race. If you situate yourself at the front of the start line and then start walking, be prepared for an angry onslaught of runners to mow you down and curse you. It is just rude!

– If you have to stop for whatever reason during the race and do so immediately, be prepared to be mowed down by the runner behind you. It is common sense to move the margins when you are slowing down. Don’t these people drive? You can’t just stop in the middle of the lane on a highway. Consider a race the same!

– Runners are not more important that walkers. We all pay the same amount to be there. That said, when runners have trained for months to compete and you’ve just plopped out of bed in your sweats and decide to go for a long walk? Be respectful of the difference in commitment and get out of the way. You absolutely do not for any reason need to walk in the middle of the raceway.

– You really shouldn’t have to carry your own water on a race like this. You are doing yourself a disservice to haul that extra weight when they provide water every mile. Now food? I covet your Cliffshots on mornings like today when no food is provided.

My brother was at the finish line to cheer for me. It made me laugh to see him, brutally hungover, yet standing at the finish waving. He gave me a hug and then quickly stepped back.
Cody: “I was going to invite you for lunch, but, uh, you smell.”
Brilliant observation. Funny how 15 miles will do that to you.
Me: “Eh, I’ve got a clean t-shirt in the car. Meet me at Einstein’s? I’ll pay.”
Cody: “Yep.”

Good race. Good lunch.

November 2006 1/2 marathon: 2:28
December 2006 1/2 marathon: 2:16
Today’s 1/2 marathon (taking extra 2 miles into consideration): 2:10
WOO HOO! All those 5 am canal runs are starting to pay off.

Posted in
Arizona, Journal, Triathlon
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30 Responses

  1. Congratulations, Kelli. The fact that you ran a couple of extra miles, even if in error, impresses me!

  2. I am in awe.

  3. Woo hoo– awesome job!!

  4. Awesome job! My aunt ran in the Austin 1/2 Marathon today and she too beat her time. She is a cancer survivor and I am so proud of her!! Truly, anything is possible!

  5. Yay Kelli. Well done you, and may the times fall again. Love pixie who does. not. run.

  6. Wow! Congrats Kelli!

  7. Amazing! Well done!

  8. Congrats! You should be SO proud of yourself. πŸ™‚

    I totally agree with you about the walkers and about those that stop and walk in the middle of the path. When I used to be a runner (so long ago), that always tended to piss me off during the races. But, I also feel that those in charge of the races should make more announcements about walkers starting in the back as well as telling those that stop to move their little tushies over to the side and get the hell out of the way. Especially the volunteers who are standing on the side of the path during the races and observing all of this going on…say something for us!

  9. congratulations! the half marathon is super-impressive, PLUS the extra 2 miles… wow! and the landscape sounds so beautiful.

  10. You are awesome!!

  11. Congrats!! πŸ™‚ You know…there’s a nifty full & half marathon in Duluth every year ( I’m just sayin……

    I love the Superstition Mountains. They captured my imagination in 8th grade when visiting my snowbird grandparents.

  12. Yikes….no food!

    Glad Cody was there.

  13. damn girl!
    way to go!!!!

  14. The walkers always, always annoy me. It seems that no matter how far back I put myself, I’m still passing walkers 3 and 4 miles into the race. Also, I always carry a Gu or two if I’m racing anything over 10 miles – that way I’m covered if they don’t have anything on-course, or I’ve got an extra just in case I need it.

    Lastly, congratulations on a great time (despite the extra mileage)! Those 5 a.m. runs are most certainly paying off πŸ™‚

  15. Great job Kelli! You continue to be inspirationals and amazing. Keep it up and thanks for sharing your victory with us.

  16. OMG, my legs hurt just thinking about this!

  17. Congratulations on the half! And that time–plus two miles–very impressive. πŸ™‚
    I hope to run a half-marathon sometime early next year. I trained for one with my sister, but realized I was pregnant about half way through, so after I have this kiddo I want to start training again. πŸ™‚ Right now I’m sitting on my tush and using the time to knit. *grin*

  18. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…you freaking rock!

  19. Wow, congrats Kelli! You’re inspiring! How far do you run every morning on your canal runs?

  20. You are kicking some serious ass, Donk! I can’t believe you accidentally tacked on two extra miles AND beat your old time. Coincidence? I’m wondering if you snuck it in there for an extra challenge! Ok, just kidding. That would be mad.

    Either way — absolute congrats. πŸ™‚ I’m hoping that my 10K in a month will go well enough that I’ll be ready to train for the Rock N Roll 1/2 in October. Fingers crossed*

  21. Yer awesome!!

  22. Wow, just wow! And with grace to notice the scenery… I’m so impressed!

  23. well done, Kelli! I am in awe. Truly! (especially the fact that you managed a smie and joke after the extra 2 mile mistake.)

  24. DAMN! – this cinches it, you are – without a doubt – my new hero. Not only did you get up at an unGodly hour to run, but you ran two extra miles and were still a sweetie with a positive outlook to boot???? YOU RULE…

    (and when you were treating, I bet Cody let you order the hummus!)

  25. Found your page via google. Congrats on running an extra 2 miles. I ran the 10K that day and I remember when I got myself set up and about 5 minutes to the start they were talking about how the half marathoners went off course like lost sheep. So sorry to hear that happened to you. I hear though you get to go to the race free next year, so at least you get to do a race for free.

    I guess after your race they were able to keep us 10K’ers in correct lineup.

  26. Congrats on your marathon finish! Looks like all that training is paying off beautifully. πŸ™‚

  27. Um, just the fact that you ran continuously for more than 2 hours… that’s amazing to me. I think I might make it to 5 or 7 minutes tops, if I was in some life-threatening movie-chase scenario. BRAVISSIMA!

  28. Congratulations on finishing and dropping 18 minutes!

    I am a 1/2 marathon walker – I have now completed three – but I train just as a runner would. I wog (combination of walking and jogging – walk 3 minutes, run 2) three days a week, and my long walk on Sundays. I always enter myself so I end up in the 2nd to last corral and walk to one side. So the runners can get by.

    The Vancouver 1/2 in May has now added a walkers category and a nordic walkers category for registration.

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