Sunday, April 06, 2008

a tale of two marathons

the alarm went off at 4:30 a.m. this morning after i'd had only two or three hours of sleep (after celebrating the Kansas victory over North Carolina). an hour later, 12 folks from our usual running group and a few great additions arrived at Kansas City's Boulevard Brewery to embark on a 43 mile relay to Lawrence's Free State Brewery. also in attendance was my mother who for the next nine hours would be supporting my dad with a menu of foods, and Hammer products. here's where the story gets good: dad ran the entire length of the race. by himself.

we'd organized the teams in the hope that some of us could accompany dad on each of the 10 course legs. well, that plan was shot to heck - in a good way - and most of us did multiple legs ensuring that dad was never out on the course alone. big props to the folks running today for such an amazing amount of support.

so that's tale one. dad runs an ultra-marathon for the first time, six minutes under his goal time of 9 hours.

tale two involves yours truly (it's my blog) and starts with my lacking amount of rest and ends with dad busting out an 8:54 ultra after cutting minutes off his final five mile splits, cutting his measured 11-12-minute-mile pace and hitting the last leg hard at 8-9 minutes.

i knew i wanted to finish the race alongside my dad. i also knew i wanted to get in as many legs as possible. all mileage totaled, i ended up running 26 miles today and feel pretty dang good this evening (thank you, Fat Tire). i had no intention of hitting a marathon distance, and even less intention of trying to pace dad in the last leg as he kept knocking up the speed, completely full of juice even after 40 miles of hills, rough gravel and schizophrenic weather.

to say i finished the race exhausted is an understatement matched only by the amount of pride i felt to be able to run more than half of today's race with my dad. this man is a beast in Brooks.

the last leg of this race was one of the best sporting moments in which i've participated. getting my dad to his goal isn't something i take lightly and my nerves were almost as exhausted as my legs as i paced and pushed and in the end, tried to keep up with him to the finish.

moreover, my mom's support of not just my dad, but our entire crew, was astounding. she is the matriarch of our running group and she's so very appreciated.

here are some pictures. i'm sure my dad will post a recap on his blog soon. the day was full, tiring and a real friggin' blast. congrats, dad.

so that's the tale of two marathons. one, my dad's, was a well-trained-for ultra. mine, i'll call accidental, but more enjoyable than any 26 miler i've done to date.

pre-race

the first leg (needed some headlamps)

the scene at each leg station (note Ma Woolard's attire - she was a beacon of sustenance from yards away)

the ultimate soigneur (and Casey waits for scraps)

last leg on the never-ending levee trail
finisher. i don't think he's sweating.

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4 Comments:

OpenID cep1377ks said...

nothing like a spontaneous marathon! what an amazing day...mickey and berta rock!
:-)Caroline

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Paul said...

congrats to you and your pops! what an accomplishment.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Monique said...

Looks like I see one Miss Caroline Pierce in the gang! Congrats to you all. Oh and Andy, welcome back to Barkley!

11:03 AM  
Blogger Olivier Blanchard said...

Check you out!!!

10:36 PM  

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