Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mountain Home Marathon for Kenya - 21 Nov 2009

I signed up for the Mountain Home Marathon in the state of Arkansas, the state that lies just next to Oklahoma. It was a small race. I met Steve and Paula Boone at the pasta dinner again after 3 years! I was even more excited when I learnt that they would be running the Route 66 Marathon the next day after Mountain Home Marathon in Oklahoma! Steve and Paula introduced me to other 50 States Marathon Club members who were also there that weekend. While chatting, I learnt that some of the slower runners would be starting the marathon an hour earlier. I asked if we would still be ranked if we do so. Apparently, we would be except that we won't be eligible for prizes if we qualify. Well, we were mostly slow runners whose aim was to complete within the cut-off so I doubted that anyone of us would come in top (although coming in top 3 in the respective age group was still a possibility in small races). I took note of the time to meet before retiring for a good night rest.

I woke up an hour earlier as planned as I intend to go for the early start so that I had sufficient time to drive back to Tulsa. There were about 10 over runners who opted for an early start. We commenced the race once our watches showed 7:30am. It was a cool morning. The road was chilly in November but bearable. We ran through the neighborhood estate and the town's university compound. Although there were no marshalers at that time of the race, there were sufficient road markings to point us to the right direction.  Soon, the group of us broke up.  The faster one went ahead while the slower one ran behind. I was somewhere in the middle, cruising.  Before I hit the half way mark, the leaders of the marathon overtook me.  I couldn't remember how many of them but they were all zooming past me! Sometimes, you could feel depressing when such scenario happened. At Mile 14, I noticed that I had a hotspot in my left foot. I was worried as I knew if I had any blisters in my foot, I would be in trouble for my nexr race.  I decided to stop at a aid station at Mile 16 to apply some Vaseline. Luckily, there were no blisters, though the skin was reddish. I took an extra ice-cream stick with a generous helping of Vaseline before continuing my race. I finally crossed the finishing line after running for 5 hours 54 minutes 15 seconds! Post race, I went for a massage before refilling myself with bread and soup - something you probably couldn't find in bigger races if you were among the last few runners. Then, it was a 3 hours drive back to Tulsa in Oklahoma for my 2nd marathon in 2 days.  Wish me luck!  :)

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