Race Day -1
The husband came with me this trip since it was only a 5 hour drive. Woohoo! Another driver!! ;) We left home at 6am and made our way to OKC without incident. We went straight to the expo at the Cox Center to pick up my packet, walk through the expo and listen to some speakers (Dick Beardsley and Bill Rogers were who I was looking forward to). We did manage to hear Bill Rogers do his thing as well as last years winners but by the time Dick Beardsley was to speak we were hungry and headed to go get some lunch instead down in Bricktown. We ended up at Zio's Italian Kitchen to continue my carb loading. After that I decided that I indeed did want to get a tech shirt for the race so we walked back to the expo just so I could get it. Unfortunately they only had long sleeved shirts left, but that's okay with me...that way I could spread my race shirts across the seasons.
|Media setup in Thunder Alley (Reno Ave) for the |
Dallas Mavericks & OKC Thunder playoff.
|Inside the expo.|
|Me at bib pickup.|
|Me with Bill Rogers.|
Race Day - 4/28/12
By the time we were on the road, I had realized that I forgot to check directions for a back way into downtown OKC since traffic was sure to be congested trying to get into the parking lots (and yes, it was). Due to traffic we missed the opening ceremonies and the 168 seconds of silence...something I had wanted to be there for but since I still have to run the marathon I'll see it one day. We arrived at the Survivor Tree at 6am on the nose and unfortunately didn't find any other Half Fanatics there (was I the only HF running the actual half marathon...I know there were a bunch doing an early start for the full). So we headed up towards the back of the starting corrals and gear check. After getting my gear bag stashed we waited in the port-a-pot line (I seriously hate those things, but as the saying goes...when you have to go you have to go). It was 6:25am by the time we got our turns and they had already started the wheelchair division. I said a quick goodbye to the old man and got in the what I though was the middle of the last corral...hopefully amongst the slower runners but not quite with the walkers! lol!
|You see those lights in the lower middle of the pic?|
Yeah, that's the starting line. LOL!
|Sucky pic, but the best I could get of |
the guy in uniform and full pack.
|Bricktown by the Johnny Bench Stadium.|
|The first of several groups of firefighters |
in full gear walking the half.
|Here comes the rain!|
|I need a lemon slush!|
|I didn't think this was the worst of the hills!!|
For some reason most of the hills didn't bother me so far and even, surprisingly, running up most of them by this point. Maybe it was because I was just running to run rather than trying to beat a time...but then that's what I've been doing anyway in my past several races! As we came out of the residential district we moved into the International District (at least I think that's what they call it). There is no specific Chinatown in OKC but they use Chinese style gates and markers to indicate an area of high international flavor. As we were in about the middle of this area there was a fender bender, yes...traffic was restricted, in full presence of no less than 4 police officers at that intersection facing the accident! Oh my! ;) At about mile 9 the first marathoner went past with a full escort. After than a slow stream of marathons seemed to pass off and on and seemed to mostly from two Oklahoma running clubs, but I just don't remember seeing any of the female marathoners go by although I when I asked a volunteer course marshal at about mile 10 he said that 1-2 had indeed already passed by. With this race I didn't hit my usual wall at mile 9 although I did slow down just a little.
I'm very happy with the finishing medal, it's not the biggest but there's a lot of meaning behind it. The marathoners have a slightly bigger medal and I believe a blue printed ribbon in comparison to the half marathon and relay medal. I've got to say that the food/fluid set up is one of the best I've been at so far with the drinks (water and sports drinks) being nice and cold, bagels, bananas, Dole fruit cups, Carl's Jr. burgers (fresh), chocolate milk, etc. I was full by the time I got through and I hadn't even hit my own normal post race snacks! Unfortunately there was a delay in the timing reporting so I just headed over to gear pick up where I was to meet the husband. When he didn't show I called and he didn't know where I was because the tracking and the results are linked. I told him to just stay at the church (where they were serving free pancakes and sausage) while I walked to the YMCA just a block away to take a shower. Unfortunately, they were closed...and I think they were just administrative offices anyway...so I'd have to wait and drive back to the base for my shower.
|The first marathoner passing me at around mile 9|
We made it back to the base right about 11am and I got my shower at the gym...ahhhh! We headed over to the BX for a meal at Popeye's which for me turned out to be larger than normal. Typically I have a 3 piece with 1 side, biscuit and a med drink. Today it was 4 pieces, 2 sides, 1 side and 3 large drinks! After that the trip home began. I started out as the driver but just as with previous trips when I try to drive the day of the race I was tired within an hour of the drive starting so we switched off just outside of OKC...yay for having a 2nd driver!! I must have immediately crashed out because it was about 2 hours later that I woke up and we were not too far from the Gray County rest area in Texas where I chatted briefly with a man who ran the full marathon (yay for people wearing the race t-shirt on the trip home!).
|Troy at Cadillac Ranch|
What I liked about this race - I thought it was a really nice course. Excellent support and cheer squads...I saw multiple super heros, multiple canines (the most I've ever seen during a race), and just great energy. Location...only a 5 hour drive from home, yet a great race. Close to a base...cheap lodging.
|You don't see a lot of Irish Wolfhounds around,|
but this one was watching the race with his female human!
Would I do this race again? Resoundingly, YES!! I'd be sure to make it to the opening ceremony and 168 seconds of silence too!