In 2010 I set out to do my first full marathon, a day that would set into motion a ridiculous series of events that would shape my life forever…..ok, well not that dramatic, but this year 2016 will be my 7th consecutive year coming back to this race. Although it’s a road race, I don’t hold it against it, still a fun day and a good excuse to get out and run 26 miles.
I show off my name on the Loyalty Board showing that I’m 6+ years finished and toeing the line tomorrow for #7.
Nothing like a little pre-race beers at the race Expo! Just kidding they’re non-alcoholic beer flavored recovery drink….pretty yummy actually. Later that night, we enjoyed some dinner at the Ginger Star in Sacramento per tradition as Tai food always treats me well the night before race day.
Geared up in the am walking to the bus that will take us to the start line in Folsom!
Toeing that start line, can you tell which ones are the trail runners? We definitely don’t stick out at all….tutus and trucker hats….we’re ready to party! It is pretty chilly out this morning, but the high is supposed to be around 60, so hopefully it’ll warm up soon!
The race goes well, lots of happy faces early, and lots of determined faces a little bit later. The first several miles go by quickly. Jill and Tom (Right and far right there above) are running together, this will be Tom’s first marathon and longest distance ever! Jeff (second from left) and I fall into a comfortable pace together chatting and enjoying the comfortable silence we share when we run together. Jeff has been a running machine this year, so he drops a bit behind to fall back with Jill and Tom and I’m feeling good so I keep trucking along. The course is always beautiful this time of year, fall colors, chilled air, lots of spectators to cheer along the runners!
At mile 16 there is a woman with a huge sign that says “Free Hugs” so I take advantage and grab a hug from her and then she directs me to her friend behind her dressed in a full devil costume, red face paint and all handing out Fireball shots….what the heck, why not! So I grab a quick shot and am on my way.
Right around mile 20 the wall comes, literally, they’ve built a faux brick wall that we much “crash through” to get to the other side. I’m still feeling good, so I keep trotting along and low-and-behold Jeff comes trotting up behind me, he’s caught up! We run across the bridge over the American River and head towards the city center.
Along the route there are lots of people lining the streets, bands playing, people cheering, and general merriment. At mile 24, the Irish bar is handing out free beers to the runners, so of course I stop in for a bit o hydration! A couple more miles, and we’re home free! Fun times with great friends, seems to be the running theme for 2016 what a way to cap it off friends!