CHILLIN' IN THE VALLEY
Friday night weather forecasts state a 30% chance of rain, or snow, or both for the marathon. Not a pleasant prospect in the expected temps of high 20's to mid-40's. Guess what I found the next morning.
Look to the right of the road. You don't see these very often
Overnight a fresh inch or two of snow covered the town. Exquisite for viewing, for contemplation, for reflection. For a marathon, not so good. Locals said that even they don't expect this so late in April. Imagine the chilly non-Miami air as I set out at 6:45 a.m. Turning east I immediately meet a wind of maybe 12–15 mph. After the 3-mile city loop I turn west on the highway.
The first of several road signs reads Start slow, then taper. The wind, now behind me, has less bite. Very slight flurries in the next few miles pose no threat. Passing the first open aid station at m6 I again feel the wind's constant assault; I worry about enduring this on the return.
Brrrrrr is the word. I struggle simply to
walk briskly out here on the prairie. Now that the
pack's come through, I find abundant new resources of mud
and premium slush. As I finish this six-mile rectangle
and approach the m18 aid station I feel drowsy; I take 200mg
caffeine. Inside my this polypro gloves, my fingers feel uncomfortably
cold. I use my extra prosthetic socks for insulation.
Most of us agreed with the sign at the top of this hill:
The course remains relatively flat for the final four miles. Making the left turn onto the final eastward stretch, again I go against the wind, against the wind. At least I had no rain. I cross the finish line and enter the YMCA just in time for the pizza fest.
I count this as one of my favorite courses. Just come prepared for anything. Last year's participants endured sweltering temps. I suggest to the director that between this year's 30's and last year's 90ish, he can honestly advertise race day conditions as averaging about 60 degrees. Don'cha love statistics?
Love that unique ceramic finisher's medal.