Here are my random thoughts, in a somewhat chronological order:
Waking up at 4:30 to drive almost two hours to a race isn't that much fun.
Being able to park close up, and walk right in and get your bib because only 40-some people are running is nice.
It was exciting to think about getting my first ever medal for a marathon (or farther!) distance race.
After "Go!" the marathoners were off like a herd of . . . really fast runners. Belia and I were in the back of the pack before we even crossed the start line.
Photo by Takao Suzuki.
I thought the course would closely follow the Deception Pass 50k course. It did not, though many of the trails were the same.
Climbing Goose Rock early on was actually extremely fun and was one of my favorite parts of the race (as it was during DP50k).
I picked up an unopened Hammer gel packet off the trail on the back side of Goose Rock and decided to keep it.
Seeing Ras and Kathy Vaughan volunteering at aid station at Cornet Bay (miles 6.75 and 13.25) was so cool, as I really admire them.
Getting the seven mile loop around Hoypus Hill out of the way in the first half was relieving, as this loop was downright awful during DP50k.
Right in the middle of the trail. Yes, it really was that big!
Finding out we were at 13 miles when we came back through Cornet Bay aid station was amazing. Belia and I both felt like we were running strong and I was glad that I was far ahead of the arbitrary time goal I had set for myself!
This is where I should point out neither Belia nor I were wearing a watch that was tracking our race (we only knew the time). We never knew exactly how far along we were until we asked at aid stations.
While coming back up the back of Goose Rock we hit an intersection that wasn't marked. I was convinced we were off track and made Belia stand there while I attempted to pull up the map on my phone. She said we needed to keep going straight. I didn't think so. She was right. She didn't smack me.
Running across Deception Pass bridge while dodging runners and sightseers was pretty annoying. I wished we had done that section earlier in the race.
My favorite food in the world became Ruffles at the Pass Lake aid station (miles 17 and 18.8). And they had blue Gatorade, which is pretty much the best drink in the world.
Being told we were only at mile 18.8 as we came back through that aid station seemed impossible. How did it feel like we ran approximately a thousand miles since being at mile 13???
But hey, there was going to be medals at the end! Woo hoo!
The two "lollipops" out to two different points were insanely gorgeous.
Photo by Takao Suzuki.
My right butt/hip hurt. Way more than it should have.
Miles 18.8 to the finish felt like they took an eternity.
I began cursing my laziness the day before: I was trying to find single serve bottles of Fireball to bring in my pack. After striking out at three stores I stopped looking. Belia and I agreed we would have enjoyed a little sip at that point.
While heading up the trail I got to meet someone in real life that I follow on instagram!
Chasing Belia out on one of the lollipops.
Double fisting Oreos and Ruffles each time I went through the Bowman Bay aid station (miles 21.25 and 23) was simply the best.
Engaging in a sport where it's okay to shuffle down the trail double fisting junk food is hilarious.
Coming back across the Deception Pass Bridge and encountering even more sightseers was more annoying than the first time. And not because I felt like we necessarily had the right-of-way as runners, it was more that people were just hanging out and we had to dodge them to even get through at all.
We were close to the finish-- and to our medals!-- at the end of the bridge.
After a short push over the trails, it was a quick shuffle through the parking lot to the finish line.
We passed by a fellow runner, one whom we had seen in passing several times on the course, hanging out at her car. She gave us the bad new: they were out of medals.
Belia and I crossed the finish line. They really were out of medals.
Photo by Takao Suzuki.
Someone tried to offer us a mug, until someone else said "no, those say half marathon on them!"
Um, so we didn't get medals or mugs as marathoners?!
They will apparently mail the medal.
I will wear that damn thing when it arrives.
My official time was 6:34:59. Belia's was 6:35:00, which I find far too funny, as we ran together the whole time and the race wasn't chip timed. Only one runner finished behind us.
The post-race burger and beer absolutely hit the spot.
So did the Oreo S'mores blizzard I got on the way home.