After the hilly and thus difficult marathon that I had run on Saturday in less than five hours in Nashville, I took a plane to Kansas City to get to the small town of Overland Park and run the “Gobbler Grind Marathon.”
Once there, and, as the day had been very long, I ate a light meal and went to bed at 10:30. I had only a few hours to recover a bit: the alarm clock was set at 7 a.m. When I got up, I took my three packets of Immun’Âge® as every morning before a marathon and had a light breakfast, i.e. a pure fruit juice and a cereal bar.
I walked to the start area ten minutes away from my hotel room. Once there, I picked up my runner’s bag and bib and went back to my car where I stayed warm while getting ready. It was really cold that morning. I went back to the start area at 8:20 where I met again Jeff and Rose who ran with me last Sunday in Utica, Michigan.
The gun went off at 8:38. There were quite a few people for this twenty-year-old run. We started together with the half-marathon runners running our first four kilometers in Corporate Woods Park. It was Sunday and all business offices were closed. The Park streets were ours. A cold wind was blowing sometimes, pushing us to get going.
I passed km 5 in thirty minutes. From there on, we took the Indian Creek Bike trail, a wide trail that was enjoyable to run. The course was mostly flat and fast, but sometimes hilly. We ran in the peaceful forest, along the river, far away from the cars. I reached km 10 in 1:02. My pace was good despite the fatigue of the race I ran the day before. We left the forest for a road where two lanes had been reserved for us. We went up a steep hill for about two kilometers, then ran down and then up again before going back to the trail. I reached km 15 in 1:34.
The half-marathon runners left us at km 16 rushing towards the finish line. We turned right on the trail and were now running against a strong cold wind, which was not helping us. We ran through residential neighborhoods, went back to the forest running up and down short hills that hurt the legs. I reached km 20 in 2:06 and the half-marathon in 2:14.
My pace was good. This surprised me as the run the day before had taken quite a toll on me. My back hurt a little when I ran uphill, but I could take it. I kept enjoying the course. We started to meet the leading runners that were heading back to the finish line. At km 25 – which I reached in 2:40 – we turned back. At km 28, I met Jeff and Rose, briefly greeted them and went on. I reached km 30 in 3:16. We ran a two-kilometer long loop on another portion of the Trail, went through a residential area and took the main trail again.
My pace was still steady. I knew I was going to finish in way less than five hours, something I never would have thought possible in the morning. I reached km 35 in 3:54 and sped up as I felt well. I had already caught up with many runners and reached km 40 in 4:32. After a few curves and a last hill, I saw the finish line that I crossed in 4:50 (actual marathon distance in 4:47).
I got my medal and fleece blanket, took my packets of Immun’Âge® and got something to eat.
A runner congratulated me. His name was Steve Fuller. He told me that he was the first runner to run a marathon in each of the fifty States. He had heard of the 100 marathons I am trying to run. My initial 2016 challenge, as you know, consists of running – in one year – one marathon in each of the 50 States plus Washington DC and the Bahamas. However, as I often had the opportunity, during this challenge, to run more marathons, I had decided to run 100 marathons between January 2016 and January 2017.
This course was very enjoyable despite its hilly portions. A very efficient organization and a great ambiance made the day a success despite the cold.
I returned very quickly to my hotel for a hot shower as I had to take a plane to Las Vegas. As of Monday, I will run five marathons in a row: one in Hurricane, Utah, two in Mesquite, Nevada, and two in Bullhead City, Arizona.
See you next Sunday for the big marathon in Philadelphia. Have a good week.