I met my running group outside of a church a few blocks from the start of the race. This church was having an all you can eat pancake breakfast for spectators. It was cute to see the spouses and children of runners all bundled up and eating a nice hot breakfast before they went on to cheer for their loved one.
This same church was also having a service for runners. Since I was very early I decided it was meant to be so I went inside for the service. I didn't stay the whole time so I could meet my group, but it was a nice start to my morning.
Five of us ran together for almost the entire race. Maureen and I were looking for a good training run, Amber was running her first marathon, Susan was aiming for 4 hours and Chris promised to help Susan meet her goal.
For the first 14 miles I didn't even realize I was running. We were having fun, telling stories, laughing and attempting to keep our pace in check. Around mile 15 or 16 I did something I have never done in a marathon before - I took a vaseline stick from volunteers. I felt the band of sports bra burning my skin and decided I was in dire need of vaseline. Just a few seconds later I look up and there is vaseline! It was a little awkward getting a big glob of it in the right spot, but I didn't feel it burn anymore (and now it's all healed!). It did not feel good in the shower that afternoon though!
I felt really good until mile 23. I didn't hit the wall, my stomach wasn't upset, my legs weren't cramping. I was THIRSTY. Usually towards the end of a marathon I have to force myself to drink more gatorade and water, but not this time. I took 2 cups of water and 1 cup of gatorade at the mile 23 station and had to walk in order to get enough liquids in me. I really wanted to turn around and go grab 4 more cups. I couldn't believe how thirsty I was.
When I started running again (I only walked for a minute or two) the 4 hour pace team was right behind me. I decided to tuck in with them to distract me from my immense thirst. I stuck with them until a little past mile 25. I decided to try to catch up to Chris and Susan. We all ended up finishing between 3:58 and 4:01.
I contemplated walking myself right to the first aid tent to get an IV, I just felt so incredibly dehydrated. However, I ended up chugging a bottle of water and after 15 or 20 minutes I drank a chocolate milk and started to feel a little better. I jumped in my car and headed back to Cincinnati with my medal still around my neck.
From mile 20 to the finish I passed 191 runners in the overall category and was passed by 64. It's funny they can tell you that stat. I'm just happy I passed more than was passed!
Since I didn't run as myself, the division and gender places don't mean much, however I did place 1341 out of 2854 males.
Columbus puts on a very nice race (although the expo this year was a hot mess). I really enjoyed the race again this year with the bonus of NOT breaking my foot afterwards.
Marathon #7 was a success!