I signed up for the Columbus Marathon as a redemption marathon. A full marathon that I would run and hopefully it would heal the wounds that Chicago opened. Hopefully, I would run a strong race, have a good time, and be in love with running again. And guess what?
Great race course + great weather + great travel companions = magic running day!!! So I'll hit the highlights....
- They start the race by firing a cannon. It was terrifying and the woman next to me almost jumped into my arms! Is it a good omen or a bad omen for the race when a stranger jumps into your arms?
-Oh great, I'm in the starting corral with the race "expert". Ugh I had to listen to her go on and on and on with her helpful hints for her fellow runners:
Be careful where you walk for the first few miles, people throw clothes off and it's dangerous. Did you know that the half people run with the full for almost their entire race, but then those silly full marathon people have to keep going for another 13.1? Who would do that? (me lady, thanks for asking). If your bib number is showing you can buy pictures after the race. Did you know this is a timing chip on the back of your bib? I'm the smartest person alive....Are you wondering how fast you will have to run to get away from me?
She was a real pip. I couldn't wait to get away from her.
- Backwards runner girl. Ugh. She was running backwards somewhere around mile 6 or 7. Now, if you're running backwards to break a record or something, that's awesome. She was not. She was running backwards because, "it works different muscles and it's really great and I'm super smart" WHAMMO she wipes out into a guy running the CORRECT direction. Thankful to ditch her as well.
- Lots of running, lots of thinking. Lots of gigantic beautiful houses. Lots of sporadic O-H-I-O cheers (not an OSU fan so I pretended they were all for my alma mater Ohio University). I kept thinking I was starting too fast. But it felt good and I figured, who cares. I'll just keep running and see what happens! Lo and behold I was smiling....
- And then I was laughing. Hysterically! There was some weird guy cheering and saying inspirational things... like Oh my god you're doing this... this is amazing... this is gonna change your life.... Now I'm all for cheering and shenanigans, but this guys was so into it I felt like he was going to break down in tears. And it struck me as HILARIOUS!! I couldn't stop laughing and I'm looking around and no one else finds this humorous and that makes it even funnier because I feel like I'm on crazy pills.
-Directly after weird overly sentimental cheering guy is some DJ spinning tunes and standing a few feet away with there is a guy with tambourine obviously listening to very different music in his head. Again... hilarious.
- More running. Still smiling.
- Mile 19 shot of PBR. Always take the beer.
-Best music ever... two dudes wearing tuxedos playing Chariots of Fire on Keyboards. THIS WAS PERFECT! I looked directly at the red head and told him I loved him. Because oh my god how awesome is that!?!?! And I knew that they had been there all morning doing the same thing! So fantastic.
-So I get to that mile 25 that lasts forever and there are my dear friends screaming like lunatics! One had already finished and the other had come all the way to Columbus to cheer for us. So happy to see friendly faces. Even happier when they told me the race had a swear to god downhill finish.
- I passed about four people in the finish chute which has never happened and again I was SMILING!
I had a blast at this race. My training had felt so crappy that I had no idea how this race would turn out. The stars aligned and gave me the road full marathon I needed. The good news is, I still love running, I loved this race, and I ran my fastest full by 10 minutes. Even better, the evening was filled with good food, delicous local beer, and good friends.
Great race! Go run it: