Sunday, May 13, 2007

Bling Fling!


Executive Summary: 3:37:47 on a rolling course with some tough hills between mile 9 and mile 17. This was my fourth marathon/ultra in three weeks! I’ve had a bling fest!

Tacoma City Marathon was like running on our home turf. For a large marathon the start of the race lacked a lot of pageantry with a simple chalk line that went about half way across the road. There were no fancy banners, gates, or timing mats to cross. The start however was filled with all of the Half Marathon and Marathon participants. These folks are of course the most wonderful people in the world because they are runners! The pacing duties for the various Boston Qualifying times were taken by some of our well-seasoned Marathon Maniacs. They each held a red sign with their pace time that was mounted to a stick allowing them to hold them above the crowd to be seen. They also wore the pace time on their backs. I bumped into George and Emily before the start and snapped thier picture (see below). I met up with Jenny and gave her a race number belt pocket that we picked up for her at Fleet Feet Running last night. I also took a risk and wore a brand new pair of shoes fresh from the box this morning.

The weather was cool at about 47 degrees however the wind was blowing in areas and it made it feel cooler. My first mile went quickly because of all the banter between runners however the pace was slow as I worked my way out of the masses. We wound our way through town, out to Stadium High School, and then back into town. After looping by the Frank Russell building we dropped down to Ruston Way on the waterfront of Commencement Bay. It was about here that I caught up with a couple of Maniacs Bruce & Gary from Port Orchard WA. We ran together for over 18 miles. From Ruston Way we passed through a short tunnel and the climbing began. Since I’ve run this part of the route through Pt. Defiance the hills didn’t really seem so bad. We kept good momentum and eventually caught up to and passed the early start folks at about mile 13. Michelle, Michelle S., Melissa, Rick, & Jane had all started an hour early. Everyone was still running strong. I gave Michelle a high five on the way by and continued my pursuit of the bling.

At mile 12 volunteers dressed in Blues Brothers outfits manned the water station. At mile 14 the national Hooters Girls team manned the water station. Not many women participating in today’s mothers day race seemed to appreciate the Hooters Girl station. I didn’t hear any complaints from the guys though. (Sorry guys, no pictures).

Once we got out of the park we wound out way up toward Highway 16 near the Narrows Bridge. The previous Narrows Bridge nicknamed “galloping gertie” was the bridge that fell in a windstorm back in the early 1900’s. The bridge is still used as an example of what not to do when you engineer a bridge.

When we made Hwy. 16 we ran on a bike path that runs along side the Hwy. back toward town. At mile 21 I caught up to Ray who had started with the 6:00 AM group. He was taking a walk break when he spotted me and started running in an effort to stay ahead of me. I politely smack talked him calling him road kill and blew by him. Ray was running his qualifying Marathon Maniac race today and in now eligible to join our ranks. Amy G. of the Puyallup Y-Run Club also qualified as a Maniac today!

From mile 21 on the course presented rolling hills up and down until we made the summit of the Tacoma south hill. We then started our desent to the finish line. My last mile was a 7:15. I was feeling strong but could feel slight twinges of potential cramping in my hamstrings. Nothing ever came of it and I feel that I had taken enough S Caps to get me to the finish without loading up on more. I crossed the finish and received a very nice medal and a hug from Lenora Dolphin.

I went to the recovery area and grabbed some food. Collected my drop bag with some warm clothes and did what I do best… shot the breeze for a while. When the official clock read 4:30:00 I started back up the course to meet Michelle and the gang. I usually run back but this time I just walked. I ran into Jane first, then Michelle S, and then after a while Michelle, Melissa, and Rick. I ran in with them and took some pictures.
Rob Hester did an excellent job as the director of the volunteers. Every water station was well staffed and the course marshalls were plentiful and at every major intersection. I must compliment the Tacoma Police as well for their humor and great job controlling traffic at the intersections.

We all headed to Starbucks for some post race coffee and then headed home for showers.

I blew my desired race pace. I had intended to go easy and run a four-hour race. Instead I got caught up with my new buddies and hung with them. It still felt like an easy pace but I’ll admit kicking it a bit in the last three miles. I’ve had an IT band whispering to me since Capitol Peak but it was not a problem at all today. The brand new shoes, the same as I always wear, worked great and my feet are in great shape!

Thank you for taking the time to read my race report. I had a great day. Next week I will be running in the Watershed 12 hour run in Redmond WA. My goal is 100K. Steve Stoyles and I will be running this together. Steve is my pacer at WS 100.











25 comments:

Backofpack said...

Nice race honey! As usual, I loved having you come back for me - it gives me a lift to see you waiting. Congrats on a great finishing time today. You are smokin' these races!

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Great photos! Great report!
It was a great day. Even though I am exhausted! Those hills killed me!
:) Jenny

Darrell said...

Nice job of burning up another course.

olga said...

You are getting Macho Fasto and Strongo! Best of training for 12 hr thingy and to reach your goal!

Phil said...

Another amazing time. Congratulations. Most of us struggle to get through 2 marathons a YEAR and you're banging them out like they're 5 mile recovery runs.

Jack said...

I saw smoke to the west this weekend, but then remembered you were just burning up another race :-) Love the pictures, keep having fun!

Bruce said...

Congrats again on the new bling! All the best with the 12 hr run. Thanks for your encouragement on my blog too.

Thomas said...

You can't just mention the "national Hooters Girls team" and then refuse to post a photo. That's so mean!

Neese said...

LOL re: Hooters girls aid station, now that's just silly ;) A 7:15 last mile is spectacular, way to finish!

wendy said...

Good job, Eric! You had your usual sense of humor at the end, so I know you must have been feeling really good. I mentioned to beau there was room in the Maniacs for him, and he laughed and said when they offer a star for completing 3 10Ks in 3 weeks, he'd think about it. =)

As usual, great report and great pictures. It's been exciting watching your bling collection grow, pretty soon we'll be reading double race reports every weekend!

Have a great week! I can't wait to hear about Watershed!

Donald said...

I'm with Thomas - you must have forgotten one picture.

Congrats on #4 in 4 weeks. You're locked and loaded for WS.

Steve said...

I think you should wear all your bling at the 12 hour run. It would be good training to run with all the weight and you would look really Cool. Another great run on a hilly course. You're looking "Simply Marvelous" for Western.

Journey to a Centum said...

Donald - Just how much trouble do you and Thomas want me to be in with Michelle? Or for that matter all the women who visit my blog? As I said, not too many of the women runners were very excited about the aid station. It was toned down by the cool weather and warm clothes.

If you want pictures I'm sure your wives would love to find a Hooters Girls 2007 calendar in your mailbox. You could probably get a good deal on them now since we are almost to the middle of the year. Good luck with that!

Neese said...

organize the RBF summer picnic and i'm all over that net! :)

way cool re: #29 :)

runliarun said...

Up there in the rainy Pacific Northwest, medals and maniacs are proliferating like muchrooms after the rain.

Thank you for your enthusiastic comments on my race. And yeah, I ran a bit the week after the marathon, twice actually, short stretches, no timing, way easy.

Meghan said...

Bling, bling! Sweet wrap-up to 4 challenging races! Congratulations!

So, here I thought you were going to go and have some recovery time now, but you are running a 12 hour race next weekend. Nevermind then. :)

Happy short recovery!
Meghan
www.running-blogs.com/meghan

robtherunner said...

Thanks for helping out at the expo and I am glad to hear that it was a mostly enjoyable race. We will work on the pageantry at the start. I fully agree that it was lacking greatly and I also agree that it is pretty lame that you did not take pictures at one particular water station.

You could have at least pointed out that I had nothing to do with that one. All though I know the guys would be giving me a high five it was my idea.

Wes said...

So you have a little 12 hour recovery run coming up, eh? LOL. Nice job on the race! I never give in to my desires and run faster than I should ;-) Mr. Conservative! That's me...

SherpaHerb said...

Awesome job, I remember hallucinating through that Ruston Tunnel and surviving that damn steep hill to finish a very fast (for me)half marathon there many years ago. I can't remember the name of it, but it was some international event with some Russian runner's flown in. That's a hell of a way to start the marathon!

aquaasho said...

Coffee and shower after a marathon! Nothing better is there? So comforting.
Big well done! 7:15 final mile is incredible!

Jon said...

You were a speedy one! Great seeing you, Michelle, and the other Maniacs there! It was the Maniacs Reunion Marathon that I missed at Yakima Canyon (Bob Dolphin is holding me to show up next year).

Good luck this Saturday at the 12-hour run! I'll be there in spirit (since my job will prevent me being there physically.) If you're planning on another 12 summits run before WS100, I might join you. I'm focusing on the White River 50 as my only race between now and then. Quality runs over quantity. :-)

Addy said...

Very nice bling there :) I especially like the eugene medal!

You're really so amazing with these weekly huge races. I hope I can be half the runner you are some day!

Sarah said...

Great job! Those medals will look very nice next to your WS buckle. : )

angie's pink fuzzy said...

i'm late, but good job and it seems as tho your ws100 training is going so well!

Tal said...

hey, thanks for a great post. i think this video could be of help as well - http://www.5min.com/Video/The-Bling-Fling-Trick-4718