Sunday, March 2, 2008

Number 49

Back in 1998 I was reading an article on the Boston Marathon in Runners World and it sounded like a really cool experience. A few pages later I found an advertisement for the Seattle Marathon. I'd never really run over 6 miles before so I came up with a plan and started training. I won't bore you with the details but suffice it to say that I met Mr. Crampy about mile 24 and while very happy to cross the finish line I swore that this would be my first and last Marathon.

Fast forward to yesterday when I finished my 49th marathon or greater distance run. Again I was happy to finish but more happy for Rob "Rattler" Hester for finishing his 13th Marathon or greater in 12 weeks. He's now a Seven (7) Star Marathon Maniac.

Rob and I carpooled to Des Moines Creek Park which is located on the south end of SeaTac Airport. We arrived with about 30min. to spare before the 9:00AM start. Rob checked in and I submitted my DOR entry. Many of the usual suspects attended the event with Laura, Linda, Abi, Monte, Alison, James, Van, Steve Yee, Devon, and Marilou to name a few. The race provided participants with a 10K, 3HR run, and a 6HR run. Greg Crowther a former US 100K Team member ran in the 3 hour division and managed to get in 26.2 miles on trails. Speaking of trails the main loop was four (4) miles of twisty turny up and downs with about 300 feet of elevation gain per loop (see photo above).

Rob and I both had the goal of finishing a marathon distance. My original plan was to stick with him for the duration if I could keep up. After last weeks Pb (lead) leg run I was hoping for a better day. We started after the RD Eric Bone tried to out shout the airplanes as the flew directly overhead from SeaTac Airport takeoff. The trail was marked well with flags in the ground indicating turns and confidence markers in trees verifying your course. Rob and I ended up running in a group with Devon, Alison, and James. James and Alison put on the Orcas Island Fat Ass. I think Rob and I were surprised to be running with these speedy ultra runners but we had a great time talking to James and the first lap seemed to go quickly. In fact the first lap was finished in 31 minutes. As you recall, Rob and I are officially in the Dumb Ass Hall of Fame, so cranking out a fast first lap didn't seem like a bad idea at the time. On our second lap James decided to kick it up a couple of notches and was not to be seen again until he lapped Rob and I on our 5th lap. We stayed with Alison and Devon for the first three laps and then the wear and tear of 12 previous long distance events started to slow Rob's pace. We still ran a reasonable fourth lap and ended up catching up to Abi at the aid station who had just finished her third lap. Abi started out before us and for a while we kept her in sight for about the first mile. We caught sight of her again just before the end of the lap but she claimed the lap a victory over Rob and I. During our fifth lap Rob discussed switching over to the short loops to change things up a bit. I decided to run another long loop and then finish with two short loops. My legs felt great so I bumped up my speed and really enjoyed some of the tight banked turns that the Mt. Bike riders had built up. I managed to pass a few runners on this last long loop and then started on the short loops. The short loops went fast. As I entered onto a section of shared trail on my second short loop I ran into Rob. At first I was thinking that we could run in and finish together then I realized that the short loop turned off and he still had about a mile to go. At least by finishing early I was able to get Rob's picture as he finished his goal of 13 in 12 weeks.

We ended up just down the road from the race in the "Bull Pen Pub" for a couple of celebratory beers. Abi joined us for a brewski after she finished her marathon distance for a total of 3 lifetime marathons. She's on her way to becoming a maniac.

Here's some pictures:
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Next up - Taper runs for Chuckanut 50K

17 comments:

Michmas said...

I want to be a stud like you :) Congrats on #49!

Laura H said...

Nice job out there! That was a decent trail - so soft....the guy in the red shirt at the aid station is Miles Ohlrich. Sounds like you got the lead out, so to speak! I love the photos, as usual!

Sarah said...

Congrats on number 49!

shawn said...

Almost to #50 - not to "chick" you, but, ok I will, I just completed #50 I realized! ;) Can you imagine all the cool people we've met in that time?

Great pictures. Wow, Rob looks almost happy, no, he looks content!

robtherunner said...

I look tense with my shoulders up way too high. Congrats on #49! It figures that Lawson just did #50. She'll do anything to out do you. Thanks for sharing the trails and for the celebratory beer as well.

Meghan said...

I'm envious. Not only do all y'all have like a million races you choose to attend (or not attend) every weekend, but all y'all have like 2 million possible running buddies.

Sigh. It's just me and the silent dog June in the boonies and no local races for like 7 more months till the snow is gone.

Congrats anyways on #49! That's a great accomplishment! And, thanks for sharing the fun so we can all live vicariously!

wendy said...

next weekend's the big 5-0, that's awesome!

How are the eyeballs doing? You got some great shots on the smilebox. =)

scott keeps running said...

49 is almost as impressive as the use of Pb in your post.

Annette said...

You've come a long way from that first marathon, haven't you? What a ride! Keep wowing us with your amazing abilities. :)

olga said...

Man, you're cranking! It pays to live in WA in the midst of maniacs and Maniacs...it's contagious:) While we do those 26-31M runs in solitary, you guys bundle up and call it a race! OK, OK, go drink another beer now:)

runliarun said...

It's funny you did not wait until #50 to look back at #1.

Double duty as running buddy and photographer? Did Rob pay for the beer?

Who is SLB+? said...

Nice job on finishing #49! I sure am some ways behind you there!

That was some wild course, it must have made you dizzy on the way round!

Dori said...

Wow, 49 marathons in 10 years. That's quite an accomplishment. I'm even more impressed that you went from "barely 6 miles" to 100 miles. Congratulations.

Ben, aka BadBen said...

Good going, Eric. I hate pavement, but love Seattle. I've done the old course 3 times before...I need to make a paved exception and try this one sometime.

Happy trails,
Bad Ben

Steve S said...

I love the first self photo. Oh sorry, that was the RDs dog. Yup #49 and catching up to your age fast. Man, you are old. Oh yeah, I think I'm a little older. Keep thinking about doing a second 50K this weekend at Pac Rim for #51. That would put you ahead of Shawn, the Alaska snow bunny.

Alison said...

It was fun running with you for a while. Don't feel bad about not running with James much...he has NEEDS, you know. :) That was just priceless. I'm glad we all got to hear that. See you at Chuckanut.

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