The best imaginable friends and race supporters. Shelby up from San Diego, Aaron and Kali (the dog), Laura D, and Roger and other Tri-fusioners yelling out splits over a megaphone. Phaedra was busy taking the bike pic above.
I ran my first few miles too quickly. I knew that I should start out at a slower pace, but it just felt WAAAY too slow. Familiar story. So naturally I convinced myself that I could hold that too-quick pace for the entire marathon and heck, why not just go ahead and win the dang thing. Obviously, I paid the price later. Again, familiar story. The majority of the run is a bit of a blur, with the majority of the memories being of running through so many familiar faces in town and then seeing my lovedest ones on the outskirts of town. I also remember Desiree Ficker motoring past me at a pace that seemed appropriate for a 5 km race. My lead bikers were rad (they changed frequently as I got passed by 3 successive women and then repassed one). There are some real perks to racing as a pro!
My original lead cyclist. He didn't last very long . . .
Unfocused eyes. Must have been a rough patch.
In the end I finished 5th. I was really happy. My final time, 10:08, was 34 minutes faster than last year and I secured my first ever pro paycheck. Best of all, it was a really fun day. It sounds corny, but I felt genuinely loved by my friends and family who came out to support me, and I was grateful to be able to smile back at them. Most of the time. Miles 4-8 of the marathon were really tough physically and mentally, but the finish line gave me shivers. I know I could do it more descriptive justice if I weren't writing about it 1.5 months after the fact, but the knowledge that I have a lot of races to catch up on is making me want to wrap this entry up. I do need to thank the special people who not only helped me get to the start line, but made my entire day epic. Aaron, Phaedra, Shelby, Laura, Andy & Bri, Dad, Roger & Jessi, and of course my friends who were out there on the course with me: Conrad, Katie, Troy, Aubre, Sam, Rick, Amanda & Michael, Robin & John, Kelli, Al, Keats, Tim, Vicky & Martin (haha) . . . congrats to all.
Post-race with my little Phaedra. Supporter and organizer extraordinaaire. I only hope that someday I'll begin to be able to repay her for everything. Notice the giant camera lens? She and Jessi Thompson are responsible for the majority of my photos of this event.