we (danielle, tyler, andrea and i) traveled up to sugarloaf on saturday afternoon hoping to check in and hit the expo for a while before grabbing dinner. danielle and andrea were running, tyler and i were the lazy cheerleaders:-) tyler had no interest in joining us at the expo so he stayed back in the room (aka bomb shelter. more on that in a bit) while we went to the expo. i know i wasn't running but expos are always kinda fun and i was hoping to get myself a sugarloaf 26.2 sticker cause i think they are cool:-) danielle and andrea picked up their packets and we noticed that there didn't seem to be much of an expo. so danielle asked if they were selling anything and the lady looked at her like she had 2 heads. she told us that they would be selling the "leftovers" from the packet pick up at the finish line the next day. and now that i think about it...i don't think they were. they did tell us that just down the stairs was a "fair". so we ventured down to see what was for sale. um. yea, it was some kind of fair trade show and if we were in the market for recycled chip bag change wallets (i really wish i had taken a picture of it to show you) we were in the right place. Fail #1.
since the "expo" was a major fail we headed back to the room before dinner. i was starving...hello im pregnant, and our reservations weren't for another hour and a half (yeah, we thought we'd be hanging out at the expo for a while). so we made our way back to the bomb shelter. the inn at sugarloaf was all sold out when we booked our room so they put us up in one of their condos which was a nasty, dirty cement building that cost 40 bucks more then the nice rooms at the inn that could sleep just as many people. now i know the mountain is closed and the golf course isn't open yet, so the only people staying at sugarloaf are people running/watching the marathon....im not sure why we didn't get the advertised marathon rate since our friends staying at the inn did. the following are some pictures of our room. ghetto i tell ya. Fail #2
yup...we could sit on BOTH beds at the same time!:-)
tyler loving the fact that he doesn't even fit in the bed:-)
i guess they left this for us to clean the room ourselves?? they certainly didn't clean it for us...
and a ghetto room wouldn't be complete without this lamp...
Our reservations for dinner were at 6:30 and around 6:15 we decided to head down to the restaurant at the inn, in hopes that we could get in early. we ran into melissa and rebecca who were also running the next day and they informed us that there was no chip timing for the race. how a race can advertise as being a boston qualifier but not having any chip timing is beyond me. anyway...off to dinner. we were seated right away and had our orders placed by 6:30...mmm i was so hungry. Yeah, well the ONE chef at the restaurant didn't seem to care about my hunger since we didn't get our food until 7:45ish!! Seriously!? Bad planning. There are very few options for dinner in the area and so most people staying there for the race were also eating there, as well as the local high school kids who happened to have their prom that night as well. Fail #3
like i said, im glad this wasn't my first marathon experience. even though this had nothing to do with the race and the course itself (which i hear is wicked nice) it still has an impact on the whole race experience. chicrunner recently wrote a blog and asked if you feel your "race experience" has an effect on your "actual" race...I think she may be on to something here.
anyway...on to the actual race. danielle and andrea left super early in the morning to catch the bus to the starting line while tyler and i slept in, showered, and watched some law and order before checking out and heading to the race (we later found out the rest of the cheerleaders got up at 5:45am with their runners and went to the start line with them. oops. way to make us look bad!).
When I woke up, these instructions were left for me:
i got a tweet from danielle and she was at the 10k mark well before we had thought she would be so we decided we better get going...:-) danielle had told us she would be passing the base of the mountain around 9:00 but tyler got a call from her around 8:45 that said she had already passed it and not to wait for her there.
the race was all along one road and the road was still open to traffic so we were able to drive by the runners, shake the cowbells and scream out the window:-) tyler and i would drive to different points and wait for everyone we knew to run by and then get back in the car and drive a few miles up in order to see them run by again. we did this several times before heading to the finish line. because this race is held in middle of nowhere, maine there weren't many spectators. i don't remember seeing many houses along the course so the only spectators were those who actually had runners they were cheering on. and once i stopped shaking my cowbell, i realized how quiet the course really was. a few claps here and there but you could hear animals and the stream flowing in the woods behind us. if you didn't have music on the race, im sure it was a peaceful, quiet run for the most part.
it was pretty cool to see the same bunch of runners run by everytime we stopped. there was the girl with the knee high socks on who always waved and smiled to us, the father/son (i assume) combo who called tyler and i the "cowbell couple". haha. he did not like that, the man & woman who asked us if we had beer in our cooler (we did. they did not stop), the lady who asked if we had ice cubes in our cooler (we did. she stopped by and shoved a few pieces in her bra, put a piece in her mouth and mumbled something about it being a "little known secret"), the grunter who grunted his entire 26.2 miles, and then there was gramps. we loved gramps. im not sure what his finishing time was but he was moving right along. my guess is he finished somewhere between 3:40-4:00.
go gramps go!
after several stops along the way we finally decided to head to the finish line. our friend melissa has been working her butt off in hopes of qualifying for boston, she got a trainer and everything! sugarloaf is listed as one of the top 15 fastest courses so she was giving it EVERYTHING she had. we wanted to see her finish. we were driving by mile 24 around 3:30 and i told tyler that we can't see melissa in this mile, she needs to be further ahead in order to finish in 3:40:59. we saw her somewhere in the 24th mile. i knew at that moment that she wasn't going to bq. i can't say enough about how HARD melissa ran the last mile and half. when we saw her come to the finish she was pushing hard, passing people and giving it her all. she ended up finishing 3:48ish i think. she has so much determination and heart that i know she will qualify....and soon.
next up was danielle. the last time we had seen her was around mile 20 i think. she was not feeling well. her knees were bothering her and she looked as if she was going to cry (shouldn't be a shocker to anyone who knows danielle!). she was upset that she had slowed down and that some other runners behind her looked as if they were going to finish ahead of her. i think i said something like "no they aren't GO!!!!!!" danielle ran her last marathon in 4:43, but she was moving right along and was well on pace to set a PR. i had made a pretty little sign for her to hold up at mile 26 and i waited there for her along with tyler. tyler asked if he thought she would want him t run the last .2 miles with her. i said "sure why not" so he went to the car to change into sneakers and came back and waited with me. she was pretty easy to spot all day with her hot pink shorts so i saw her coming up the last little hill. she said my sign was going to make her cry. tyler took off with her and she finished strong at 4:15 and change. YAY danielle.
i must say, i take some pretty sweet race photos!
we waited for all the runners that we knew to finish, watched melissa and rebecca eat some boston kreme donuts (i missed the story but i think it had something to do with qualifying for boston...), and then took off for home. not sure why i enjoy watching people run...but i do and although i call saturday night a complete fail...sunday was a major win! everyone that was running did awesome and they were all smiles at the end. can't say ill look that good post marathon!
jen, rebecca, melissa, danielle and andrea
we had some great laughs (danielle...how 'bout that gondola village?) and brought home some good memories. i cant wait to get back to running. i figure ill learn everyones marathon do's/dont's so that by the time i actually get to mine ill have a perfect race...haha. ok, wishful thinking.
overall an awesome weekend and im so glad i was there to support my friends. i know my annoying cowbells and shrieks out the car window and along the side of the road helped them keep going...im getting to be a pro at this cheering thing! need some support on your next race? lemme know!
OH and how could I forget...danielle gave a little shout out to sam and operation jack...