I grabbed my shirt and bib and came back to the car to rest. I taped up my knees while in the car. About 25 minutes before the race I decided that getting in the long line of port-a-potties would be a great idea.
It took almost until race time to get through the long line for bathrooms. They started the marathon late because people were still in line to go pee. I walked back to my car to get my race belt and drink a last drink of water and noticed that my car had a flat. Seriously. I couldn't believe it and said out loud, "Oh NO, my car has a flat tire!" A guy was riding his bike by my car with his daughter and he said, "Do you have a spare?" I said, "I do, but don't have time to change it before the race starts in just 7 minutes." he said, "If you get your spare out, I'll change it quick if you don't mind." Of course I didn't mind. He was an answer to prayers. I seriously wasn't sure if I could change my tire and even though I knew how, the last time I did it was many many years ago with help and it took a long time. He changed it in less than 5 minutes. I thanked him and offered him money and some water. He didn't want anything. I said to his daughter, "Your father is the most awesome Dad ever." I never saw him again.
His name was Michael Nelson from Layfayette, IN and if you ever run into him, thank him from me again and tell him he's awesome.
I got in line for the race and had no idea what I was about to go through. They advertised it as a trail race, two cross country courses connected by a crushed gravel path with some dirt and maybe mud, but it was much more than that. We all started running on the grass for about a 1/2 mile, then the path led us into the woods, a steep hill downward, kinda muddy, then a skinny trail through the woods, over logs, lots of roots, sticks, big rocks, some trash, then the sand. Lots and lots of sand to run through. That was hard. The trail twisted and turned for what seemed like a really long time. About a mile. Then it was back to the grass again for about a mile. Then crushed limestone path, dirt paths and sidewalks, then grass trails that wound over and over for 3 miles, then you returned the way you came, only to have to repeat all of this once more for the 2nd loop. GRRRRRRR.
I was so grateful by this point that I had changed this race from a marathon (4 loops of this craziness) to 2 loops. I'm not sure in that heat if I could have continued for 4 loops. Plus I would have been repeating the state of Indiana for a marathon.
|A picture of the trail in the woods.|
|More of the trail|
|More of the trail.|
|Race number and finishing medal.|
|Front of shirt.|
|Back of shirt|