Sunday, October 05, 2008

Leavenworth Marathon 2008

From our home, we drive through two mountain passes to get to Leavenworth. It is a beautiful trip at any time, but especially this time of year. The trees are just beginning to turn in Snoqualmie Pass, and some are in full color in Blewett Pass. Some were so yellow that they fairly glowed in the sunlight as we drove past on Friday afternoon. We got to Leavenworth with time to check in before heading over to packet pick up. Leavenworth is an old logging town that found itself fading away in the 1960s. The town dreamed up a Bavarian Village theme, produced a festival of some sort for every month of the year, and became one of the places to visit in Washington. This weekend was Oktoberfest, and oh, boy, was it wild. I felt like we dropped in on a college party in progress! Friday night wasn't too bad, but last night was wild. It's been years since I've seen so many drunk people in one spot.


Breakfast at the hotel.


Marathon start (photo by Rich)

One of the great luxuries of this marathon is that it doesn't start till 9:00 am, and it's just minutes from the downtown area. We got to sleep in, meet Steve and Robin for breakfast, go back to our room for a few minutes and still have 45 minutes to wait around before the race. Linda decided to run the marathon on Thursday night, and they were able to leave home at 5:00 am and make it with time to spare too - pretty nice! The Puyallup contingent was Abi, Eric, Steve, Linda and Robin - oh, and Ray too, though I never saw him. Several of the Maniacs were there, and some women I know from one of the co-op's, plus one of our club runner's daughter and her friends. It made for a friendly morning.


Eric (photo by Rich)


Abi (photo by Rich)


Robin and Steve, Jess in front (photo by Rich)


Linda (photo by Rich)

The marathon starts out with a gentle uphill, and continues to climb for two miles. Then it's a fly-back-down, a long gently rolling run to town, a short bit along the main drag and then onto a wonderful wide dirt path for a couple miles. After that another bit along the main drag, about three miles on a back country road to the start/finish and then repeat the loop. There were tons of half marathoners out there, some relay runners and 100 marathoners. Once the half marathoners cleared the course, I found myself pretty lonely out there - I could see someone way in the distance in front of me, and someone behind. I came in 99/100, 3rd in my age group (out of three!) with a time of 5:45. It was rainy and sunny and rainy and sunny and...(you get the idea!).


In town (photo by Rich)


Heading up the hill on loop two (photo by Rich)


Big hill (photo by Rich)

I felt pretty good through the first loop, started to feel tired on the second climb, and pretty whipped by mile 18. I was excited yet discouraged to see Eric waving to me as he came in the last mile and I was crossing in front, discouraged because he was finishing and I still had eight miles to go. I've been running on tired legs and sore hips since the 50K two weeks ago, and felt it all during those last eight miles. I was thrilled to see our car coming my way about three miles from the finish, and gladly handed Eric my pack and one water bottle. I saw him again at the final water stop, and told him to go ahead to the finish.


Tired marathoner.


Last half-mile support! (photo by Rich)

It was pretty cool to find Abi and her dog, Frankie, Steve and Robin running out to meet me for the final half mile. We all ran in together to cheers all around - Linda and Rich were there, and Eric with the camera, and a few others too.


Glad to be done.


Eric got to give me my medal! (photo by Rich)

We headed back to the hotel, where Eric dropped me off to shower. He went into town to meet everyone at the beer garden, and I walked in to join them soon after. I was surprised to run into my cousin and his wife in the line to enter, and enjoyed seeing lots of other racers in town. Eric, Linda, Rich and I hit Starbucks after the beer garden, then later Eric and I met Abi for dinner. We got up early this morning and were able to get home by 10:30, giving us a little down time before the week starts. All in all, another fabulous weekend!

A huge congrats to Robin, who ran the Grande Ass, the Baker Lake 50K and Leavenworth to become a Maniac! Also, I won't spill the beans, but keep your eyes open for some great race reports from Portland from Jenny, Rob and Jessica!

17 comments:

justrun said...

Looks like a great time! Running in the fall is awe-some.

Sarah said...

That looks a beautiful marathon! Congrats on another finish. Those small town runs are fun. : )

Thomas said...

Another weekend, another marathon. Congratulations!

Wes said...

Ha! I was like who's that strange guy Michelle is kissing ;-) Congrats on another marathon finish! on tired legs no less!! You've had quite the year.

Jessica Deline said...

great job on yet another marathon!

Steve S said...

Another wonderful marathon and weekend. Sorry we didn't make it out further to run in with you but we had to wait for you know who to get out of the Porta Potty and then Frankie had to poop in the middle of the road. ;-)

Next stop, DC.

scott keeps running said...

Looks like a beautiful run. We haven't made it to Leavenworth yet but keep hearing from everyone that we should. Congrats on the bronze medal! :)

robtherunner said...

Congratulations! Can I make a request for no kissing pictures when I visit? We all know you love each other :)

Dori said...

Third in your AG? You should get a medal! Oh wait, you did. You should get a trophy!!

Had I run that race, I would have been 101 and that would have made you third to the last in. :-)

Darrell said...

Congrats on another one! This one sure looked pretty. Rich took some nice photos.

Dawn - Pink Chick said...

Looks like a pretty route. Congrats!

Anne said...

Third is third, no matter how it's earned. The fall foliage is just gorgeous, and I love all the support you got right at the very end. You must have felt so loved at that point.

jessica said...

Looks like you all had a great time, and like you said, it's about the journey.

Do you want to run the Ghost Marathon with me, I see we are both signed up! At last, I can keep up with Michelle!

See you soon,

Sarah Elaine said...

The leaves are almost all gone off the trees here now.

Congrats on yet another successful marathon. You continue to inspire me.

Sunshine said...

Congratulations!!
And thanks for the pictures. We have been there in July and August, but never in the fall.

Annette said...

Leavenworth is so pretty. I bet the scenery was great, but I bet the hills were tough! Way to log yet another marathon. You are amazing!

lizzie lee said...

Congrats. I love Leavenworth. Didn't want to run it for 2 major reasons. One I don't think I am ready yet for the distance, and second because the hills...

Thanks for all the tips.. I pretty much can't pass from Number One. My husband will never be a runner!!!! Bummer...

Hugs for you and Eric. You guys are awesome...

Are you planning on Seattle??