It was everything I had hoped for. When we came down John Ireland Boulevard she was just absolutely beaming. It was so much fun.
I can't say I burned the course but I did warm it up a little. Here's some statistics that will surely cure Jo's insomnia:
- Average Pace: 10:01
- Overall Placement: 4985th out of 8780 runners (56th percentile)
- Gender Placement: 3302 out of 5095 males (64th percentile)
- Age Placement: 159th out of 314 males in the 55 to 59 age group (51st percentile)
- Overall time: 4:22:18
What do I take from these numbers? Simply, I'm a middle of the pack runner, slightly faster than most my age, but no Gebrselassie ... always have been, always will be. And you know what... that's alright.
The foot race was won by Kenyan, Christopher Kipyego with a time of 2:14:53 and Jeanette Faber of Portland Oregan with a time of 2:32:37. The wheelers was won by Saul Mendoza of North Carolina with a time of 2:14:53. Now, these three burned up the course!
There were so many highlights that I don't know where to begin. I'm a list sort-of-guy so when in doubt.. make a list:
See Mike Run's highlights of the Twin Cities Marathon...
- Bumping into my old friend Martial wandering the HHH Metro-dome at 7:00 AM.
- The young person who took my sweat bag and offered to double tie it for me... she was so sweet.
- The conversation with a couple of strangers waiting in line at the toilet.. can guys really become best friends for 7 minutes and then depart with no expectations of ever seeing one another again? Of course, yes... it's liberating ... a friendship with no strings.
- Printing 'Scarlet' on the back of my bib at 6 AM with a borrowed sharpie.
- Meeting Katie.
- Meeting Katie's partner.
- Seeing Katie's Team on the course.
- Starting with my very fast friend, Winston... he's come so far as a runner...
- Watching Winston swim fluidly through the crowds until he simply slipped away from sight.
- Bumping into David and Melissa at the HHH Metro-dome
- Catching up to David and Melissa at mile 16 :>)
- The energy of the start line
- The sweetness of the finish line
- The 20-somethings dressed in robot costumes, dancing with a sign that read "26.2 miles... does not compute"
- The 350,000 cheering-like-mad spectators... wow, what can one say about the spectators? Wow!
- Running along both banks of the Mississippi.
- Melissa saying to me at mile 24 "my mouth hurts from smiling so hard."
- David running ahead, finding a group of teens, leading them in a cheer "Go Mike Go" as I ran by... they cheered wildly.
- The leaves.
- Mile 24... Jon on my mind.
- Mile 25... Mandi on my mind.
- Mile 26... emotions running high... Scarlet on my mind.
- My right knee buckling mid-stride 100 metres from the finish line only to recover in a nano-second.
- Crossing the line in the sand... that sweet, sweet line.
- Holding the hips of the volunteer to brace myself as she placed a medal around my neck... her smile was genuine and beautiful.
- The coffee, oh the coffee, black as night, hot as embers.
- The shower.
- The after burn.
- The nap... the luxurious nap, so deep, so deserving, so satisfying.
The highlight of the race for me was watching Mark Brunsvold and his 14 year old daughter Amanda run the course. Amanda is a young athlete with Retts Syndrome and her dad is ...well... he's just a dad, but such an extraordinary dad. Retts Syndrome is a degenerative neurological disorder that almost exclusively affects girls. Mark pushed his daughter the full 26.2 miles in a specially designed racing chair. Amanda is not able to communicate verbally so she bobs her head when she wants to go faster. On the final stretch her head bobbed furiously urging her poor dad to reach deep into the tank. I was truly humbled in their presence and I don't use that word lightly.
Their time? ... an amazing 3:51:58. If Kipyego and Faber burned up the course, Amanda and Mark incinerated it!
Courage and determination are defined in many different ways.