24 hours ago, I was getting lapped by the leader of the Andy Payne Memorial Marathon. Nice.
Donaldo and I got to Oklahoma City around 6:00 p.m. Friday evening. We checked into the hotel and then made our way to Bricktown for dinner. Downtown OKCity was busy--high school graduations and the Big 12 baseball tournament made parking difficult. We grabbed an average Tex-Mex dinner at Chileno's (not recommended, for reasons discussed below). After dinner, we set out to check out Lake Overholser and Route 66 Park. Two hours later, we finally found it. Don't ask.
In bed by 10 p.m., awake at 4:45 a.m. I threw on my running shoes, and we cruised to IHOP for what is now my traditional pre-marathon breakfast of 3 pankcakes, a scrambled egg, and two piece of bacon.
We arrived at the race site a little after 6:00 a.m., checked in, and waited for the start of the marathon.
There were about 60 folks running this race. Quite a change from the thousands who ran the OK City Memorial Marathon a month earlier. The start reminded me of the Waco 50K. The RD gave us some brief instructions on the course, wished us luck, and then we were off.
The marathon course started and finished at Route 66 Park. After a mile or two in the park, we headed onto the road that circles Lake Overholser. The Lake is about 8 miles around, so we did three laps to complete the 26.2.
Two miles into the race, I was in a portapotty. Not a great way to start. My stomach was rumbling. Two miles later, same thing. Damn you, Chilenos!!!
Anyway... having been completely passed by most of the field, I gave up any delusion of setting a PR. I was by myself and it was raining pretty good. It was actually pretty peaceful. Quiet. One shore of the lake was lined with mobile homes; the other side featured huge, expensive houses. Interesting.
The first lap felt slow, and I never I got into a rhythm (I blame Chilenos), but I was feeling much better as I began lap 2. That is, of course, until mile 11, when the race leader (who would eventually finish in 2 hrs, 25 mins) blew by me like I was standing still. Oh well.
My pace picked up, and I spent the run of the race steadily gaining speed and passing other runners. I finished in 4 hrs, 8 mins. Nothing to brag about, but I was dead-center of the pack--31 out of 60 runners. (I could've been 30, but I didn't feel like sprinting past the guy who finished 2 seconds ahead of me--he was hurting as he crossed the line, and there's nothing worse than getting passed at the finish line like that.)
I got my shiny medal and was about to head to the car when Donaldo suggested we check the leaderboard. Yeah, right. 4 hours plus ain't gonna win me any prizes. Well... surprise, surprise--2nd in my age group and my first marathon award!
All in all, I had a great time. I like small races. (And not just because it gives me a chance to bring home some extra bling.) I like running alone. I enjoy the solitude. It was a very nice marathon, and I will definitely try to come back next year.