Capital City 2005

15May—

 

My run at the Yakima River Canyon Marathon in April treated me pretty well.  In an effort to determine if it was a fluke (or maybe I really am a “marathoner”) my training buddy Camille Rimmer and I signed up to do the Capital City Marathon which was held last Sunday in Olympia, the hot air capital of the state. I had heard pretty good things about this event and at 6 weeks after the YRCM, the timing seemed about right, but to tell the truth I don’t have a clue how often it’s prudent to race this distance…figured it must be somewhere between two a week and never.

 

It didn’t sound like many folks from Yakima were going over this year but from packet pickup on Saturday through mile 2 or so we managed to run into Dave Bridgeman (Cle Elum), Mary Riehl, Pete Landolt and James Klarich running the marathon and Eva Lust and  Merrilee Hurson running the half. I also saw Bob and Lenore Dolphin but just didn’t get the opportunity to say “Hi”. (Looking at the finishers list, I found a few finishers from Yakima that I still don’t know. Hmmmm.)

 

Sunday morning dawned beautifully if you’re a duck or a bone dry lawn. The runners gathered at the 7:30 start in a small park near the capital building wearing rain gear or garbage sacks or soaked singlets and shorts as the yet another cloud burst let go. The smile of the running Gods prevailed though and almost in synch with the starting cannon the rain quit and pretty much stayed quit for most of the marathon. 60º and clouds with a bit of mist made for pleasant conditions after the pre-start tantrum. The course is pretty flat with some noticeable rises and drops (nothing even vaguely similar to Wymer or Roza in the Canyon) mostly on city streets and rural roads. Traffic was well controlled and where required stopped entirely for the runners. Quite a logistical undertaking given the route. Hundreds of smiling volunteers guarding side streets and police manning the intersections. Frequent aid stations and porta-potties facilitating both input and output.

 

Camille and I held our plan of walking a minute every mile from the start. Walking that first time is really tough feelin’ all fresh and fast and frisky but it has worked well for us. The real benefit for me has been the day after the race or long training run. I know longer feel like I have been in an all-day car wreck. At mile 11 we parted company. We have trained together since October and it’s hard to forge ahead during a race even if our paces on that day might be a bit different. On this particular day she was preferring to run at little slower pace than I so off I went in search of 3:59:59. I stayed with the walk breaks but began to systematically decrease the length until mile 21 where I cut them out and settled into series of sub 9 minute miles. I also began to pass a number of people and amazingly I don’t remember being passed by a single runner from this point on. I had it figured that barring a catastrophic injury my dream/goal of a sub 4 hour marathon might be in the cards. I ran a sub-8 minute final mile breaking the tape in a chip-timed 3:58:04. Ya-Hoo!!!!!!!!!!!. Camille was right behind me in a cool 4:19 and change, her second fastest ever and strong enough for and age group first place. Her award required that she convince the officials that she had not undergone any gender reassignment procedures and was still a girl just like she was born. They initially had her time listed with the men which was pretty respectable even in that group!!

A nice Brooks running shirt designed just for marathon finishers and a free massage completed the deal.