Yesterday was the third running of the Leading Ladies Marathon and Half-marathon, an all-women's race down Spearfish Canyon. I would love to run a full marathon down Spearfish Canyon, but since I have that Y chromosome I don't qualify for this race (sexist pigs :) ). However, my wife and sister-in-law did make their half-marathon debuts yesterday with great results.
I've listened to my wife tell me two things repeatedly for the last several months (yes, I do listen sometimes....as long as football isn't on). The first was that there was no way she would be able to run a full 13.1 miles (this even after she ran 12 in training). The second was that if she did actually make it 13.1 miles, it would take her at least 2 hours and 45 minutes. I told her (repeatedly) that both statements were bull pucky. Lo and behold, I was right, damn it.
The race started at 6:00 AM and the half-marathoners had to be on their bus by 4:45, so my wife and sister-in-law were out the door by 4:15 to drive the 12 miles to Spearfish. I got to sleep in until the extravagant hour of 6:15, a new and not unpleasant experience for me on race day. As a consequence, though, I was left to the task of feeding, dressing and loading up a two year old and a three year old, which is a sort of endurance event in its own right. But, I was ultimately successful and delivered everyone to the finish line at the Spearfish city park with the race clock reading 2:22. This was a totally new and odd experience for me; being the one sitting and waiting instead of being waited for. As it turns out, the experience didn't last long because barely seven minutes after we arrived I saw my wife coming down the homestretch. I pointed her out to my three year old son, who was patiently waiting with a rose in hand. As she neared the finish line and he finally caught site of her, he started yelling "Go, Go, Go!!!" as loud as he could. She hit the line in 2:29 and I believe my words of congratulation were something along the lines of "2:45 my ass". After getting a hug from the designated hugger (yes, the race had a guy at the finish whose sole job was to hug each sweaty finisher.....fun, fun, fun), she got her medal and her rose and we settled back down to wait for her sister to finish. Her goal had been 2:40 and she sprinted the final stretch to finish in 2:38.
My wife is already contemplating her goal for next year. When asked, I said "5 hours would be good first marathon goal." She wasn't amused. She also says that she'll never run a full marathon. I said that once too....six marathons ago.