No, I didn't sneak in another race without telling anyone (although I would love to run the race I'm referring to, but the reasons why I can't will become obvious here shortly). Yesterday, my wife Shannon ran the Leading Ladies Half-marathon in Spearfish. As you might be able to ascertain from the race's name, it's an all-women race, which means that it features a lot of pink, purple, flowers, chocolate, and hugging....and a fast and scenic downhill course. This race was Shannon's first half-marathon a year ago and she finished that race in 2:30-something (okay, sue me....I can remember specific mile splits from my own Missoula Marathon or the score of the Seahawks game against Arizona five years ago, but not my wife's exact first half time). She lopped a good 14 minutes off that time at the Deadwood-Mickelson Half-marathon this past June.
Going into this year's Leading Ladies, she professed that there was no way she would be able to PR. This would have ramifications later on. You see, I actually believed her assertion that she would run no faster than 2:16. Being a runner myself and knowing all to well that we often hedge our bets (see my Missoula race report), I should have known better. So, Sunday morning I packed the kids up and we arrived at the finish line at right around the 2:07 mark of the race. Perfect timing, I thought. We waited a few minutes, looking intently for her to come down the last straightaway to the finish. As the time was ticking nearer to when we expected to see her, my cell phone buzzed in my pocket. I fished it out and saw "Shannon" on the ID. What the? To be honest, the first stupid thought that went through my brain was "Why in the hell is she running with her cell phone and why is she calling me while she is running?" The truth soon became clear. She had ripped off an 11 minute PR, running a 2:05:12 (there, got that one to the second!) and was looking for us in the finish area. We missed seeing her by a few minutes (idiot!!).
The good news (besides Shannon's awesome run) is that I get a chance to redeem myself in 7 weeks. She is running the Crazy Horse Half in Hill City to complete the "Black Hills Trifecta" (Deadwood, Leading Ladies, Crazy Horse/Mt. Rushmore). I'm going to be sitting at the finish line with the kids at the 1:30 mark, no matter what kind of bull Shannon tries to feed me!