Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Firecracker Triple

I didn't really know what to expect from the Firecracker Triple.  Since I had never even completed a double, I thought it would be difficult.  But it really wasn't that hard!  I wish I'd tried a double sooner.  And of course it was a ton of fun!  I've sworn off road marathons for awhile, but I'll come out for a small, maniac-oriented race any time!

Stars and Stripe Marathon - Saturday July 2, 2011

The first two marathons of the triple were organized by 10-Star Maniac extraordinaire Steve Walters.   The Foot Traffic Flat Marathon is always held on Independence Day and with the Fourth falling on a Monday it was the perfect opportunity for a triple.  The Stars and Stripes Marathon was held in Tigard on a 2.6 mile loop.  I ran the whole thing with fellow Manias Teri (a local running friend) and Rob, who I had met at the Forest Park 50k in May.  My goal was to go as slow as possible and do a lot of walking.  I set my Garmin to notify every half mile and then we'd walk for a tenth of a mile.  It worked out perfectly and we finished a little over five and a half hours.  A new personal worst for me! 

Freedom Marathon - July 3, 2011

Day Two started in Gresham and was a double out and back on the Springwater Trail.  Again I ran with Rob and Teri, but also had the good fortune to spend some time with the illustrious Larry Macon.  For this race, I kept the Garmin on a a half mile notify, but we walked for approximately .15 mile each time.  Fortunately,  the cloud cover stayed all morning so it never got too hot and sunny.

Eventually, Teri and I were on our own but were soon joined by our friend Jodi who caught up to us after taking the regular start 30 minutes later. 

We took our time, had a blast and I finished with a new personal worst of just shy of 6 hours.  These slow leisurely marathons with friends were starting to grow on me!

Foot Traffic Flat - July 4, 2011

Did I mention that Marc ran the triple too?  He's already done a stand-alone double, triple and quadzilla so didn't need to do this for stars or street cred.  And since he's not a runner, he wouldn't just run a triple to run it.  But a few months ago I asked him to join me, and because I asked, he did.

Look who we found at the start

Teri "only" ran the double so I was on my own today.  My legs were feeling a little creaky and I decided that a slow shuffle was more comfortable than switching back and forth between a run/walk.  I started out with some fellow triplers from Texas who I recognized from the first two days.  I stuck with them for 6 or 7 miles but then lost them after a potty break.  I soon caught up with Marc who was not having a good day.  We tried to run together for a little bit, but our paces didn't match up and I eventually left him behind.

I ran quite a ways by myself.  My goal was to keep up the running for the first half, but around mile 11 I started to poop out and I switched back to run/walk.  Not long after this, Rob caught up to me and we ran a couple of miles together before he decided to speed up to catch our mutual friend and Maniac Monte.  Not long afterward, I got my second wind and was able to pick up the pace.  Surprisingly I actually caught up to Rob and Monte.  I walked with them a bit but then decided to carry on ahead and I finished strong, despite the impending midday heat

My personal worst streak was over and I finished in 5:10, the fastest of the three.

Fortunately, around the half marathon point, Marc met up with another maniac (and 50-stater!) from New Jersey.  Their paces and east coast attitude matched up perfectly and Marc had a great 2nd half.  Thank goodness or I would have not heard the end of it the rest of the day. ;-)

There were a few half marathon couple triplers, but I believe we were the only couple to finish the marathon triple.

All in all I loved doing the triple.  It really came down to the people.  I recently responded to an online question about what makes a great race.  My response:  the people!  Sure there are other factors, but for me, completing something like this is about the friendships and shared experience.  Would I do it again?  I'd certainly do a double again.  A triple takes a lot of time.  You basically have to spend the whole three days recovering and getting ready for the next race.  But I could likely be convinced.


Joe said...

Good write up and great pix, Sarah. You really should win some "running couple" award!!

Thanks for the technical advice on how you handled the run walk...very helpful!!

Now to this weekend's race you go!!

Olga said...

Sarah, that is some awesome way to be back in business, and enjoy it, and hang out with folks likeminded. Huge congratulations!