The race that almost wasn’t and maybe still isn’t.
The day before the Little Rock Marathon was way to busy to have to run a marathon the next morning. I had to play trombone at a Showchoir show that morning then had the 7 hour drive to try to make it to the expo before it closed. Which we did! With 45 minute to spare I’d like to add. This race has become super popular the last couple of years due to a very large, colorful finisher medal and a different theme each year. This has created a very large Marathon Maniac Club presence. I walked through a few booths, entered every raffle I could find, talked to a few friends before heading out to dinner. We ate with @MsPrincessLeigh & a few other friends before heading back to the hotel for the night.
We awoke early Sunday morning, had breakfast at the hotel and had a very cold mile walk to the starting corrals. In keeping with the EPIC! Super hero theme Mandi King and I showed our Disney Side.
I knew for about a week leading up to the race that it was going to be a cold one, but who doesn’t like a good run in the low forties right? I found Pittman in Corral F and we watched as the race kicked off for the first corral… Then the 2nd, then the 3rd. A half hour later it was our turn to start. A half hour in the cold rain before a marathon! Once we start though all troubles are cast aside because it’s a marathon! There is much more to focus on. The race course was nice, it was crowded for the first few miles like every race is but after a while it thinned out.
Along the way I made several stops a handful of beer stops along the course, king cake, a few Dunkin Donuts. I made a few new friends along the course, saw my buddy David Knapp that I met at the Blues Marathon Weekend. It was around mile marker 15 when the rain turned to ice. In all of my stopping and going Pittman had run ahead of me and he was still running strong at mile 18 as I was trying to catch up.
I passed by the mile 20 timing mat and caught up to Pittman as we came around to the next water station where we were met with the news that the remainder of the event had been cancelled due to incoming thunderstorms.
They told us buses were ahead to get on and ride back to the finish area. We were told that the finish line was closed and the clocks were turned off. Am I going to stop running at mile 21? Of course not! Pittman and I pushed ahead along with many others. I didn’t see any buses up ahead. We were around mile 23 when the police officers were telling runners to veer off the course and stand in a nearby Wal-Mart until the bus arrived. (I later learned the people that chose to do this were there for several hours) I pushed ahead and passed a friend at mile 25 who told me they were rerouted at Mile 17 and skipped ahead to 24. I ran ahead and pushed through the oncoming ice and rain that was really starting to come down. As I came around to the finish line I was surprised to see the clock running, music playing, the announcer still calling names. I was told all of this would be off and empty. I crossed the finish line and was given the enormous finisher medal, but my biggest question wasn’t answered.
Does this finish time count? Did I actually finish the race? Did anybody actually finish the race? It took a couple of weeks post race for me to finally have what I believe is an answer. I was less than impressed with the way this race turned out, but Marathon State 11 is finished!
Finish – 4:02:16