Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Details of Morgan Valley Marathon, July 28 2012


July 28, 2012. Start time: 5:30 a.m. (yikes!) Still dark. Motorcycle cops are right behind us, lighting the way and prodding us on... I just got there barely in time, at 5:25 (yeah, had GI issues at the hotel) and I jump into last place (which I will defend with my honor) as everyone runs off like bats out of Hell. I'm exhausted at Mile 2 (whose idea was this???). 

At 6:00 a faint light peeps over the mountain tops. Everyone in this race except me is a hard-core athlete. They say it is a flat course. It is not. (Just look at the hills in the pic below!) They say it is a fast course. It is not. It is as fast as the person who runs it, which is not me. I become best buddies with a couple of poetic Honey Buckets along the course--not sure why this morning I had to have ---uhhh--- GI issues. At least the HBs have toilet paper. Can't complain. 

 I catch up with someone who thought she was last, and we jog along companionably. For too many miles we are on the bad side of Highway 84, on a road that parallels the highway, a couple of hundred feet up from it (which couple of hundred feet constituted a Hill which we had to climb and will constitute a downhill which will kill our quivering quads). The road is cambered, and that can make for a real pain in the knee! Traffic picks up on the road. It's a bipolar situation: half frantic highway scene, half bucolic repose. Plenty of horses, cows, calves, and roosters or trucks, semis, SUVs, and motorcycles. 

Finally we are back in the shelter of the valley. Not too many humans out this Saturday morning. But it is beautiful. Anywhere you look, there are mountains, fringed by velvety hills in a nice shade of chartreuse. Two trains chug along at the bottom of the valley. A couple of goats stare, not excited. Roadkill: One little kitty, three birds, and a half-dozen unidentified small mammals. Great water stations, very friendly and helpful. I vote mentally for the one at mile 8, I think it features a fairy with gossamer wings manning the Powerade distribution there. 

Cheerful ladies in a roaming executioners' cart offer to end my misery about 6 times between miles 9 and 22. Heroically, I decline. The med guy gives me 2 electrolyte pills. Why not? At mile 23, there is some Coke and some Otter Pops (what the heck is an Otter Pop?? who cares? it's cold!). Mile 23 to 24 is the most awful stretch, an empty village street that's straight and endless. Finally, Mickelsen mile! Almost shaded, twisty and turny, by the babbling brook. You can hear the finish line, but you're running in the opposite direction, until finally the course turns again and you can SEE the FINISH line. And you Finish. You get the medal, you get cold water, and you get a nice bag of ice for the knee!

View from the hotel in downtown Ogden, UT

August 1, 2012
I checked the Utah box on Saturday, July 28, 2012, after 5 hours and 47 minutes or so of slogging through the thin air and battling GI issues. But I did not finish last, just third from last. 

So that is State number 21. In 2012 I did Louisiana (Rock n'Roll New Orleans), Kansas (Land of Oz marathon), and now---drum roll please...

 Utah (Morgan Valley Marathon--Do more, Be more, Run Morgan!) 

That's me looking totally moronic about 100 feet from the Finish Line. Note the  stylish headwear. It was darn HOT out there as soon as the Sun jumped over the mountains. Unfortunately there was no crowd support a-tall to admire my new pink ruffled running skirt. Oh well... Vanitas gets me every time.

So, here are a few pics from my Day After at Antelope Island, near Salt Lake City, UT (just 15 minutes from where I was staying). There were tons of bisons, lots of little ones. Millions of birds too.

Taking my own picture about halfway up the trail on Antelope Island. 
Close Encounter of the Shaggy Kind!

See-through Bison at the Visitor Center. I bought a keychain with a pretty stone on it.

Two thirds of the way up the trail. Nice rocks--placid lake.

Plenty of these cutie-pies around too. This one paused so I could capture him on "film." 
Shirt and medal and postcards. Great colors on this technical V-neck short sleeve Tee. This marathon gave out good stuff. I think I got some GU chomps and a couple of tiny LED flashlights on keychains, among other goodies. Not pictured is a little one-strap backpack that I found very handy.

I just loved Antelope Island! There are a few trails, a beach with showers, a junk food concession,and a campground here. I spent about 2 hours soaking in the Lake. You can just sit there, and the salt water holds you up! Amazing. Theoreme d'Archimede: "Tout corps plonge dans un liquide recoit de la part de celui-ci une force verticale egale au poids du liquide deplace" or something like that.


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