Here is Holly's Jackson Hole Marathon report with race video embedded at the end of the post.
The first marathon of the fall marathon season was finally here! It has been a long summer of training and I was ready to race again. Dave will cover the pre and post race portion of the trip in separate blog posts. We met up with three other couples (Stan and Pam, Tom and Molly, and Lee and Laura) in Jackson for the race and a few days of National Park touring.
The full marathon and half marathon started in two separate areas. Tom and Pam were doing the half marathon so they took a shuttle bus to their start line in the middle of nowhere. Dave drove Stan, Lee, Laura and myself to the full start line in downtown Jackson. Stan and I were doing the full while Lee and Laura were going to do the marathon relay. The start was easy with the exception that the announced full service restrooms were not open as advertised leaving only two port o potties for all the racers. We thankfully got in line early! The start was right on the square and the weather was perfect. We were soon off and running.
Jackson Hole is at 6300 feet of elevation and we were all well hydrated. The first mile was uphill and we were all feeling the altitude. I was sucking wind! The other marathons I have done at elevation started with a nice downhill so I never really noticed being winded. After a few miles our breathing did get back under control.
This was a really beautiful course! The beginning miles took us through a beautiful park on a trail by a river. It was stunning. The rest of the course was a combination of road and paved trail. All of it was very pretty with mountains and wide, open spaces all around us. We were really enjoying the run. The elevation was affecting us though. I know that by the time we got to the halfway point and said goodbye to Laura and hello to Lee for the second half my legs were really tired. We decided to take our time and enjoy the day. We put in a few more walk breaks but overall we all were feeling good. By this time Pam and Tom had finished the half and met up with Molly and they joined Dave and Laura to cheer us on to the finish. It was pretty awesome to have such a big cheering section for those last miles. The last water stop even had an official beer stop. Ice cold beer of your choosing, with several styles to choose from, even for us back of the packers!
We had a short uphill climb through grass to get to the finish line and we were all very happy to be done. Great finish area right at our hotel, the Hotel Terra. This hotel worked out great for the race. The finish area had snacks and beer! We all sat around for a bit and had a beer and ate some food before deciding we needed to get some more substantial food. I can’t say enough about how great this race was. The communication before the race was great, the packet pick up was easy, a beautiful course with plenty of water stops all with wonderful volunteers. A great finisher medal and shirt and did I mention the scenery? I would now put this as my most scenic marathon, just ahead of Big Sur.
The one thing I learned this weekend is that my camera's image sensor needs a good cleaning. Aside from that we had a lot of fun pre/post race. Three couples arrived in town during lunchtime. We picked Liberty Burger (part of the Blue Collar Restaurant Group) for lunch. They had some great burger/sandwich builds along with a few local beers on tap. After hitting the "expo" in the Chamber of Commerce office we checked into our rooms at Hotel Terra and met up with Pam and Stan. On the way to dinner towards town we stopped off for beers at Q Roadhouse and Brewing. We had a nice time enjoying their picnic table area that was also home to a farm stand. Dinner was at Pizza Artisan (part of the Blue Collar Group) near town. They gave us a huge private room for the eight of us.
Race Chasing was fairly easy. With about 300 people in the full marathon and a great trail system throughout town the roads were wide open. My only pressure was to get Lee to the relay point on time. Snacks were available when we wanted them and bathrooms were easy to find. As Holly mentioned, the course was beautiful. I took way too many pictures (not unusual).
After the race we needed lunch. We were planning on Snake River Brewing in town, but upon checking their website we found out lunch ended at 3:00. We called an audible and went to Bubba's BBQ solely based on the fact Stan and Pam went there 13 years ago. This Blue Collar Group property was fantastic! After eating we walked around a few shops including Grand Teton Distillery and CocoLove chocolate store. We had a drink at the Silver Dollar Bar (lots of great Jackson history displays) and walked around the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. We watched the Jackson Hole Shootout - a cowboy show held 6 nights a week in town square. Dinner was back in our resort area at the Mangy Moose. I logged a lot of hours in there over the weekend.
Here's the video. It's a fun one.