Little Rock Marathon has been on my radar ever since I started this 50 states quest. I heard about the humongous medal and knew that this would be my marathon for Arkansas. Joe Taricani, from The Marathon Show, ran this one last year and did a great job of describing the race. After hearing his show I knew I was in for 2013.
Unfortunately, I have been nursing a Plantar Fasciitis injury since October. I finally went to the doctor in January after the Tinker Bell half. He thought it was a stress fracture, but luckily it ended up being severe PF and an inflamed heel bone. He put me in a boot for a week and gave me a cortisone shot in the heel. This was four weeks before the Little Rock Marathon. I was sure there was no way I could do the race. Thankfully, I have good friends who were going to be at the race and they talked me into going. I did a 5k test run two weeks out and it felt good. We bought our plane tickets and we were going to Little Rock.
With very little training I knew I should switch to the early start that the Little Rock Marathon offers for people who will need more than 6 hours to complete the race. I wasn’t sure how long it would take me since I had done little training since January. I was able to get the early start and attended the mandatory meeting during the expo. The early start begins at 6 am and the regular start begins at 8 am. Early start runners are not allowed to pass the 6 hour pace team until the elites pass the pace team - around mile 14 or 15.
The Flying Saucer bar that had a ton of beer choices and we had a great time!
Saturday was the Expo. After our first visit we met Eddie's friend Richard Peete (who lives fairly close to us) and we all went to lunch at Bosco's Brewery. Great food and lots of laughs. Later at the Expo Eddie and Michael both decided to do the early start with me (Richard was already signed up). I couldn’t believe it. They are both well under sub 4 hour marathoners. Eddie has qualified for Boston and a 6 hour marathon for both of them would be a long day. I was happy for the company, but worried they would be so bored with going so slow.
The course was nice. It took you by all the sights of Little Rock: The Clinton Library, Governor's Mansion, Capitol, and Central High School (an important site in the civil rights/desegregation of schools movement). Yep that’s pretty much it.
The rest of the course was downhill and then a flat out and back section. They even had a 20 mile spectacular! There was a cute little girl who kept making her way around the course. She had a sign that said Official High Five Station. So cute and so energetic all morning!
Around mile 22 I was starting to feel the lack of training and the whining began. Michael and Eddie were both great. They kept saying I was doing great and looked good, even though I knew I didn’t! We had one more big hill and Michael jokingly pushed me up it. We were really having too much fun. I know if they weren’t there I would have stopped running and just walked it in. They were great motivators. I also got my favorite thing on the course, BEER! It was great and Eddie and I did a quick toast.
We got our medals. We about broke our necks from the medals! They are HUGE!! They weigh 2.5 lbs! Love it! Great post race snacks and organization.
Big thanks to Eddie and Michael for making my day so much easier than it would have been. I had an awesome time with you both and hope to do it again sometime!
|Dave couldn't help himself to play around with this picture|
There are two videos for your enjoyment. First is our typical race video (now with GoPro added into the camera mix) and the second one is Eddie's video. Following these videos are Dave's comments. Enjoy!
Our race video
Eddie's race video
2013 Little Rock Marathon from Eddie McCoy on Vimeo.
At the expo they said the course wouldn't close until the start of the race. I needed to go through the start area to get to a parking lot that was not surrounded by the course. I made it most of the way, but then met some unmovable barricades. I 3-point turned it to find they barricaded me in from the other way. A volunteer let me out of that trap but I had to get out of the car and free myself a block later. I was a little late making it to the Perks Tent to meet the gang, but I did ok. After the start I hung out in a Courtyard by Marriott near the start line for a half hour. Bathrooms, fireplace, and free decent coffee.
After that I had to get to my next spot fairly quickly. I came close to getting air in the Ford Focus rental car - kinda like what you see in car chases filmed in San Francisco. Mile 13 was near the State Capitol building and I parked in a reserved Senator's spot. No snacks yet. It seems my route would take me mostly through neighborhoods.
At mile 19 I talked to the cop stationed by me and I asked about getting back into downtown. He said "good luck". Once I saw the crew at 19 I bolted for downtown via the highway. I did find a McDonald's along the way and stopped for an ice cream cone. I took the highway right into downtown and had no trouble getting back to our hotel. I dropped off their disgusting sweat clothes and went to the Perks Tent for about 45 minutes to drink some beer, eat pizza, and listen to the band (thanks Eddie). After that, I walked to the finish and watched Holly, Eddie, and Michael cross the line.