Sunday, November 30, 2014

Route 66 Marathon Report and Video

Here is Holly's Route 66 Marathon Race Report:

I have been looking forward to this race for years. The Route 66 race is known for their very cool medals and an overall great events. Unfortunately, all of my recent racing caught up to me and I came down with what I thought was IT Band syndrome. I didn’t run hardly at all in November and it still was bothering me. As a last ditch effort I went and saw my Orthopedic doctor on Monday before the race. He agreed it was my IT Band and took an Xray to check for arthritis and bone spurs. All good there so he decided to give me a cortisone shot in my knee. Ouch! It hurt and it was very sore for the next few days. I also started PT to help strengthen my hips and glutes so it doesn’t come back. I was nervous at how my knee would hold up during the race, but we had non-refundable airplane tickets and lots of friends going to the race so we decided to go and if I had to pull out of the race I would.

We got to Tulsa Friday night and went right to the Expo to get our bibs and stuff. The shirts were very disappointing. Same shirt for the 5k, half and full marathon and they were short sleeved cotton. They also didn’t have a lot of race merchandise. After the Expo we met up with our friends and went out for dinner at Naples FlatBread.

Saturday was the 5k. Dave, Michael and I just walked it to save my IT band. It was raining slightly and then more heavily towards the end. We were hoping the rain would move out for the rest of the weekend.

After the 5k we did some local Tulsa activities. Not a whole lot to do and then we went to dinner with everyone at Ti Amo. Great place. Back early to the hotel and just rested up for the race in the morning.

Race Day and the weather looked perfect. A little overcast, and a bit warm and windy, but no rain! The start area was very organized and we even managed a last minute bathroom stop before the start. The start was AMAZING. A ton of confetti is shot off for each of the corrals. It was so cool. Helen, Michael, Stan and I were off and running. I was hoping to stay with the group, but wasn’t sure how the knee would feel. We had some great race chasers! Dave and Pam did a great job following us along the course and delivering us Pepsi’s, oranges, chips, etc.

The race course was much hillier than we expected it to be. We also went out a bit fast, but I was so anxious to get past mile 7 where my pain usually starts that, I didn’t slow down. We get to mile 7 and things still feel good. My IT band didn’t bother me the whole race. Unfortunately not running for a month, combined with the super hilly course took its toll. By mile 15, I said to Stan I was done! Not good. We still had a long way to go. We started walking up the hills and running down them. Even then I was still struggling. Everyone was great and stayed with me even though I told them to go on without me.

The course did have plenty of beer options as well. It was nice to have a few sips of beer on the course. Spectators were great and lots of creative signs.

This course also has a detour they call Center of The Universe. It’s an area where you can hear a cool echo. We took the detour. It’s a mile 25.5 and it adds .3 to the course. It’s the worlds shortest Ultra. When you do the detour they give you a beer and a cool coin. This was really fun and I’m glad they offer it. After the detour it’s only a short distance to the finish and I was so happy to cross it with all my friends. I even got a high five from Bart Yasso. I got my 50 State Route 66 Marathon medal and it is huge. Very excited to have this race checked off my list. 26 states done. 24 to go!


Dave's Comments
At first I was looking forward to going to Tulsa. I learned the city was developed during the Art Deco era and thought that would be cool to see. I also thought it would be like the movie Cars with strange Route 66 artifacts. Finally, the band Hanson is from Tulsa so I expected to see a little of their influence. The Art Deco was the highlight. The Route 66 attractions were sparse and Holly was the only one to see a Hanson reference on the course. Our hotel was on the wrong side of town (in more ways than one) placing us on the complete opposite corner of the entertainment district. We did enjoy McNellie's twice for lunch since they had great food and a terrific beer list.
Race Chasing was pretty easy. Road closures were kept to the course only and not any side streets. The one trick was to get on the one street that threaded the needle of the course after the start line. Stan's wife Pam was with me and it was great to have company, an extra navigator, and an extra set of hands. The marathon had an app that overlaid the course map onto an actual city street map and that helped us immensely in making decisions. We watched from the start line, miles 2, 5.5, 9.5, 12, 15, 16, 16.8, 18.5, 20, 22, Center of the Universe, and the finish. 13 times total. We did miss Mile 11 by seconds, but called an audible to make it to Mile 12.
We sustained ourselves on Kind bars from the race expo and gas station coffee.
Here's the video:



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