I was not prepared to run a marathon today after spending most of last night (2pm to midnight) helping a stranded biker we found on I-90. My best friend Roger and my wife and I were coming home from a CMA rally in Moses Lake when we found "Mad Mike" on the side of the road between George and Vantage. He is an elderly guy and had been stranded there for hours in the hot afternoon sun. There was a fair amount of traffic and I'm still amazed that nobody else had stopped to help him. We picked him up and took him and his battery into Vantage to get his battery charged up and buy him some lunch only to find out his battery was completely shot. Mad Mike also seemd a little "shot" but we were not sure if that was his typical self or not. He wouldn't order anything to eat and kept throwing up every time he tried to drink some water while we were calling around to find a new battery. We found him a battery in Ellensburg and decided to get him to the hospital when he kept throwing up on the way to "E-burg" as they call it in Vantage. While Mad Mike was in the hospital being treated for heat stroke and pneumonia we got his new battery and went back to George to fix his bike and bring it back to the hospital in E-burg for him. Of course, it was getting dark by this time and his headlight was burned out so we also had to fix that before I could ride it. It was a very shaky 46 miles getting his old '86 Sportster with bad shocks, and no turn signals or brake lights into E-burg (we didn't know those were out until it was too late to mess with them).
Me revisiting the origins of my road name "rattletrap" with Mad Mike's bike. Funny how both his bike and I look so much better from a distance :)
Me and Roger with Mad Mike in his hospital room.
It was after midnight before I finally put my head on a pillow and it seemed like only a few minutes had gone by when the alarm went off. We were still about 45 minutes from the start line so I was up at 4am as planned to manage some very unpleasant and unplanned bathroom business and get out the door with enough time to find some pepto bismol on the way to the race. The race was very well organized for such a small event. I had no problems getting my race packet with my number and two drop bags, one for stuff left at the start and another for flashlights and any other shed gear after exiting the tunnel. There was also a very cool tech shirt in my favorite color, "biker black"! How cool is that? They even had giant inflatable start and finish arches and a PA system at each end with lots of great music to get us pumped up! I did not expect anything that official looking for a marathon capped at 300. I started right up front and ran with Walter and Jake through the tunnel where I instantly lost my GPS signal. They said they were aiming for 3 hours so I figured they would keep me on pace for the first couple miles until we got out in the daylight. There were 4 other runners ahead of us who must have went out in the low 6s. I stayed with Walter and Jake until the 6 mile mark when I got a false 7:30 reading on the garmin, panicked and picked up my pace thinking we had all slowed down. My next reading was 6:30 after I left them a ways behind me so I slowed back down a bit and continued to run by myself until Jake caught up and passed me at the self serve water station at mile 10, they had 8 aid stations with 5 of them being sef-serve. Once Jake was back out in front of me I tried to keep him in sight as we got back down in the 6's. We both passed the number 4 guy in mile 16 and then I passed Jake again in mile 17, I still don't believe I was running that fast(5:38) and was back by myself until I turned onto the Snoqualmie Valley Trail at mile 21. It was there that both Walter and Jake caught up with me and told me to hang with them as they passed. Jake quickly faded and I spent the last few miles chasing Walter and fighting sleep. I was literally dozing off while I ran! My head kept leaning back and feeling very heavy and I had to fight to keep my eyes open, lean forward and get my chin down to snap out of it. It was a lot like driving long distance at night with no coffee. Every couple of minutes I'd find myself repeating this process and just could not get back under 7s. I was maxed out and my calves were also starting to cramp up. At one point my right calf cramped so bad that I almost stopped, but I knew that would be the end so I just kept going and it eventually loosened up after several limpy strides. I think it was in mile 25 where Walter and I both passed the number 3 guy. Walter was so far ahead by now that I didn't even consider trying to catch him and settled for 4th place(in the 7am wave). There was another wave at 8am so I'm sure that 4th place will end up being more like 14th when all the results are up.
That's me on the right in the gray shirt next to Walter.
My Beautiful wife waiting for me at the finish
Me approaching the finish. I wish I could find the picture that Kym is taking of me in this picture
I wish I felt half as good as I look in this one.
Oh, that's more like it.
Finishing with a BQ in the 18-34 AG was my primary goal going into this, and anything better was just a dream. I'm thankful for the opportunity to put my plans aside for God's work and that He still sustained me to meet that goal.
Distance Split pace
Ending with 27.12 miles, I must have either been running terrible tangents or my garmin just got very confused after losing the satellite signal in the tunnel.