Sunday, January 25, 2015

Hardest Marathon Ever

My 41st life time marathon:  Waco Miracle Match Marathon

I got to Waco on Saturday afternoon. I walked around the starting area some. Waco seemed a sleepy town even though it is home to Baylor University. It is an old town, sporting the ornate courthouse.

Here is a map of the course.

You start off with a little bit of wandering around the Baylor campus. They have a brand new foot ball stadium which even has a harbor. Baylor is a Christian school, assuming Presbyterian since they have a John Knox Center. Many of the buildings appear like churches with Texas stars on them. Add in many ROTCs manning aid stations and intersections and I was able to describe the four most important principles of American Life. In this order: Texas, Football, Army, Christianity.

Ok, it was early. I started an hour before the main start. About 30 of us were there. One man who looked about 80 sidled up to me to chat. He was a little shorter and had a face like a rock and a hump on his back. He called himself Tortoise. I think he beat me.

At about 5.3 miles, we came up from the river to near the starting area. A band was playing. The regular race had started. There was an aid station that nobody had really used. I took a cup of gatorade. After drinking it, I slammed the empty cup on the ground and then raised my arms high. First one! Some guy watching me figured it out and started laughing.

We then spent about 4 miles going up Austin avenue. Some nice old houses here. We continued to wander up through neighborhoods. Did I mention up? Where did these hills come from? Its Texas and Waco had looked flat driving in.

About 12 or 13 miles, I was thinking how wonderful marathons are and how I just need to do them. Then, this particular marathon went to hell. Then real hills started, I thought. No, the real hills were these awful steep mothers between miles 21 to 25. Who puts 60% road grades at the end of a marathon? And then line the course with quotations about suffering every 20 feet!

Here is a picture of Lake Waco about mile 15.

Here is a selfie at Waco Golf Course about mile 14, the first serious down hill followed by the first serious up hill. But these were pissers compared to the bloody hills at miles 21,22,23, and 24.

I finished in 5:58. Here is the really great embroidered jacket I got for finishing. I'm never taking it off.

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