Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Run For The Ranch Marathon Race Report

Yesterday in Springfield, Missouri, I finished my 38th marathon and one in a 24th different state.

It was also my 13th of 2011 and 12th since late June. All of this, of course, is part of the buildup for February's Rocky Raccoon 100 mile endurance run.

However, I'm more than a little concerned about my ability to finish it. Regardless of the challenges that my job has put in front of me (with its travel to the left coast), I'll give it my best shot and see how things pan out.

I love to express myself.

I have been given some incredible opportunities in life to do some very neat things that may only be neat to me.

I had a chance this weekend to share another incredible trip with my daughter. It isn't that we did anything spectacular, so to speak, but most importantly, we spent some quality time together.

We flew into Kansas City Saturday morning and drove south to Springfield.

Our first visit was so Waverly could see the grounds of Baptist Bible College -- one of the many colleges that she is considering to pursue a career in elementary education.

It is a very small college. There seemed to be more dorm buildings than classroom buildings; however, the school has been turning out Christian leaders for well over fifty years.

After taking in the grounds and all of its surroundings, we ventured to the original Bass Pro Shops in Springfield. I've never been to a Bass Pro Shop and I quickly could see why I wouldn't spend a lot of time there. I figured, though, if I was going to go in one that I might as well make it the biggest and the original one!

We then ventured to the campus of Missouri State University where Sunday's Run For The Ranch Marathon would take place.

There was a panel discussion that was to include Chuck "Marathon Junkie" Engle and 2012 Olympic Trails Marathon qualifier Camille Herron from Oklahoma.

While Engle was a no show, I met Herron - the 2010 White Rock Marathon winner - for the first time after simply being a Facebook friend. Speak about somebody with energy to spare for three people. Wow!

Her story is really incredible - coming back from a double hernia repair and having to start out walking again - and I think that you'll hear a lot more of Herron's name as she plans to try and win a marathon in all 50 states.

Herron has completed seven (7) marathons in the Olympic Trails qualifying period - all under 2:44. Incredible. Only California's Mary Akor has completed as many, but faster.

We also met Shannon Hays from the greater Atlanta area. She is aiming to become just the third runner to finish all 50 states in under four hours. She has 38 states down and 24 in 2011 alone.

After the panel discussion, Waverly and I went and got a bite to eat at the Springfield Pasta Company and called it a night with an early bed time of approximately 9:30 a.m.

What's different about the Run For The Ranch Marathon is that it is a 1 p.m. start time. Really unique.

This allowed us to attend Sunday morning services at High Street Baptist Church.

We got up and had a hearty breakfast at the Doubletree where we were staying and then we went for the 8:30 a.m. "traditional" morning worship service. It was an excellent service by Pastor Eddie Lyons.

Waverly stayed and attended Sunday School class while I went and got online at McDonald's and checked up on a few things. Really proud of her for stepping up and taking that adventure to meet new people.

We went back to the hotel and I got changed before getting ready to run.

I didn't see Herron or Engle, but I talked to Justin Gillette - another MarathonGuide.com-sponsored runner – who is from Indiana. I had talked to him (and Camille the night before) about the prize money being offered up by The Woodlands Marathon.

The race didn’t go as planned. My weight is up in my mid-section and I'm not getting mid-week work done.

I ended up with a time of 5:50:39 after eight, equidistant loops. The loops had a mile 1, 2 and a 3 marker, but I didn’t try to keep up with those splits, but rather just for the loop itself.

They went as follows: 34:47.47, 37:05.66, 38:12.34, 38:33.24, 48:14.57, 50:04.22, 50:24.31 and 53:18.11. So it was 2:28:38.71 on the front half, and 3:22 on the back half. Not real good.

Shouldn’t have done it, but Waverly and I enjoyed Andy’s Frozen Custard after the race.

We got a little bit of sleep and were up and on the road at 12:15 a.m.

We took I-44 over to Joplin and then Highway 71 up to Kansas City. We were at the terminal by 4:15 a.m. for a 6 a.m. departure. Luckily, we both got upgraded to first class on the small regional jet and I pretty much slept the entire way – including my flight from Houston to Bakersfield, California for work.

And a trip like this makes up for some of the crappy stuff that took place in 2011.

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