Rode out to Eau Claire, Wisconsin with Molly Watkins, Brittney, and another one of their friends who was running in the U of M Marathon Training Class class. This year, the class had 96 students making their way from the U of M to run in the Eau Claire Marathon. Initially planned on spectating but after getting caught in the hype and seeing everyone in their pre-race buzz, in addition to this being the last Eau Claire Marathon before going to Japan, couldn't help but signing up. I credit this class for getting me so interested and passionate about running and am super thankful to Stacy Ingraham and Chris Lundstrom for creating it and allowing me to be involved in so many different facets of the class.
U of M Marathon Class previous year recaps:
2009 Rochester Med-city Marathon (First marathon) (3:29:40)
2010 Eau Claire Marathon (3:28:53)
2011 Eau Claire Marathon (3:06:32) Trained w/ Pitty and Tommy
2012 Eau Claire Marathon (Went to spectate the race w/ Adam and Tim)
Photo Collage of first three years with the class:
Went to the pre-race banquet and had pasta and pizza at the Green Mill with the other U of M students. Watched a video put together by Stacy Ingraham's son and listened to both her and Chris Lundstrom speak. There was a quick tribute to the Boston Marathon victims and we would be wearing 3 pieces of tape on our shirts during the marathon to represent each one of the victims who died that day.
It was so cool seeing all of the students at the dinner and knowing how much training each of them had been through. This was one of the longest winters I can remember and they sure had to battle the elements on the Sunday runs. The coolest thing was overseeing a parent come up to Professor Ingraham and sincerely thank her for creating the class because it helped her daughter get back on track with things in school. I NEED a job where I can get that kind of satisfaction..
Slept in Mack's hotel room on the floor and woke up after falling asleep pretty quickly (had been worn out the week before). It was excited staying in the hotel with three people who would be running their first marathon! Had a blueberry muffin, granola bar and a coffee at the continental breakfast in the hotel which is a bit different from the special oatmeal setup I usually have.
Started off the race and recognized someone named Jack Burdick who is registered to run the Western States 100-Mile race. Was able to guess who he was because Stacy had told me about him earlier on and he seemed to have an experienced composure going on. After running and chatting for a bit, we ran into John Taylor who had also just run the Chippewa 50k the week prior to Eau Claire Marathon. I was excited to officially meet John because I had seen his name on race results and heard about him, and now I was running with him! (ultra-community keeps feeling smaller and smaller) As we ran together John gave Jake and I some words of wisdom about the ultra-world (he did 10 100 races last year including two races 100+..).
John, Jack and I ran together until around the half-marathon mark until John had to take a bathroom stop. Jack and I continued running and slowly began to pick it up.
We finished and congratulated each other and I walked around so the legs wouldn't get stiff. Enjoyed watching many of the other U of M Marathoners and especially my friend Caitlyn who was in tears at the as she crossed.
Hung out with Cody Schultz at the finish, whom I had met in this class 4 years ago. Was nostalgic sitting there thinking of all the races we had seen each other at the last 4 years and seeing all the U of M students making their way across the finish. Crazy to think about the majority of my close friends who I hang out with today, are people who I met in this class..Just another reason to be grateful for this class. It's exciting knowing I will soon be running with my buddy Brandon in Asia (Japan/Korea) whom I also met in the marathon training class.
Watched the last two finishers from the U of M finish and just like that it was all over! It was for some reason, comical watching Chris Lundstrom walk to his car in the now empty parking lot of the park and drive away. Thinking of all of the students he just helped get to that finish line, and just like that, he walks away from it..hard to explain but was a pretty vivid memory for me.
Hopefully I will be able to be more involved with the class in the future and I need to start creating experiences that I get satisfaction out of.
Sad to think about not being able to make it to the Eau Claire Marathon, which will be the first time not attending the U of M PE 1262 Marathon in the last four years. Guess it just means I will be that much more eager to get involved when I return from Japan.