Marathon number 98 was a blast and right in my own back yard! I have not run the Vernonia Marathon yet because I have usually been pacing the Race for the Roses half marathon but this year I was extremely excited to get out there and try out the course. I heard great things about this race and it did not disappoint.
The day started with a wake up and me thinking I would make it out there in time for the “regular” start at 9am. This left lots of time to sleep in and take my time for breakfast, but as I arrived, I lucked out and found a parking spot right in front of the school where I zipped in and got my shirt and bib and was able to just on the bus that was just pulling out to take us to the start line. I love point to point marathon coruses. Something about knowing that you will not have to back track and you are always making progress to that finish line by seeing new sights is just such a wonderful way to cover 26.2 miles. I realized on the ride up that I was going to be there in time to take the “early” start which was 8am. So I hopped off the bus, dropped my gear and popped over to the starting line in perfect time to get going. I loved that I was able to not have to sit around for an extra hour now that I was up there and just got out on the road and started running with a rather large crew that was also taking the 8am start option.
The morning had started out with a bit of rain and a chill so I was prepared in pants and a few layers. The weather had other things in mind and I was quickly ditching my rain jacket, gloves, arm warmers, and finding a way to pack them in my Nathan’s bag. With all the gear stored though I was perfectly set temperature wise and settled into a beautiful course. This course runs on a paved old rail way system. Although it was all through the forest I found myself about half way wishing for some trail or dirt to run on and was shifting where I could to the side of the pavement so I could get some relief from the entire paved road. I started thinking back and realized that I have not run a full road marathon since Dec. back in Hawaii and I was certainly feeling the pounding of the pavement now. It was thankfully not too bad and it was lessened by many of the people along the route that I was able to chat with.
Towards the end of the race some of the faster regular starters began to catch me, which added some needed interest and fun to the end of the marathon. By the time I got back into town the sun was out but we did have some wind to contend with as well. I was excited to be back at the school and enjoyed my victory lap around the HS track. Steve was waiting at the finish and snapped the finisher pict below as you can see I am happy to be done with number 98!
Post race I headed back to the school cafeteria where I was able to eat hot vegetarian vegetable soup, change into warm dry clothes, and enjoy chatting with other finishers. I ended up waiting around for the finisher’s ceremony for the Marathon which was a great decision because I not only won second in my age group, but I also won a raffle prize! All and all it was a great day and I look forward to running this one again in the future! Hopefully with my sweet Husband to Be next year when he will be done with his MBA and have weekends back to come run and play!