I love our local running community, and last Sunday was our big party–aka, the Two Cities Marathon and Half! This was my 6th year running it (2008-2010, 2012-14–what was I thinking in 2011?!?!?! I STILL regret skipping it).
There is a race suited for everyone–a full marathon that takes you through the cities of both Clovis and Fresno; a half through Clovis; a half through Fresno; a half marathon relay; a 5k; and a kids fun run.
I have very strong feelings about which race to tackle–I’ve run both the Clovis half (two way traffic on the running trail–no bueno) and the Fresno (wide open road, running along a quiet, tree lined lane on the edge of town with beautiful views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, all white capped with snow…and one, teensy 1 mile long hill).
Guess which one I prefer?
We have had an insane drought here for the last year. So when does it decide to rain? At packet pickup at the expo. Super soaked doesn’t even begin to describe the trip from the parking lot to the expo.
That didn’t stop this girl from carbo loading:
The morning of the race, it was amazing to luxuriate in bed thinking “Hey, the marathon has started. I don’t have to get up for 10 more minutes.” I got up and indulged in my pre-race favorites–one cup of coffee, a fun sized snickers bar, and enough body glide to wax a surfboard.
I jump in my car thinking I have 30 whole minutes to drive across town to the start line. A mile from home, I realize that I forgot my Garmin–I was disappointed I forgot it for my last half, so decided to go back for it.
Good thing, because it was sitting right next to my race bib. Oops.
Made it to the start line at 7:13, and then realized my part of the race began at 7:30, not 7:15. I could have slept 15 more minutes! Plenty of time for a pre race selfie!!
The race itself: beautiful, cool, comforting. I’ve run this route 4 times (minus the year I ran Clovis and the year it was a single half with a different route), and it’s always nice to run an old favorite. With all the rain the day before, the view of the snow-capped (!) mountains was crystal clear. It was absolutely beautifuL. Glorious.
I ran this race alone, and I ran it slowly. My goal was to beat my Santa Rosa time of 2:18. I cried like a baby when the 2:20 pacing group passed me. Full-out sobs. Not my finest moment.
Another downside–only ONE person on the entire route appreciated my bib. Sad face.
BUT! This is the first race in ages my knee didn’t act up. No pain during, minimal soreness after. So slow = hurt pride not muscles. Good to know.
The finishers area was awesome as always. They have great food (Ice cream sundaes! Coffee! Bananas! And to a lesser extent, Breakfast!); the shirt didn’t suck this year (I’m not a fan of brightly colored sweatshirts–the understated, lightweight long sleeve was perfect); it was fun to meet up with the LLL running group at the foam roller/stretching station they set up (and very, very helpful for recovery); and the beer garden was a great place to socialize (and after running–2 beers was almost enough to knock me out.)
Even though I forgot my race bib and watch, I you bet your ass I had my ID for the beer garden.
This race truly is homecoming for the local running community! And great big ball of love I feel is indescribable.
Until next year!