I completely love the Sugarloaf Marathon and 15K.
For me, it is the only race I can go to where I can actually sleep in my own bed, go to the race, and be home by noon.
The course is gorgeous – I did the marathon a few years back and the entire run was just amazing. You run along mountains and rivers.
Sorry, I didn’t take any pictures of that. you are going to have to trust me.
The 15K starts at mile 17 of the marathon course, so you are running the same course as those running the marathon.
The other thing about this race – it has this awesome laid back atmosphere, but at the same time, it is so well-organized. That is a very hard thing to pull off, and the RD of this race completely manages to do it.
Also, I like what they did with the race shirts:
So, actually, I lied to you already.
I didn’t stay at home. But I totally could have.
I stayed at my parents house the night before so I could sleep a half hour later.
But I got to go fishing with my dad.
We slayed them.
And Porter had a blast running up and down the river bank.
My buddy Katie stayed at my parents as well, and Mom made us an awesome dinner. Thanks MOM!
That morning, we got up at 5am and ate breakfast (full fat yogurt, raspberries, and walnuts + coffee), and then drove the 40 minutes to the race start.
It was ffffrreeeezing!!! I am not sure of the temperature, but it was freaking cold to be standing around dressed in running stuff waiting for a race to start.
I threw my phone in the truck at this point, so I am all out of pictures.
It wasn’t long and we were directed to go to the start (thank god! I was freezing!)
My plan was to run Zone 2 for the first 6 miles of the race and then run hard the rest of the race.
Of course, there was a problem with my plan.
When I was packing, I couldn’t find my HR strap anywhere. So, I decided to just run with the Garmin and go by feel.
I felt the buzz on my wrist of the first mile and looked down and saw “Mile 1 – 8:20”
Holy. Freaking. Crap.
Too fast. Too fast.
I thought about it for a second and decided screw it. I felt good, so I kept going.
Also that hot game warden from Northwoods Law was just up ahead of me. I had some inspiration to keep up the pace.
The miles ticked on, and I kept up pretty much that 8:20ish-8:30ish pace.
This was completely shocking to me.
I wondered if maybe my watch was malfunctioning. Because that is way faster than…well, than me.
But I kept going, and kept feeling good.
As mile 6 approached, I decided not to go with the “run hard at mile 6 plan” since I had paid absolutely no attention to the “take it easy until mile 6″ plan.
I ate a sugar chewy thing since I was pretty sure I was needing faster burning fuel at that point. That is all I ate. I didn’t drink anything, it was pretty chilly.
As I got near mile 8, I thought about it and clearly remembered from a few years ago where the finish line was – right next to Jordan Lumber. The sign is pretty prominent. As I saw it up ahead, I decided to sprint hard as I could to the finish.
Except the finish line had been moved.
Yeah. It was a little further away. You had to take a right turn and run a couple hundred yards further than before.
No one told me this.
No. I didn’t read the pre-race stuff (it was in there), I just thought I already knew everything.
So my legs were burning as I passed Jordan Lumber (my imaginary finish line) and turned the corner. By the time I got to the real finish line, I was completely toasted. Like all wobbly and stuff.
I think I almost walked across the finish line to be honest.
But I looked at my Garmin and it said 1:18 – my official time was 1:17:58, so 8:22 minute miles on average.
Pretty freaking good!! It was great for me because I have been working hard since I started losing weight in September and one of my goals was to get faster on the run. This is the first race I have actually seen the results of my hard work. It was pretty danged awesome.
Stoked with my time, I immediately ran into a bunch of people I knew (shiny things were EVERYWHERE!)
I hung out at the finish line talking and I thought, crap, I have to get over and cheer Katie in! I turned and she was standing right next to me.
Oops. Um…”Yay Katie!!!”
It was a great day, if you ever get the chance to do this race, I highly recommend it!