Monday, June 13, 2011
Good Times in South Dakota!
Good times, YES! Fast times, not so much. It was
a) a leisurely (delightful) trip, and
b) my slowest marathon ever. But slow and steady was the way to go on the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon.
Kendall and I took in many of the sights before, during and after the marathon:
Mount Rushmore, the streets, bars, museums and people of Deadwood (which miraculously has preserved its wild west locally-owned historical heritage),
Hill City with its museums, art, and fine food, then drove home through Custer State Park with a night of camping in Chadron State Park before the final push to Boulder.
As for the marathon. Whoooeeee! A screaming downhill first mile followed by 12.5 miles of steady railroad grade uphill, then downhill and rolling to just short of 19 miles where the steepest uphill kicked our butts for a mile before the steepest downhill which smoothed out to a railroad grade downhill to the finish. All in all, a lovely setting - very quiet since the trail was away from towns and roads and the uphill (and heat - 80 degrees!) kicked the chatter right out of all the runners. Just the way I like it! Prairie, farm land, forest, peace and quiet.
As I said before, slow and steady was just the ticket. Being my first marathon in five years, I was verrrrry cautious going into this so started slow, but kept running the whole way, picking up speed as the downhills started making their appearance (7 minute negative split!). The hills and altitude training of Boulder really paid off big time as I was one of the few still running from 19 miles on. This was definitely my kind of marathon.
Final accounting for this ol' lady: 1st out of 10 in my age, 44/187 women, and 134/396 overall. Speaking of ol' lady, about 5 miles into the 'thon, a fella passed me and said "I hope I'm running as well as you when I'm your age." Say wha? I'm pretty sure I wasn't wearing my "I'm almost 60" sign on my butt. Ah well, I just run as young as I feel and I was feeling pretty darned young and happy as I cruised to the finish! btw - coolest age group award yet: a railroad spike!
Next up: Grandma's Marathon in Duluth. Bigger, on streets, fairly flat, sea level. Not really hitting any of my strong suits, but a marathon that has been on my list since I started running marathons 30 years ago. Definitely looking forward to it! We leave tomorrow; the marathon is Saturday. Woohoo!
Pictures, in order from top to bottom, right to left:
Buffalo in Custer State Park, South Dakota.
Mount Rushmore, 'Sheriff' in Deadwood gun fight enactment, Kendall and dinosaur at Hill City Black Hills Institute
Chadron State Park, Nebraska
Running to the finish of Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon and post-marathon awards (railroad spike, shoe charm, and medal!)