The GO! Saint Louis Marathon
Setting a wake up alarm for 5:45 am on Sunday is not among my top ten favorite things to do, but it’s required if you want to run a full or half marathon. I had to be in my starting corral by 6:40 am, so the race could start at 7:00 am. I woke up, got dressed, grabbed a Mountain Dew KickStart and headed out the door. I’ll admit that I hit snooze on the alarm once so I was running on time, but not early like I would have liked to.
I made it into downtown Saint Louis around 6:30 am which only gave me ten minutes to park, put on my race bib and get to my starting corral. I was already feeling a little rushed. I parked in the first flat lot I could find, jumped out of my car and hustled to where all the racers were lining up. I had made it with about 5 minutes to spare, 15 minutes before it was race time. I could already feel the nerves, adrenaline and caffeine kicking in.
I was in starting corral F and the 15 minutes I had before the start of the race seemed like hours. I knew it was getting close to race time when they played the national anthem. After the anthem, I turned on my iPod, synced my Nike run tracker and got the MapMyRun application on my phone ready to go. Then I watched as corrals A, B, C, D and E all started the race. We moved up towards the starting line as each corral started. Finally it was our turn; I hit that starting line, hit play on my iPod, hit start on my MapMyRun application on my phone and started my race.
I started out fast; probably looking back now too fast. Through the first 4 miles I was running at a 7 minute 30 second pace per mile, which was off of the planned 10 minute pace per mile I wanted to run at. Too much adrenaline, caffeine and just plain old excitement got me out to a fast start. We ran across the Eads Bridge through East Saint Louis and back across the MLK Bridge. The race course took us through Laclede’s Landing, down into Soulard pass the Farmer’s Market and through the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. The course wasn’t too much uphill running and you got to see a lot of Saint Louis landmarks along the course. There were plenty of water and Gatorade stations along the course, as well as plenty of volunteers handing out everything from Twizzlers to candy.
I finished the race right at 2 hours and 45 minutes hampered by knots in my quadriceps and in both calf muscles the last 4 miles of the race. Finishing was the key for me, and I did it. Once I finished I got my medal commemorating the 15th anniversary along with all the water, bananas, toasted raviolis, Ted Drewes Frozen Custard and chicken wings one could eat. It was a great experience and gave me a real sense of accomplishment.
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