In hindsight, Bloomsday this year left me grinning. Just two weeks (See?!?!) after finishing the Boston Marathon, I felt so much more recovered than I have the last two marathons I've run. I crossed the finish line at Bloomsday was a personal best time, just 17 seconds shy of my 50-minute goal. I raced in Corporate Cup with the Royal Maniacs, blessed to be apart of a team whose members I work with each day. I enjoy them all. To top it off, we found out Monday morning we'd won our division.
This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to race in a small but up-and-coming race directed by Ken Eldore. He and his wife are the driving force behind the Priest Lake Multisports events. I have yet to participate in one of their races I didn't like. When I think of his events, I think of the wonderful scenery that each one imparts upon its participants. This race didn't disappoint.
The marathon started at 7am. A Boston Qualifier, ran out to a turn around before finishing in Newport. I (and 124 other half marathoners) had time to sleep in before starting our day on a bus that carted us to the start line approximately 11.5 miles out of Newport. We arrived at a small bible camp where Ken had a bonfire going to keep us warm until all three buses had arrived. Bryan and I warmed up, the national anthem played, and we started out on this scenic, flat course back toward Newport.
We positioned ourselves in the front. Mark Evans had already taken off with a young man on his heels. I decided to run only as fast as I had to. So, I ran alongside Bryan and right behind the first female, a well-paced member of the Swifts. When I say well-paced, I mean we ran 7-minute miles. Consistently.
Aid stations waited for us at every 2 miles. I only needed water at a couple and grabbed a GU gel at one to tide me over to the finish. What wonderful views of the Pend Oreille River. The river flanked us on the right, woods and farms on the left. A cool breeze wafted off the water and cooled my skin during the entire run.
By mile 11, I'd dropped my pacer and passed the second leading man to take second place overall. I no longer could see Mark ahead of me, but continued inching ever closer to Newport at a slightly faster clip than 7-minute/mile pace.
We finished in the heart of Newport, down "Main Street USA." Eric Ewing of Nomadz Racing waited for us at the finish, offering our official times. A young woman handed me a carnation and a medal, and I couldn't help but think what a great idea to recognize how important our mothers and families are. (This win was for you, Mama!) Volunteers had watermelon, oranges, bananas, and bagels available to help us refuel upon our return. I couldn't help but feel excited about my win, but even more encouraged by the tremendous potential in a well-directed, well-planned race. If you're looking for scenery and a great Boston qualifying race, consider this one.
Next up, Priest Lake Half Marathon.
|Team BM cleaned up. Bryan placed 2nd overall male.|