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Almost two weeks ago the Hubbo, George and I “ran” the Route 66 Half Marathon. I say “ran” because really we walked a lot and ran some. I only cussed a little so I’m calling it a good day! But really, the 10th Anniversary of the Route 66 Marathon was a great weekend for me despite my lack of training. We volunteered at the Expo, Ran the 5k, took shots during the 5k and half, and made some great memories!




Here’s a quick and condensed version of contents this blog.
Medal = Awesome!
Course = Hilly!
Swag = Awesome 10 Year Anniversary Jacket!
Expo = Great!
Volunteering = Tiring, Rewarding, Fun
Blogger’s panel = Fun
5K on Saturday = Most Fun 5k I’ve Ever Ran
Weather on Sat = Cold and WINDY as F!
Weather on Sun = Cold but warmed up to be nice

And now, a more complete review. 

The Medal

PictureRoute 66 2015 Half Marathon Medal
As always, I start my recap with the medal. I'm definitely a "I'm-Doing-This-For-the-Bling" kind of runner and Route 66 Marathon never disappoints!
This year was the 10th anniversary of the race so they did a throw back to an earlier medal and added a slight remix. I lucked out that this is one of the styles that we didn't already have. 
The yellow coin in the middle is a double-sided spinner which I think it the remix part. 
This year volunteers also got a medal. (See pic below with purple ribbon.) When I volunteered last year, I got a nice coin, but it was fun to get an actual medal this year.
5K runners also got a medal. (See pic below with red ribbon.) Since the race is obviously Route 66 themed, the medals are always themed after classic cars that would have traveled the open road. This medal was from the 2011 event and called the Flying Goddess. Rout 66 took a vote on which medal should get a come back and this one won loud and clear! 

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Volunteer Medal
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5K Medal and Bib

The Course & Swag

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The course was hilly. I knew it would be hilly. I didn't train for this race so I'm sure I felt the hills even more than I normally would have. The hills aren't huge, but there are a lot of them and it's a constant rolling/going upward feeling the entire race.

My friend George from came in from Las Vegas and took this photo on the course. It's definitely a favorite photo-op on the course!   

The swag was nice this year. For participating in the 5k I got a medal and a tech shirt. For participating in the half I got a jacket, a medal, and tons of free shots and beer on the course! More on that later. 

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The Hubbo and co-workers modeling the jackets.
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I, on the other hand, made some questionable modeling choices on race day...

The Expo & Blogger's Panel

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We volunteered at the Expo on Friday afternoon at the packet pickup booth. That was a crazy, busy, fun, fast few hours! 
After my shift was over I participated in the Blogger's Panel for the second time. It was really cool to meet the other bloggers and get to discuss one of my hobbies. This year they had two panels. A Friday night panel and a Saturday afternoon panel. 

Overall, the expo is a good size. You have your typical vendors there. One cool thing about the Route 66 Expo is that the Marathon Maniacs set up a booth. So you can buy your gear in person and try it on. Very helpful! If you'v ever tried to buy a MM or HF singlet, you know the struggle! 

I also go to take a spin on an Alter-G treadmill! It was so crazy feeling! 
When you try this thing out, they put you in these crazy space pants that are made of a neoprene like fabric that zips into the air bag like portion of the treadmill. Then the machine calibrates to your weight and then you tell it what percentage of your body weight you want to run with. I took it down to 60% of my body weight and I felt like I could run forever!

5k Race Day!

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Saturday was the 5k and it was cold and windy! We knew we were just going to do the 5k for fun so we joined up with some friends. Before we even hit the first kilometer, we decided to take a detour. 
For shots!
That's right, we hoped into a local diner/bar and took a shot of whisky! 
That's definitely a first for me to go to a bar and order a shot. 
Route 66 is known as a party course and we did our part to contribute to the reputation! Nothing says party like messy hair, shots at 8:15am, and all before we even hit the first mile! #RockStarStatus
Even though we ran/walked the entire way, stopped in and ordered 6 shots, and had to tab out, we managed to finish the 5k in under 50 minutes. Not bad. 

Half Marathon Race Day!

PictureBasic Corral Selfie!
Sunday was the half marathon. It started our super cold, but eventually warmed up to be nice. 
We ran/walked the entire way but somehow I managed to take very few pics. I'm slacking on my blogging duties!
Route 66 is known as a party race and it's no joke! We had beer, shots, donuts, and various other goodies on the race to help us keep our spirits up. I had fruit loop vodka y'all! 
Quick shout out to the citizens of Tulsa for getting the party started early on a Sunday morning! 

Back to the race. The course was hilly! Being as I was vastly under trained, it didn't long before my body was over it. But we got it done, had fun along the way, and eventually crossed the finish line. It was a personal worst for the Hubbo and I but we were just happy to be out there and complete another race. 

Overall, the weekend was great! We had great company, lots of fun, lots of drinks, and made some fun memories! This is exactly why Route 66 is my favorite race ever! 

Question! What's your PR and PW?

 
 
PicturePhoto Cred: Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa
One week after I completed my last full marathon, The Hubbo and I ran another race here in Tulsa. The Golden Driller Marathon. Well, I ran the half and he ran the full. He's crazy! I opted for the half because I knew I would be sluggish from my full, but definitely wanted to be a part of the inaugural year. 

I'm really glad I opted for the half for a few reasons.
1. It got HOT HOT HOT that day. 
2. We had tickets to a 2:00 PM performance for the Phantom of the Opera and I wouldn't have finished a full marathon in time to go home and shower and get back to downtown Tulsa to see the show with my family.
3. I was just mentally over the full marathon distance.

And now, on to the recap!

The Medal

PictureFull Medal vs Half Medal
Y'all know I'm all about the bling! The one and only lure to running the full at this race is that their medal was bigger than the half medal. Which is the way it should be in my opinion. The bigger the effort, the bigger the reward! 
The Hubbo ran the full and I ran the half so we have both at home. 

I live in Tulsa and see our giant Golden Driller keeping watch over all of Tulsa all the time so this medal was a little more special to local people than it might be to other. That Golden Driller, he's famous you know! ;)

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Here he is! Keeping watch over all of Tulsa!

Golden Driller Facts

Here are some fun Golden Driller Facts according to Wikipedia!
  • Born in 1953
  • The Golden Driller is 76 Feet Tall
  • He clocks in at 43,500 pounds
  • He's the fifth tallest statue in the US
  • He's worn a shirt, tie, shorts, and a kilt for various promotions

Parking

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Parking was easy and free. The earlier you get there the better spot you could get like with any event. There really isn't a bad parking spot at this location. The race was kept small so there won't be overcrowding in the parking lot as well as on the course. Sitting in our car, we could easily see the start/finish line but also had easy access to leave too. 

The Course

Typically when a race is put on using the Riverside Trail system, it typically starts on the east side of the trail. There is a major construction project in Tulsa that should continue well into 2017, so most of the races have been shuffled over to the west side of the river. Which is a little more industrial in parts and less populated too.

The half marathon course had one hill that you went over twice since it is an out-and-back course. The first time you hit the hill at Turkey Mountain is the hardest. But at least you get that out of the way in the first 3-4 miles. The rest of the course is pretty flat. 

The full marathoners had a mind-numbing course. They did an out-and-back, with a couple out-and-backs mixed into the major out-and-back! Confused? Yes! Mind-numbing? Yes! Hopefully next year they can come up with a better full marathon course. So glad I didn't have to run that one. Poor Hubbo did though! 

The Swag

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This is a small local race put on my my running club. It has the typical local race swag. 

Shirt. Check!
Medal. Check!
Bib. Check!
Post-race food and drinks. Check! 

My Results

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I ran the first 6 miles with my buddy Tom and then we had to part ways because he was doing the full and I was doing the half. After I left Tom, I really started to crash. My feet hurt, I was hot, my Garmin quit around mile 7, and I was just mentally ready to be done. I think my experience was impacted more by my current running state. I've been feeling a little running burn out and my efforts show that. But I still finished, and for that, I'm excited! 


Time: 2:54:47
Division Place: 40 out of 49

This ended up being my slowest half to date. I'm not even mad! I was glad to be a part of the inaugural race in my hometown, glad to pick up some more bling, and glad to see my racing season wind down so I could give my body some much needed rest! 

Question! Have you ever been a part of an inaugural race? 

 
 
PictureAmber, Hubbo, and I
Last Saturday the Hubbo, my fellow Ginger-in-Crime Amber, and I ran the Jenks Half Marathon here in Jenks, Oklahoma. It's just across the river next to Tulsa. It was my 11th half I've completed. This one may sound familiar if you've followed this blog for a while being as I did this exact same race last year. Now that I've completed 11 half marathons, I feel so lucky to be able to say that. 


The Medal

PictureJenks Half Marathon Medal 2014
Being as this race is a fund raiser for a local school's cross country team, I totally understand their medal selection. This race is also very affordable for a half marathon. I signed up 1 week before and it was $38 with fees. 
The medal may not be much to write home or blog about, but the race has good intentions. I do wish they would have changed it up a little since the medals are almost exactly the same as last year. The only difference is that last year it said "34" and this year it was "35" for the 35th anniversary. 

The Course

PictureHand drawn map. Seems legit.
This course has rolling hills. These types of hills are good for training because they aren't so steep or drastic that they take everything you've got to complete them, but they are enough to be a good workout. The first 6 miles of the course seem to be the worst of it. From 6-9 the hills lighten up a little. And from miles 9-13 the course seems to level out a bit more and you can push it a little harder. Overall, even though it is kinda hilly, I still really love this course. It doesn't hurt that we get to run by a small airport and watch the planes land as we ran by. 

This is a picture of the course map they were handing out at packet pick up. It makes me laugh so I wanted to include it. If I wasn't from around here, it would probably make me a little nervous to run this race, but trust me. I survived and never heard the Deliverance music! 

The Swag

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There isn't an expo for this race. You pick up your shirt and bib at a local running store. Inside by race packet envelope I did get some dental floss so that was pretty snazzy. Here is a pic of the shirt. This picture doesn't do it much justice because it is actually  more of a royal blue which I really like. After the race we were immediately handed a bottle of water by a very enthusiastic volunteer. He was also out on the course and kept things fun when we passed him. The post-race food was decent too. Full sized granola bars and full sized candy bars. 

My Experience

PictureAmber & I Crossing the Finish! #FlexBreak
I knew going into this race I wasn't trying for a PR. I was hoping to practice my marathon race pace to see how I would hold up on all those hills, but plans changed. The day of the race we had some very windy conditions. Wind gusts of up to 25 mph according to my weather app. I was going into this race knowing I was going to run it with the Hubbo and Amber and for the first few miles we just weren't feeling it so we changed our strategy to just have fun, take pictures and beat the 3 hour cut-off time. Mission accomplished! 

Question! Do you ever run races to just have fun?

 
 
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This weekend the Hubbo and I took a trip half way across the US and ran the Ventura Half Marathon in California. This was my 10th half and the Hubbo's first visit to Cali! Even though the trip was really quick we had a great time and got to meet new people and see some friends!
We started our trip by getting up way to early for a vacation day (4:30am) to catch our flight out of Tulsa. We landed in LA around lunch time on Saturday, rented a car, and drove on the 405 towards Ventura in the middle of the day! I was more excited about it than the Hubbo was which was weird because I was driving! For a girl from a small town with one stop light, that's a pretty big deal! The race was on Sunday and then we got up on Monday and made the trip back home. Here's how it all went down.

The Medal

Picture2014 Ventura Half Marathon Medal
You guys know from reading my previous race recaps that I always start with the medal. One, because it's my favorite part and two, if you don't read any further I want you to check out this bling! The 2014 Ventura Half Marathon medal was voted on by the runners a few months ago. I'm super excited because this is the one I voted for! If you look closly at the left hand side, you can see that they added a bottle opener. I love it and it looks really good on my medal hanger. 

The Course

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If you are looking for a PR for the Full or Half Marathon, this is the race for you! The course is flat as a pancake! In one of the emails I received from the race, they listed facts about the finishers from last year. In 2013, 21% of the full marathon finishers qualified for Boston
I'll just let that soak in for a bit....
Here's the elevation map for those of you who would like to verify for yourself that it was, indeed, flat. The course is basically an out-and-back for the full and for the half. It's not too scenic though. I thought we would be running right on the ocean side, but I understand that this is the better option for a safe race and I like to keep living sooo...

The Expo/Beach Party/Swag

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This was the first race that I've been to that had an outdoor expo and I loved it! The beach party was in full swing on Saturday when we arrived to pick up our packets and was a little different than I was expecting. They had vendors at the expo, a live band, beer for sale, and of course, packet pick up. Picking up our packets was super easy, we just had to look up our bib numbers ahead of time and get in the right line. They emailed us a link to look up our bib numbers in the days leading up to the race. The expo was small but super convenient being as it was right by the starting line and right by the hotel we stayed at. If you do this race next year, definitely stay at the Crown Plaza right by the pier. It's perfect! 
According to the race the race photos are free but they haven't been released yet. That is an amazing perk for a race since the photos are usually super expensive! 

The People

PictureGeorge, Me, Hubbo, Clarinda, Katie
You guys! This was the best part of the whole weekend! We got to meet up with our friends from Twitter that we first met up with at the Mustang 50th Anniversary Half Marathon this April in Las Vegas! 
Here is a fabulous picture of all of us that George managed to get. You all might remember George since he was the RunGingerRun Buddy of the month of August.
Also in the picture is Clarinda from Enjoyingthecourse.com who manged to get a PR in the half this weekend! Congrats!
Katie is the one rocking the cute outfit with the lei and super fun skirt that she made herself! She always has the best running costumes and makes her own skirts! You can see some of her other skirts here. Oh and Katie got a PR too! 

PictureShane + Sarah = Race Twins!
I also got to meet a new Twitter buddy, Shane, who was running the half. It turns out he's running the Honolulu Marathon in December too! It's like we are race twins! Can you see the resemblance? 

Shane is awesome because he just celebrated his birthday this week and ran 41 miles in honor of turning 41! Just days after the Ventura Half! 

Happy Birthday! 

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I also got to meet an Instagram buddy, Mr. Eddie, who lives in Ventura! He said he can practically see the finish line from his house! How cool is that?

I don't know what's going on with my eye in this picture. I promise I'm not trying to be a member of KISS and no, Mr. Eddie didn't punch me in the eye either. 

My Stats/The Weather

PictureMid-Race Selfies are the best!
Going into this race I knew I wasn't in PR shape. I only had 9 weeks to prepare and I ended up missing almost 3 of those weeks. I definitely don't mind running a race just for fun. You can see that George and I managed to have a little fun on the course! 

Time: 2:21:26
87th out of 172 in my Age Group
Average Pace: 10:48/mile
Overall Place: 513
Total Women: 1048
Total Men: 606

I was doing pretty good until mile 11. The sun was really shining and there was very little shade. We all know I'm not a hot weather runner so between the heat and lack of shade, I started to get goose bumps which is a bad sign. So between the bathroom break at mile 3 and walking a little in the last two miles, I'm still really happy with my results! My goal going into this race was to be under 2:30 and I did it and had fun! Boom! Done!

After The Race

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After we were done visiting with everyone at the finish line, we went back to our room rested for a bit and showered. Then the Hubbo and I set off on our adventure to explore the beach and downtown Ventura! After lunch we went to the beach and took some pictures then decided to head into downtown which wasn't far from our hotel and we stumbled upon a local shop called Very Ventura. I chatted with Angela who owns the shop with her husband. They were really nice and gave us recommendations for a good place to eat for dinner. I bought a cute tank top that was printed by a local artist and the Hubbo bought a wooden decorative piece that spelled Ocean or Beach depending on which side you are looking at, which were also done by a local artist. We found so many cute things and if we had checked luggage instead of just carry-ons, we would have come home with a lot more stuff!

50 States Map

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The Hubbo and I have a very relaxed goal of eventually running a race (half or full marathon) in each state. Here is a map of what we have accomplished since we started running in 2012.
This year alone we will have ran in 4 new states,
Kansas, Nevada, California, and Hawaii!  

Question! What race is next for you? How many states have you raced in?

 
 
PictureWe're not in Oklahoma anymore...
This weekend the RunGingerRun crew loaded up, hit the road, and headed north to Olathe, Kansas where There's No Place Like Home! 

We ran the Garmin Land of Oz Half Marathon on Saturday. 
I really liked this race and plan to go back next year!

The Medal/Shirt

PictureGarmin Half Marathon Medal 2014
You all know I'm a total bling junkie and I really really like this medal!

You guys! IT GLOWS IN THE DARK! I'm not even kidding! The orange part glows in the dark.

Ah-mazing!

I understand that the medals for the Half are always the Wicked Witch, but the medals for the full change from year to year based on different characters from The Wizard of Oz. Last year it was the Tin Man and this year it was the Cowardly Lyon.

The shirt reminds me of a football jersey for some reason. I wish they would have used a different color other than dark blue but what can you do? Also, the shirt is themed after the Full Marathon theme, the Cowardly Lyon. 

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Garmin Race Shirt 2014

The Course

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First of all, whoever said that this course was 100% flat is a big fat liar! 
It's Kansas, they said, it will be flat, they said! 
Liars! All of you!

Ok, it wasn't the hilliest course I've ever been on. That award still goes to the Nike Women's Half in San Francisco but c'mon, you expect hills in San Fran! The course at this race in Kansas had one hill between 4-5 that was pretty daunting to run up on. The course even started going up a slight incline. 

I still really liked this course, I just should have gone into it with a better mental expectation that usually courses aren't 100% flat. Now I know and next year I'll be better prepared. 

The Half Marathoners and Full Marathoners broke off from each other shortly after mile 3 and as soon as we made the turn we had a hill to go up. Also, when I was coming in for the finish, it was a little difficult because the the rain had made the road slick and I was trying to run up an incline to cross the line.

The course was slightly confusing with the mile markers. Because the Half Marathoners and the Full Marathoners broke off from each other and then reunited later in the course, we had random mile markers that didn't apply to us sprinkled in around the course. I remember thinking it was a sick joke that when I hit mile 4ish and saw a mile 12 mile marker that some poor delirious runner who wasn't paying attention would get pretty excited to already be at mile 12 so quickly. It wasn't true. Then I got to the end of the half and my watch said I had 1.2 miles left but I came across a mile marker that said 2 miles? WTF! I didn't know if they were telling me 2 more miles for me to go or what. I thought surely my watch wasn't that far off. Turns out, it was for the 6K race they were also hosting at the same time as the Half. Whew! 

My best advice if you do this course next year is to ignore the mile markers and just enjoy the view! You'll know when you get to the finish line. I promise! 

The Expo

PictureThe Hubbo and I at the Garmin Expo 2014.
We stayed at a hotel that was about 3 miles away from the starting line but the expo was in the hotel next door to ours so it worked out. We got to the Expo a little before 5:00 and quickly picked up our packet and our shirts. At 5:00 the small expo started to break down the tables and clear out to make room for the pasta dinner that was taking place in that same area. I didn't go to the pasta dinner but I really wish I would have because Meb was there! One of my coaches even got to take a picture with him! So cool! 

Parking/Shuttles

Parking was a little more difficult than I like. If you do this race, you need to have PLENTY of time to get there. We left our hotel at 6:05 and the race started at 7:00. We had a goal of meeting up with our running club at 6:30 for a picture but we didn't make it. It took us over 30 minutes to drive 3 miles and park. There are plenty of places to park, it's just a one lane entrance to the parking garage they were telling everyone to go into. We ended up parking at a nearby business and walking a littler farther to avoid the parking garage. 

The hotel that hosted the Expo also had two shuttles to take runners to the starting line. I didn't use the shuttles but wanted to list it as an option for those who plan to run this race next year and fly in. 

My Stats and Experience

PictureMid-race selfie!
I didn't set any official goals going into this race either. I had already achieved my spring half marathon PR goal at the Aquarium Run. My only notion of a goal going into this race was to finish between 2:15 and 2:30 and to get that medal! 
Boom! Done!

I had blood sugar issues right before this race too. I knew it was going to be a rough race when I woke up hungry and with low blood sugar before I even got out of bed. I think I've learned my lesson and figured out that I can't carb load the night before a race! Ugh! That sounds so terrible to be a runner and not be able to carb load pre-race, but I've done it twice this month and paid for it both times. Luckily, the Hubbo came to the rescue again and shared his Gu with me. I hate the texture of Gu but it sure beats the feeling of low blood sugar!

I ran the first 4 miles on pace to be around a 2:10 - 2:15 pace but I got a horrible side stitch right before the big hill at mile 4.5. I was already having to push myself at that pace and after the side stitch I knew I couldn't hang on. So I decided to back off and have fun. That's when I took out my phone and starting taking pictures, Tweeting, Instagraming, and SnapChatting. I got some weird looks from runners who were passing me, but #RedHairDontCare.
It was my race and #IDoWhatIWant! 

I took this photo and posted it to Twitter and Instagram. It's really hard to hashtag while running. Just FYI!

My Stats:
Finish: 2:23:25
I placed 1500th overall
780th in my Gender
165th in my Age Group (242 Total)

Number of Half Marathon Finishers: 2,199
Number of Females: 1,318
Number of Males: 877

Number of Full Marathon Finishers: 678

The Weather

PictureWell it was the Land of Oz Half Marathon...
The weather forecast for this race was different depending on the weather app you use. According to Weather Bug we had a significant chance of rain and thunderstorms during the race and it turns out it was right. The Weather Channel App was wrong. It said the rain wouldn't come into the area until mid afternoon. 
It was a little sunny at the start but not too warm but that quickly turned to overcast skies. I don't remember exactly when I took my sunglasses off but I didn't even need them for the majority of the race. It started sprinkling very lightly at mile 3. Then at mile 5.5 it started to come down a little more. It rained lightly just before mile 8 and then after mile 8 it started pouring buckets of rain! Some runners were lucky enough to get to run through hail. I never saw it but the reports are that it was very small. More like sleet. 

I wore a visor to this race and I'm glad I did. It would have been very difficult to run in the rain without it. I didn't mind the rain at all actually. It helped keep me cool from miles 8-11 where I tried to pick up my pace again. I was a little worried that my phone would get too wet but it survived. There was even a guy handing out plastic baggies for phones somewhere on the course by I didn't take one. That was dumb of me. 

We did have some lightening far off in the distance from this race. I'm glad they didn't call the race off. Also, a big part of the Half Marathon course was on a paved trail in the woods. If they did call it off, I'm not sure where we would have gone and how they would have gotten us out of the woods. Glad it all worked out ok!

If you like reading race recaps like this one you should totally check out Bibrave.com where you can find and write race reviews! 

More Race Weekend Pics!

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My typical race dummy!
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Typical Race Corral Selfie with The Hubbo!
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The Hubbo made me a Ginger Runner sticker for my car!
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Somewhere in Kansas I tried to take an Oscar-style selfie and failed!
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Pre-race carb loading with the crew!
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We may have stopped at Trader Joe's for some $2 Buck Chuck!
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The typical pre-race group pic!

Question! What's your next race?

 
 
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Last weekend the Hubbo and I ran in a once in a lifetime race, The Mustang 50th Half Marathon. I know what you are thinking? 50th and one time only? Doesn't make sense, right? It's the name the race used to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Ford Mustang. The race was on Saturday April 19th, 2014 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. My Twitter buddy, George, is the one who first told me about the race a few months back and as soon as I heard it was a one time only event and we had a chance to win a custom Shelby Mustang, I was in! 

Now for the details of the race...

The Medal

PictureMustang 50th Half Marathon Medal 2014
You guys! I love this medal! It ranks up there in my top 5 seriously! It's a nice size, a little bigger than my palm, and even though it represents a brand, Ford Mustang, it doesn't just scream ADVERTISING! Like some medals I've seen. We've already established that I'm a total bling junkie and this one made this junkie really excited! 

The Course

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To look at the course map and really try to follow along it looks really confusing. Luckily for us it was really simple to follow along because the course was marked really clearly. And I certainly didn't have to worry about navigating the course alone because I was definitely not the leader of the pack! Ha!

Also this course was mostly flat. There was one hill and I remember looking over at George and Clarinda and asking them where this hill came from, but in reality, it wasn't bad at all.

We did run on some gravel for a short bit, but also not too bad. Being able to look out at the mountains in the distance was amazing! It was a nice distraction from the heat. 

The Swag/Expo

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Clearly I need to work on my photography skills because this picture isn't centered at all. But anyways, back to the race recap. The swag consisted of this pretty nice race shirt. They had men's sizes and women's sizes which is a plus! 

The Expo didn't really exist. I think other than the packet pick-up table there was only one additional table. I'm not even sure if they were selling anything.

If you look at my bib, the upper left hand corner there is a QR Code. All races can learn a thing or two from the Mustang 50th Half marathon because we could instantly retrieve our results with our smart phones and a QR Code reader! So cool! 
Also - when I went to look at my race photos from the event, they had a video of the finish line and showed me the 30 seconds where I crossed the line! Even more amazing! 

Parking/Shuttle

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The Hubbo and I stayed at the Luxor hotel because it was right next door to the hotel where packet pick up was and it was where the shuttle was picking up runners to drive them about 20 minutes out to the speedway for the race. So parking wasn't an issue for us but we had a little trouble finding the place where the shuttle was meeting to pick everyone up. Luckily while walking through our hotel at 5:00 am it's really easy to distinguish the runners from the drunken Vegas goers who were just coming home from a night out on the strip and we followed a group of runners out to the shuttle stop. The shuttle and the parking lot was about a 10 minute walk from the starting line so not a big deal at all. 

The People!

PictureHubbo, Me, Marvin, Diane, George, Clarinda
This race was an absolute blast because of the wonderful people I met up with! 
George organized a Tweet up at packet pick up and we met up with Marvin and Diane there.

At the race we met up with Katie and Clarinda as well! 

If you are on Twitter you should follow these awesome runners!

George: @GeorgeOkinaka 
Clarinda: @EnjoytheCourse
Diane: @Runninrocker
Marvin: @MarathonPitStop
Katie: @Itsjustkatie

Hopefully this fall we'll get to have a reunion at the Ventura Marathon! The Hubbo and I plan on going to do the Half and so far I think the others are considering it! 
This race is supposed to be set up for PRs and has a post-race beach party! I'm sold and ready to head west RIGHT NOW!
Let me know if you are doing this race and we could arrange a Tweet up!

My Race Experience

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First I need to Thank George for 1. taking lots of awesome pics! and 2. Being my running buddy for the last 10 miles of the race! It was nice to run with someone and have a distraction from the heat!

This race was Half Marathon #2 for the month of April for The Hubbo and I. I had already achieved my goal of a HM PR at the Aquarium run here in Tulsa so going into this race I didn't set a lot of goals for myself. I was worried about the heat because I know I'm not a hot weather runner at all! And you know, Vegas is like, in the desert and all. So there's that.

My goal was to come in around 2:15-2:30 if possible. I started our the first two miles on pace for a 2:15 finish but quickly found out that I wasn't going to be able to hang for 11 more miles. I stopped to go to the bathroom at mile 3 and shortly after that met up with George and we finished the race together. 

I've been having trouble lately with  my blood sugar again and right before the race started my blood sugar dropped. Not Awesome. I felt it drop even though I had my typical pre-race nutrition and had my typical breakfast. Luckily The Hubbo takes a Gu Gel right before the race and he shared part of it with me so help stabilize my blood sugar. It worked to relieve the worst of it, but running 13 miles with low blood sugar to start isn't fun in the desert heat of Las Vegas. Just saying...

This is the first race I've been a part of where the status of the race was changed. We went from a Green Flag (normal racing conditions) to a Yellow Flag, meaning that it was getting really hot and runners should be cautious and be sure to hydrate. The temps started in the mid 60s around 7:00am when the race started and climbed to the 70's by the end of the race with little to no wind and no cloud cover or shade on the course. Humidity was around 43%. 

I finished in 2:37:03. 
I've very sad to report that The Hubbo and I didn't win the car. In fact, no one in our group won it despite the fact that Marvin was SURE he was going to win. Sorry Marvin!

More Pictures!

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George, Me, and The Hubbo rocking our back bibs!
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My typical race dummy photo!
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My bibs always look like they went through Hell after a race!

Question! What would you do if you won a new car in Vegas?

 
 
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Last weekend the Hubbo and I ran a local half marathon called the Aquarium Run. For me, this was my Lucky #7 Half Marathon. 
We ran this race once before back in 2012 and it was my very first half marathon so I was excited to come back and give this one another shot. Up until I ran the Route 66 Half Marathon in November the Aquarium Run was my PR race. 
This is a smaller (about 700 finishers in the half) race that benefits the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks, Oklahoma. 

The Medal

PictureAquarium Run Medal 2014
Let's start this recap off by talking about the medal.
The Aquarium Run 2014 medal is a little smaller than I was expecting. When I ran this race in 2012 the medal was a totally different style, shape, and size so I was expecting something along those lines.
Overall, I do like this medal, I just wish it was bigger. I know, I'm a total bling junkie. It's bad. It's hard to see but there is engraved writing on the front that has a really pretty blue color in it. If it has been scaled up, it would have been easier to see. 

The Bib

PictureAquarium Run 2014 Bib
If you are like me, you care more about the medal than the bib, but this year I was impressed with the bib so I'm giving the bib it's own section in this recap. In the past, the bib just had a band of a solid color, blue I think, and a black number. This year the bib was all fancy and stuff and had an actual design that went along with the theme. The theme this year was Running with the Bull Sharks. I didn't even know that Bull Sharks could run! Mind. Blown. ;)

The Course

Picture2014 Aquarium Run Course Map
The course is 100% FLAT!
That is probably the number one reason I decided to run this race again this year. I wanted to get another Half Marathon PR and I knew out of all three of my races this month, this would be my best shot. 
It's not the most exciting course, but I knew that going in.

The half starts right in front of the Aquarium then you make a quick loop through a parking lot and then head across the bridge to the east side of the Arkansas river where you do an out-and-back before heading back across the river to the west side to go back to the Aquarium/finish line. The worst part about this course is that when you come under the bridge you can see the finish area when you hit mile 12. If you can get past that mental game, you're fine. The weather was really great for this event too. It started in the mid 40s and warmed up to the mid 50s by the time we were done. There was a little wind but nothing too crazy.

Parking & Swag

PictureAquarium Run 2014 Race Shirt
We got to the race about 45 minutes early to park because we knew that there is a one lane road to get to the Aquarium and we didn't want to get stuck in line. The 5K also started an hour before the Half so there were going to be a bunch of people already there. If you do this race, plan to show up a little early to get a good spot.

If you are coming in from out of town to do this race, there is actually a Holiday In Express right next to the starting line. Pretty convenient. 

The Swag for this race really isn't bad considering it was so affordable. I think it was $40 or $45 and you got a nice bib, a medal, a t-shirt, typical post-race food and drinks, and a ticket to get into the Aquarium the day of the race. 

RunGingerRun Results

Picture2014 Aquarium Run
I'm super excited to say that I GOT A PR!!!
I ran this race in 2:13:09 which is a little more than 3 minutes faster than my last half marathon PR.

29th out of 77 in my Age Group
293rd out of 705 Total Half Marathon Finishers
Total Number of Females: 446
Total Number of Males: 259

I knew going into this race that I wanted a PR. I had 3 goals to shoot for.

1. Sub 2:10 Finish
2. Sub 2:15 Finish
3. Just beat my previous PR by at least 1 second.
And my 4th and unofficial goal was to just NOT DIE. Whew! Glad I made that one! :) 

While I didn't reach my #1 goal, I did hit my #2 goal. Before the race, I looked up a pace chart and knew that I needed to average about 9:55 per mile for a sub 2:10 finish. When the race started out, we had a tailwind and I was feeling great so I was running faster than 9:55.
BIG MISTAKE!
I ended up getting a PR at the 10K distance but I wasn't there to run a 10K, I was there to run a half marathon. So I ended up struggling through miles 9-13. But I was able to  hold onto a a fast enough pace for the second half to at least reach my #2 goal, so I'm really happy!

When I was running I hit the wall around mile 9. I was running alone at that point and decided that I was just going to turn my music up and push through. I'd already ran a huge chunk of the race and I didn't want to give up on my PR with 4ish miles to go. Someone who was still heading out to the turn around yelled at me, but by the time I realized they were talking to me (because my music was loud) they had already passed. I turned around to wave but I'm not sure if they saw me. If that was you, I'm sorry and Heyy!!!

Soon after that a little boy started talking to me too. That's when I knew I needed to take my ear buds out and be social. He was out there running his 3rd half marathon and was so cute! He had to be 10 or so. He complimented me on my back bib (see pic below) as he flew right on by me. 

Shortly after the little boy took off a friend of mine from High School met up with me and we ran a couple miles together. It was a welcomed relief because I was struggling and it gave me someone to talk to and distract me.

Right after I crossed the finish line an Instagram buddy of mine, Mary, recognized me and said hi. As soon as I stopped running my legs were hurting so bad, I wasn't able to stick around much and talk. I also did get a pic with her either.
Bad Blogger!

After the run we went inside to get some food and I ran into a Twitter buddy of mine. I think it's so fun to meet my social media buddies at races! Also it was nice to put a face with a name.

Here are my splits:
Mile 1: 9:57
Mile 2: 9:46
Mile 3: 9:42
Mile 4: 9:44
Mile 5: 9:53
Mile 6: 9:49
Mile 7: 10:00 (This was after we turned back south and had a headwind)
Mile 8: 9:58
Mile 9: 10:15 (Here's where it started to get HARD!)
Mile 10: 10:24
Mile 11: 10:27 
Mile 12: 10:15
Mile 13: 10:23

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My Motivational Back Bib!
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The Gingers in the corral shot before the race.
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The rest of the RunGingerRun Crew before the race!
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Post Race Hubbo Pic!
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This is the FIRST time that my Garmin time matched my chip time!

Question! How's your racing been going lately? Any PRs you want to share?

 
 
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Happy New Year! I hope your 2014 has started off with a ton of fun already!

In a previous post, I told you how terrible we are at planning races in advance. We will literally sign up for races only a couple days in advance. Well this year I set a few running goals for myself and a few of them will force me to be better at planning ahead on things like my race calendar. Keep reading to check out my goals and first attempt at a race list for 2014.



Goal # 1

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Nevada here we come!
Run a race in a State we haven't raced in before.

This was my goal last year as well and we ran the Little Rock Marathon in Arkansas to make that happen. This year we are venturing out a little farther away from home and signed up for a one-time-only half marathon in Las Vegas! We plan to run the Mustang 50th Anniversary Half Marathon in April 2014. 

Goal # 2

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2013 Medal Count: 9
Earn more medals in 2014 than 2013.

I'm surprised that I came away with so many medals for 2013. We ended up with 9 which means we'll have to complete at least 10 races that provide medals this year if we want to accomplish this goal. Challenge Accepted! 

This is going to take some planning, which we aren't normally the best at, but we've already started putting our race calendar together and I'll post it below. 

Goal # 3

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Goal # 3B - I need to wear this shirt!
Complete a Marathon in under 5 Hours for a new Marathon PR.

My current marathon PR is 5:16. I know, nothing to brag about. And sadly that was my very first marathon as well. Also during training for that race I developed a tough case of Plantar Fasciitus (that still flares up every now and again) but we went ahead and completed 3 more marathons in as many months. Not smart, by the way. This year I have one shot at reaching this goal. We've already signed up for our one and only Full marathon, the Route 66 Marathon, so it's all or nothing on this one!

This time will hopefully be much different because I have my nutrition plan a little more figured out, I respect the distance more than I did the first time, I know that I can't wear stability shoes because I need a neutral shoe, and I have an awesome chiropractor that will help keep my feet and legs nice and healthy for those long runs! 

2014 Race Calendar...so far

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Polar Bear Plunge
Tulsa, OK
January 1, 2014
2 Miles, 3 Pools, 1 Medal

(Race Recap Coming Soon!)

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Go Short, Go Long, Go Very Long
Tulsa, OK
January 25, 2014
10K
Medal - Yes

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Sweetheart Run
Tulsa, OK 
February 15, 2014
5K + 10K = Double
Medal -  No

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Aquarium Run
Tulsa, OK
April 5, 2014
Half Marathon
Medal - Yes



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Mustang 50th Half Marathon
Las Vegas, Nevada
April 19, 2014
Half Marathon
Medal - Yes!

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Tulsa Run
Tulsa, OK
October 2014
15K
Medal - Yes

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Jenks Half Marathon
Jenks, OK
November 2014
Half Marathon
Medal - Yes

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Route 66 5K
Tulsa, OK
November 2014
3.1 Miles
Medal - Yes

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Route 66 Marathon
Tulsa, OK
November 2014
26.5 Miles
Medal - Yes 
Coin - Yes 

So far we have 9 races scheduled but only 8 that will allow us to earn a medal. In order to reach my goal of 10 medals in 2014, we will have to find and pick up at least 2 more races with medals. This should be a fun challenge and help us run a few we haven't ran before. Game on!

What are your running goals for 2014? What races are on your race list?

 
 
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Route 66 Marathon Medals
It's really hard to believe that Route 66 Marathon weekend has come and gone already. It went so fast and even though it's Tuesday night now, I'm still tired and sore and THAT'S how you know you had a good weekend! I probably took about 1 million pictures this weekend, most of which you'll get to see here, to help me remember this awesome race weekend. Let's start at the beginning, shall we? I still can't feel my feet..

Last Friday Night 

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Route 66 5K Medal 2013
The Hubbo and I heard that the Route 66 5k was taking place on the Saturday before the big race and this year would be the first year that all 5k finishers would get a medal. OMG! You all know that we'll pretty much do anything for a medal because we are ridiculously addicted to bling. Seriously, is there a 12-Step program for this? We may need it someday. 
On Friday night we had to go to the Expo to pick up our race packet. We weren't able to get there until about 6:45 but we picked up our stuff and checked out the expo. It wasn't very busy but there was a lot of cool stuff to check out. I was most interested in getting to meet the T-Rex Runner who had a booth at the expo promoting her new company. When we got there, this happened...

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This is my sad face because TRex wasn't there!
Of course I failed to pay attention to her Expo schedule because I was entirely too lazy to read it, so she wasn't there when we showed up. 
::Insert Sad Music Here::
But I decided to tweet her this picture with "Oh no! No @thetrexrunner here! #WheresTrex" and she replied! A few tweets later and this happened....
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Me aka RunGingerRun, Steven Yee aka The Prez, and Danielle aka T-Rex Runner
Yup! That is me, T-Rex runner and Steven Yee aka the Prez of Marathon Maniacs hanging outside of a local bar just after we all had a beer! Totally made my weekend! 

Saturday 5K and Mascot Dash

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Excuse me, Red coat guy, can you move? I'm trying to take a picture for my blog!
Some people told us we were crazy for doing the 5K the day before we ran a Half and Full marathon, but we played it smart. We basically just used this as a warm up or shake out run and didn't even try to race. I think we finished it in just over 34 minutes. It was a good practice run actually because we've had such nice weather here in Tulsa I haven't even had to run in the bitter cold yet! 
The Mascot Dash took place after the 5K and was fun! It was short and sweet which was nice because it was so cold out there. I still can't feel my feet! We had about a dozen or so mascots lined up for the dash, a hot dog, a banana, a cowboy, T-Rex Runner, The ORU Eagle and more that I was too cold to remember. 
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Oh #NBD just two Gingers and one is in a banana costume. Totally normal.
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The space blanket sarong! Keeps you warm and fashionable during the Mascot Dash!

Sunday! The BIG day! 

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On Sunday morning, 9,000 of my running buddies and I braved the frigid temperature to run in the Route 66 Marathon here in Tulsa. This was the coldest run I've been a part of which was horrible and awesome at the same time. The temp was in the low 20's with a wind chill in the mid teens. Cold! At least the sunrise was beautiful! I still can't feel my feet...


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More awesome runner fashion in plastic bags!
About an hour before the race we met up with these crazy cats and hung out in Lesley's office which wasn't too far from the starting line. We bundled up in our super high fashion trash bags and ponchos and walked our way down to the freezing cold corral where we took this picture. The Hubbo and I both had a goal to get a PR in this race so we said goodbye to our buddies and found our spot next to a pace group. 
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Route 66 Half Marathon Medal and Bib 2013
Since this was Half Marathon number 6, I was super serious about this PR business. I decided to start out with the 2:20 pace group knowing that at some point I was going to have to ditch them to finish under 2:18. And that is exactly what I did. At mile 6 I noticed that I kept holding myself back to make sure I was sticking with the 2:20 pacer, and then about a half mile later, I thought to myself that it was crazy I was holding myself back when I was half way done with the race. So I took off and finished the race in 2:16:56 with a 2 minute and 11 second PR! 

                 So what about the course? What was it like? Was it hilly?

The course did have a few hills, but still, nothing compared to the two I faced in San Fran last month. So to me, this course felt easier, but to a lot of people this was a pretty hilly course, so you have to take my opinion with a grain of salt. 
Also, the course had a few ice patches on it because of the cold temps! The race did a great job of marking the areas and even putting sand on it to help the runners avoid injury. I did like the fact that we had a shorter out-and-back on the river. Mentally it was easier to do 3 miles this year versus the 6 miles last year. 

Sunday was a day for PRs for the RunGingerRun house!
The Hubbo got a PR in the Full with a time of 4:27:58! He took over 20 minutes off his previous Full Marathon PR! Great job Hubbo! 

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Here's the Hubbo, not wearing a lot of clothes on a super cold day just finishing a marathon!
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My Garmin Time for the Route 66 Half
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The Hubbo's Garmin Time for the Route 66 Full

Race Highlights

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Steve and The Ginger
I never thought that when I started this blog that people would...
1. Read it.
2. Recognize me from it.
3. Want to take a picture with me.
But this weekend proved I was wrong and this happened!
About half a mile into the race a Twitter follower of mine tapped me on the shoulder and said hi and that he follows me on Twitter! Hi Tom!
That totally made my day. Then I had just crossed the finish line and Steve yelled out to me and wanted to take a pic with me so he could tell his wife he met someone "famous" today! LOL I don't feel famous but it was super fun to meet both of these guys and to take a pic with Steve. Thanks for the awesome pic! Totally made my day!

Race Complaints

I know that when you organize a race as big as this, not everything is going to go 100% perfect. I'm still very happy and satisfied with everything and will be doing this race again next year. There were a few things that just didn't work out perfectly though.
  • The race medal and ribbon have the wrong dates on them. The medal has Saturday's date not Sunday's date and the ribbon as 2012 instead of 2013. Weird.
  • The Tracking App didn't work for everyone. It worked OK for me, but some had trouble with it.
  • Some things like the website, tracking app, and others still said 2012 on it.
  • Probably the biggest problem was that some people had thought they had registered for either the half or full, traveled all the way to Tulsa only to find out their registrations were no where to be found. So sad and frustrating being as registration was already closed. Please keep your race registration confirmation emails so this won't happen to you!

One last picture for good measure. You can't have too many pics, right?

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Race Bibs from the Route 66 2013 5k, Half Marathon, and Full Marathon 2013
 
 
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It's official. Race weekend is here! Get Excited! 

Well, maybe not too excited, don't hurt yourself or anything because you still have to function like the well-trained runner that you are. But still, this is kind of a big deal! 

For a lot of you and most of my running buddies, we've been training for this for 20 weeks! That's longer than Kim Kardashian's marriage lasted to what's-his-face! 

But now, it's GO Time! According to the Tulsa World Article, this weekend it will be race day for me and 13,000 of my running buddies. (3000 in the full and 6000 in the half) 

Since this will be my third year to participate in the race on some level (relay, full, and the half) I thought I would dedicate this blog to giving you some info on why this is the BEST. RACE. EVER! 

But really, here are some tips and info to make your race day weekend fun and exciting, or at least more informed. 

The Expo

We all know the expo is important. You have to pick up your bib, you  need to shop, and take tons of pics of you holding up your bib next to a race sign. Obviously!

If you are running the 5K you have to pick up your race packet on Friday. There is no same day-packet pickup for the 5K.

According to the Route 66 Website, the Williams Route 66 Marathon Expo will hosts exhibitors featuring running gear and shoes, as well as sports and fitness related items. It will also feature a Holiday Market with vendors featuring gift and holiday related items. The Expo is the home of the Packet Pick-Up for all participants and volunteers. Held at the Cox Business Center the two-day Expo is free and open to the public. 

We have bought a few 13.1 and 26.2 Christmas Tree ornaments that will come in handy if we do a running inspired Christmas Tree this year and hang our medals all over it. We are still discussing it but we'll see! I mean, we need to use these things for something, right?

Address:
Cox Business Center
100 Civic Center
Tulsa, OK 74103

Hours:
Friday November 22 - 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday November 23 - 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Bonus Info! 
I also hear that Bart Yasso will be hanging around the expo from Noon - Two on Saturday. 

Annnnnnd the thing I'm probably the most excited about....they are having a bloggers forum again this year! OMG! Totally #FanGirling over the featured bloggers! The featured bloggers will be The T-Rex Runner, Mama Laughlin, Running with the Tiny Dangerous One, and more! The Bloggers forum will take place on Saturday from 4:00-5:00. I plan on being there in the audience rapid fire tweeting these folks like crazy! Just kidding! Or not...

Oklahoma Weather

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So... let me break the news to you all. Oklahoma weather isn't exactly known for being predictable. 

::Womp Womp::     :(

In fact, we have the famous quote from Will Rogers that says: "If you don't like the weather in Oklahoma, wait a minute and it'll change."

<--- Here is what we are expecting as of today for race weekend.



Saturday 
Low of 25 degrees, Mostly cloudy, with a high near 40. North wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

Sunday
Low of 30 degrees, A slight chance of snow before noon, then a chance of rain between noon and 3pm, then a chance of snow after 3pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 37. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming south in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 50%.

My advice for you is to pack for the cold and precipitation but make sure you have some gear for less cold conditions too. You never know!

The 5K and Mascot Dash

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Photo from route66marathon.com
On Saturday there will be a 5K and a Mascot Dash. It may not be the smartest idea we've ever had, but the Hubbo and I both signed up for the 5K which takes place oh... about 24 hours before the big race. No Big Deal! You may be asking yourself why? Well...because we saw that each 5K finisher gets a medal! The End. Done! Once we saw that there was a medal up for grabs, we were hooked. Again, I have some random and incurable need for race bling. There's no hope! Medals are for runners what cats are for crazy cat ladies! We just can't get enough! 


So what is the Mascot Dash? The Mascot Dash is an invitation only race (free to the public to watch) that is held at 9:30 Saturday where some local and not-so-local mascots come out in costume and race to see who wins! I saw a video of this from last year and it looked hilarious!  

Last year we had everyone from Fleet Feet Pete from Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa, The T-Rex Runner (who lost her T-rex head during the race, oops!), and Hornsby from the Tulsa Drillers Baseball Team. Can't wait to see this! Should be fun! 

Maniac Corner

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Are you a Marathon Maniac, Half Fanatic, or 50 Stater? 
You have to run this race, just to get the specialized medal! (see picture below) Well not this year because the registration is closed now but next year, you know? 

If you are a Maniac and/or Fanatic like me, you need to go by the Maniac Booth at the Expo and pick up this bracelet! It gives you special powers....or well, really just access to Maniac Corner. 

According to the Route 66 Website, Maniac Corner features the following free race day benefits for members of the Marathon Maniacs, Half Fanatics and 50-States Marathon Club.
  • Private VIP Tent and fenced in outdoor area with volunteers to make sure you have a great experience. The location of Maniac Corner is on the course, near the finish line. It is a great place to cheer for everyone as they finish.
  • Professional group photo before the start of the race, made available at no-charge to members.
  • Private Restrooms
  • Private Gear Check
  • Private supply of post-race food, Gatorade, water, soft drinks and lots of beer
  • Recognition of all three clubs prior to the start of the race

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Photo from route66marathon.com

Center of the Universe Detour

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Photo from route66marathon.com
If you are doing the Full marathon this weekend, you HAVE TO DO THE COU Detour!!!! You just have to! Plus you get a coin for doing it, everyone knows that runners love bling! Duh!

What is the Center of the Universe Detour? Well this year it is a detour at the end of the marathon and before you cross the finish line you take a .3 mile jaunt over to run to what Tulsans call the Center of the Universe. It is an acoustic phenomenon that wasn't put there on purpose.  Once you go up the brick path to the COU you stand on a brick circle that is located directly over the tracks.  When standing on this spot you can make any sound that you like and it will echo in your ears.  What is so amazing is that no one outside the circle can hear it, no one outside the circle sounds like they are echoing to you in the circle and there are no surfaces near enough to the circle to produce an echo.

Last year, when I ran the Full at the Route 66 I remember seeing a banner that said something like 26.5 the shortest Ultra Ever! 
Technically anything over 26.2 is an Ultra so it was my first full and first ultra!

There's an App for That!

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The Route 66 Marathon makes it easy for your friends and family to follow your progress during the race even if they can't come to Tulsa or don't want to hang out in the cold. There's an App for that! My parents and friends used it last year and thought it was pretty swell! 

Also, it is important to note that the tracking part of the App won't be "live" until late Saturday night after all bibs have been assigned at the Expo. Just an FYI on that!

Click Here for the Apple Mobile App
Click Here for the Android Mobile App

I hope all the info helped and that you all have a great race! See you on the course!