What a fun run! I'll start at the end -- Donna and I finished with a 1:56 time which is a wonderful time in and of itself, but made even better by the rolling hills of the last 4 miles of the course (plus the one steep hill right before the finish!).
So we got there about 45 minutes before the race, which was plenty of time to park, use the (real!) bathrooms, and get to the starting line. We were in the second wave of runners (1:46 to 2:15 predicted finish time) and we both had tears in our eyes as the first wave started to the crack of the starting gun and then Queen's "We Will Rock You" blaring over the speakers. (Our starting song was The Who's "Who Are You?" which was almost as cool!)
The course was super fun, way more fun than 3 years ago. For one thing, they had someone dressed as a troll at every bridge (a la Three Billy Goats Gruff), snarling and shouting at the runners. Also there were plastic snakes and spiders on the bridges, which were fine once I realized they were fake! And there were people in costumes at various points along the way which added to the fun atmosphere.
I had my iPod with me, but opted to run this one without music, kind of as a mental training exercise. Donna and I chatted for the first 5 or 6 miles, and then she tuned into her music, and I had time to chat with other runners (I ran into a guy I worked with at the computer company almost 13 years ago!) and to just think my own thoughts.
We finished with smiles on our faces, and Donna's family (husband and 3 gorgeous daughters) was there to celebrate with her! My suspicion? Today was NOT her last race!
And speaking of races, I've signed up for the Helen Klein Running Classic which takes place on Saturday. They have a 30K (18.6 miles), a 50K (31.1 miles) and a 50 mile race. My plan is to run the 30K and add on miles to make this my 24 mile run. But what I'm most excited about is being around real ultra people -- how cool is that? AND guess what the post-race snacks are? A full Thanksgiving dinner!!! (Mine will be sans turkey, of course.)