Thursday, December 20, 2012

Passed by a Christmas Tree

I was proud to bring my marathon time back under five hours on Sunday, yet a few things from the race kept me humble.

Like getting passed by a Christmas tree on Mile 7.

I typically get passed by a couple runners pushing strollers. That only happened twice on Sunday, right around the 5K point, and those runners may have been running the 5K or half marathon.

Then, shortly after I had passed the Mile 6 marker, I heard a jingling sound behind me, and in my peripheral vision came a Christmas tree, chugging up next to me. As soon as she passed me, I commented aloud, “I think I just got passed by a Christmas tree.” The ornamented stunt runner, and those nearby, chuckled. I passed her back a minute or two later.

A few minutes after that, she passed me for good, and I didn’t see her Christmas lights again until I reached the finish line, where she apparently arrived about six minutes before I did. However, for roughly twenty miles, I saw the occasional shred of tinsel along the course, where she had just run.

I had also run the Jacksonville Marathon in December 2005. One of my memories from that race is being somewhere near Mile 4, one week before Christmas, and having to endure Kenny G.’s Christmas hits from police motorcycles patrolling the course. I had hoped for something a bit more “Eye of the Tiger”-esque while running.

The 2012 race, my seventh full marathon (see recap from my sixth marathon here), came on a gorgeous day. We had fog at the start. Overcast weather is nice for a distance race, and it’s tough to get much more overcast than fog. By the time I reached the point where the Kenny G. Christmas music was – mercifully – not playing, the fog had lifted, and it was a comfortable, sunny day. Most of the course had shade, so we had a pretty day, without a ton of direct sunlight.

This race completed my race circuit of two half marathons and three full marathons in 2012. My main reason for adding this race was to keep me on track, physically, for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in January 2013.

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