My plan for early April was to run the Eisenhower Marathon in Abilene, Kansas; however, this race ended up conflicting with our kids’ school musical, so I had to find a last-minute substitute. Fortunately, The Wicked Marathon in Wamego was the week earlier. The course didn’t look as flat, and the race was smaller; it appeared doable, however, and was also a shorter drive from Saint Louis which was an added bonus.
My weekend began with a rather frustrating lodging error: I had booked a room online at the Wamego Inn, which was the only hotel in town. When I tried to check in, the front desk had no record of my reservation. I pulled up my confirmation e-mail, and after a call to the hotel manager, it was determined that I booked my room on the day that the hotel was switching its online reservation system. Effectively, my booking was completely lost, and the hotel was full. I had the option to book a room at a hotel 20 minutes down the road or try the motor inn across the street. Luckily, there was one room left at the local motel, which is run by the sweetest couple in all of Wamego.
The weather in Kansas was also uncooperative. The forecast had been predicting rain for our Saturday run, and it was sprinkling on my way to the race. However, by the time we lined up at the start, the temperature had dropped, and it was snowing. This was my first experience running in snow, and I was very glad that nothing stuck to the road or tuned into ice. I ran the first twelve miles in the snowfall before it finally warmed back up to rain.
The race itself was a nice, small town event, and I give the race directors top marks for organization and friendliness. My hotel was only a couple of miles from the start line, and there was no problem parking downtown. We were able to stay indoors until it was time to start our event which was very helpful on this rainy/ slushy day. The race starts and finishes at the Wizard of Oz Museum, and this was also the theme for the race. Quite a few runners dressed up in costume, and our finishers’ medals and awards were Oz- related too.
The race began with a series of three three- mile loops around town. This got a bit tedious, but it was nice to see the 5k and half marathoners on the course. There were some hills in this section, but at least I could predict where they would be after the first lap. After this, we did an out and back on a rural road leading out of town. There wasn’t anything particularly scenic or exciting about this, but it got the job done. Because the race was so small, I ran most of it alone. The one thing that I had read about this race was that the wind could be an issue, so I was extremely grateful to have a cross- wind during this portion. I thought that I would be colder with the snow and wind, but I ended up running most of the race comfortably in a t- shirt and capris.
My watch had died the week before this race, so I was running with Jim’s Garmin. I wasn’t very familiar with his setup, and around mile 11 I accidently toggled between screens and couldn’t get my information back up. I restarted my route so that I could see how fast I was running, but I no longer had a record of my total marathon time. Due to the long out and back on this course, I could also tell that I was leading the other women by about two minutes. Because no one was close to catching me, I took it pretty easy in my last few miles: I walked up some hills and didn’t really push my pace. When I turned the final corner to run through the finishers’ chute, I realized that I was just shy of a 3:30 finish time. Even with a last- ditch sprint effort, my final marathon time was 3:30:02. I will now need to re- run Kansas in order to make up those pesky two second. I supposed that’s what I get for not replacing my watch soon enough….
Sub 4 State #39, BQ State #38
Finish Time: 3:30:02
Overall Place Within My Gender: 1/39
Total Training Miles: 7,977
Shoe Total: 25