On Friday I flew direct from DC to Indianapolis and met up with Abbi, who had already picked up my race packet for Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. We checked into the Westin and realized we wouldn’t be able to make the 50 States Marathon Club reunion meeting. Or if we did, we’d pretty much arrive while everyone was leaving. So, we relaxed for a short time and then went to Palomino for dinner with friends. What started out as a 6-person table quickly grew to more than a dozen as more Marathon Maniacs tagged along. We had a satisfying meal and then enjoyed Shawn’s homemade mimosa cupcakes for dessert.
|Indianapolis Monumental pre-race dinner|
|I'm walking back to the Westin in the wet snow after dinner|
|Bundled up! Robert, Jen, Abbi, Sandy, Jen (two Jens are better than one!)|
|Huddled runners before the start|
|Early in the race we ran past the Soldiers and Sailors Monument|
|Selfie with Abbi and Larry before the half split|
|Beer drinking selfie with Joe and Kelly - local beer from Sun King Brewery|
|The Indiana State Fairgrounds; Maniac Joe in the green jacket on the left|
|Abstract basketball court art|
|Love and foliage at the Indianapolis Museum of Art|
|Veterans Memorial Plaza on the way to the finish|
That said, the race was very well organized, and I certainly can’t blame them for the weather. The support was good, and the swag was too. In addition to our participant shirt, we were presented with the following at the finish line: a nice medal, an embroidered finisher stocking cap, and a recovery jacket. My finish line experience was enhanced because Abbi came out to run in with me, and I saw some familiar faces after I crossed.
|Abbi and me with our medals|
|I really did drink a Dos Equis, no kidding|
My next segment was Philadelphia to Manchester where I also enjoyed First Class seating. Barb picked me up in Manchester and took me to the hotel where she had already checked in. It was 10 PM, but because of the one-hour “fall back” time change, we got plenty of sleep.
The next morning was another wardrobe conundrum. Manchester was also going to be cold, and even windier. In addition, the course was going to be quite hilly, thus making this the more difficult day of my double. We bundled up even more than I had the day before in Indy, and drove into town for the early start. I was very thankful for the early start, which was recommended for marathoners expecting to finish in over 5 hours. That was me…and several others.
|Manchester City early start Maniacs keeping warm in the ATM vestibule|
|Emily (in left background), Kerri, Barb, Sandy|
|The starting line before the early starters lined up|
|Intense, cold selfie; I was not happy with the freezing wind|
|House/barn (?) with ginormous pumpkin|
|The leaders coming through and passing me|
|I loved how well the course was marked, including here at the entrance to the trail|
|The dirt trail was excellent, and someone had marked all the roots and rocks with bright orange paint|
|Very bundled up running around the lake|
|Crossing a bridge over the river with about 2 miles to go, and just wanting to get to town NOW|
|Coming in for the finish - finally!|
|In the Manchester airport with my Manchester City medal before I hit the airport bar|
The whole weekend happened so quickly. Well…the running didn’t happen quickly, but all the other weekend events seemed to occur so fast. There was little time to stop, breathe and relax in between flights, drives and meals. There was no room for error in this logistically challenging “airplane double”. I have to send major appreciation and thanks to Abbi and Barb for taking care of picking up my packets and chauffeuring me in Indianapolis and Manchester, respectively. I could not have done it without their amazing support!
I am so relieved that I am finished with double marathons. And I am finished with picking out marathons just because they are in new states that fit into my calendar. My next two states are planned well in advance, are races I want to do on their own merit, and are places where I will have friends supporting me. Looking forward to a lighter race schedule before New Jersey in April and Oregon in May.