Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Jumping Marathon of Sacramento County: Running in Gold Country (12/8/13)

Right after mile 20 or so...
photo by Andy Marielli

Race: California International Marathon
Location: Folsom to Sacramento, CA
Goal Time: 3:10:00
Actual Time: 3:13:31 (PR, BQ, 3rd Clydesdales)

In compliance with a request with a friend of mine, I inquired with one Jesse Morrow about a marathon run in Gold Country.  For those back East, the idea of a downhill marathon seemed both preposterous and a cool idea.  But I suspected the Folsom Marathon my be a myth.

I met with a Jesse Morrow on the stoop of the Capitol building in Sacramento to inquire of this Folsom Marathon.  Mr. Morrow thought for a minute:

"Folsom Marathon - nope I do not remember such a thing.  But there was a California International Marathon run up here.   In the winter of '12 it was I ran it.  Coldest race I ever ran.  In fact when we caught the bus from downtown Sacramento the buses were covered in an inch-a snow.  Tim there said: 'Hope these buses aren't from where the start is.'

"Come time for the bus trip, we boarded and headed up 30 miles or so - well, 26.2 by the most direct route but that pro'lly been too slow for the buses.  The temperatures were definitely back East temps.  Reports ranged from 25 to 27.  The Golden Staters kept telling us: 'You must be used to this type of weather comin' round from back East and all.'
On the Bus at the Start line
photo by Mauro Salmon
"Used to it - sure.  Run in it - nope.

"Well, it was a mass start marathon - kinda odd for one that size.  Tim, Culla and I made it up the front.  Tim thought the better part-a valor was for he and I to step back from the front-a the race.  So we made it back a few rows for the start.

"The first few miles Tim and I made our way through the cold air and frost.  The first few miles had two water stops were skating rinks as the dropped cups created hockey conditions.  Yet, as we dropped further down the valley into warmer and warmer climes the temperatures went through the roof - all the way up to round freezin'. and in the sun, it was tolerable - if not pleasant.

"Come the half marathon, Tim and I had kept up the pace.  Coming in round 1:36:30, he says to me: 'I don't know if I can runt he next half in 1:29' (to qualify for Boston -'15)

"Now I always believe in trying.  Further we had come near 3000 miles for this race.  Seemed like a waste to at least not try.  So I convinced him that he pro'ly could do it.  So he sprinted off toward the finish line whilst I merely kept the same pace.

"Round mile 16, I definitely started feeling the Manchester City Marathon that had been 5 weeks earlier. The easy marathon pace, became quite difficult.  I kept it up for the next four or so I kept myself going by fighting through each mile at a time.

"Then as we headed up toward mile 20, there were a band playing the Humpty Dance.  Naturally, I stepped to the side like my leg was broken but when I tried to get back running I almost fell over.  As I was tripping to the ground all I could think was two things: 1) Oh, I'm gonna fall to the ground and 2) well at least that'll be a funny story.

"I didn't fall.

"The next four miles were still tough.  But let me tell ya.  Round 22 I passed Tim, whose attempt at 1:29 did not go so well.  I was able to keep myself going with the idea that I could actually beat Tim in a race.

"Now I came down to the last two.  I just kept having to tell myself - 15 minutes left to go.  14 minutes left to go.  13 minutes left to go.

"Right before the state capital we took a left onto 7th and then the left onto Capitol Ave.  I had everything into a sprint to finish at my second PR in 36 days."

Jesse Morrow heard his name called and walked toward the building: "Just set here stranger - I ain't going to be gone a second."

But I figured any more story about the California International Marathon wouldn't glean more information concerning about the Folsom Marathon.

At the steps I met sociable Morrow returning, and buttonholed me and continued:

"Well, let me tell you the story of the day after when Seth tried to burn the house down with apple pie."

However, lacking both time and inclination, I did not wait to hear about the apple pie, but took my leave.

Urvi and I with medals
photo by Mauro Salmon
SRR Shoutouts -
Culla PRed and broke 2:50
Kate BQed for the first time
Mauro PRed
Erin BQed

Special shoutouts
Andy and Seth for coming all the way out California to cheer
Culla for ordering cabs and buying travel cups!

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