As we last left off, I was bitterly complaining about the Oregon weather; well, things improved this is what I saw when we checked into our hotel:
I feel so much better now; how about you?
Newport is less than 2 hours from Portland and is a beautiful drive from the valley to the coast; the weather forecasters were smiling on me, Friday and Saturday (race day) were given the "two thumbs up" and I was very optimistic. My dear friend Vicki was with me and she was going back & forth about whether she would be running; she's been fighting a knee injury and really isn't in marathon shape. As we looked at this sunset (sadly without a nice glass of wine), Vicki decided she had better pass on Saturday's race to ensure she would be ready for Missoula in July:
Saturday morning dawned as an absolutely perfect day; not a cloud in the sky and about 50 degrees at the start. Newport is the 2nd of my three marathons in 90 days, which will earn me my maniac status. I had no race plan, no expectations, I really had no idea of how I would do. I felt really good and did wonder if I could break four hours again; it has only been a month since Eugene (read between the lines "bad idea").
I went out at a low 9:00 pace and felt great. The course is a short three+ mile loop through the Nye Beach area, then it heads down to the bay front area and along Youngs Bay until about mile 15 and then comes back the same way. It is a relatively flat course and is known as a great PR course. I realized by about mile 16 or 17 I wasn't going to break four hours and my legs were getting tired.
Around mile 18 I came across a gal who was really struggling; she was from Las Vegas, New Mexico and it was her first marathon. She really needed a friendly face and some company; to make a long story short I stuck with her for the rest of the race. I decided that I was going to do my darnedest to get her to the finish line. We did a walk/run for the rest of the race and she finished in tears. It was probably one of the best experiences of my life, helping her finish her first marathon. She called me her Marathon Angel; I almost cried.
The medals are glass and made by a local artist; they are very unique.
I have more photos, but I am in New Orleans, for work, and don't have my USB cable with me. I will post them when I get home.
I am a bit bummed that I feel so great today; even after 6 hours on airplanes with about 4 hours of sleep my legs are not sore. I know that means I had more in me, but it's o.k. I don't want to jeopardize Missoula or risk any sort of injury. All I needed to do was finish this race and I did. My official finish time was 4:33:48 and I am fine with it.