Marathons: Paul #30, Leah #20, State #15 : California International Marathon 2013
8th December 2013, Sacramento, California, USA
Finish Time (Leah) = 3:52:10
Finish Time (Paul) = 3:52:15
The CIM should have been a nice mild-weather marathon to finish off the year. Instead the same cold snap from Canada that affected our Route 66 marathon also plunged Sacramento into below freezing temperatures and once again we had to get out the thermal running gear and hats!
We went to the Expo the day before and were asked if we would give an interview and also given some free gear for being Marathon Maniacs. Then we explored Sacramento including the California State Capitol building, surrounding gardens and also a Cathedral. I then directed us to the Downtown Plaza Shopping Mall, the road to which got progressively shadier the further down we walked. In the end even I had to concede that we were surrounded by too many homeless, strange people and the occasional drive-by police car to want to spend any time there and we made a quick exit.
The morning of the marathon we set our alarms for a 4am start in order to catch the 5am shuttle bus. The course was a point-to-point route and there’s something very daunting about getting on a yellow US school bus at 5am while still pitch-black dark and freezing cold, and then being driven for an HOUR away from the city that the finish line is in.
The run went well, especially considering it was our 3rd marathon in 3 weeks. The course was okay, but nothing amazing. The freezing temperatures were causing some issues, at the aid stations the water that people were spilling from the cups / throwing on the ground was freezing into ice making the aid stations akin to ice-rinks. People were trying to run over to get water and slipping all over the place. We gave the first 2 stations a miss as they were a complete mess. At the rest of them we slowed down and walked carefully over the ice to get to the water cups.
The finish was in front of the State Capitol Building which looked great with all the Christmas decorations and huge Christmas tree in front of it. What was strange though is they had different finishes for women and men. So after running the whole way together, they made us separate and run down different roads that were parallel to each other and over the finish line.
The Thing That Totally Doesn’t Bother Me At All…
…is that Leah immediately turned left to start down the women’s finishing stretch whereas I had to continue on running down to the second road before turning left for the men’s finish. Now I’m not saying it was unfair, but my official time was 3:52:15 and Leah’s was 3:52:10. There’s no way she could have got 5 seconds ahead of me in the short distance we were separated if they had been the same distance, especially as I sprinted as I knew she would too. A thorough analysis that I presented to her using Google Earth did nothing to prove that I really didn’t care about this and ultimately history will show a story of Leah out-sprinting me at the end. But we all know the truth, or at least I do.
There was also some much-needed hot soup at the end. Our flights back to Denver got delayed due to the bad weather and finally 20 hours since we’d got up for the marathon, we arrived back at our apartment.. only to then get up 5 hours later as I had to fly back out for the work week.
Finishing this Marathon resulted in an upgrade from 4 to 5 stars in the Marathon Maniacs club for completing 13 Marathons in 13 States within 365 days. In addition we managed to run every 2013 marathon in under 4 hours. It also meant we have now completed a total of 15 of the 50 US States. It’s been an excellent marathon year, we’ve seen some fantastic places and met some great people too. We’re looking forward to continued challenges in 2014 and the places the marathons will take us. (I’m not saying how many we have already booked!)
Elevation Graph from my running watch:
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