So much for flying under the radar. Kyle and I had talked about running a marathon together for some time after our last NYC Marathon in 2016. We wanted to see what we could do running at a high intensity for a little more than three hours. We already had watched KPF athletes, Gordie and Lizzie qualify for Boston while competing in the Marine Corps Marathon and we had both started talking about whether or not we could achieve this feat as well. With Ironman in our rear view, we decided to embark on some training and give it a go.
Race morning was easy with just three KPF athletes on the course and only around 1300 runners overall. Nothing wild and compared to the scene at the Ironman World Championships it was a calm and welcomed sight.
When the gun sounded, we took off in the morning darkness. Kevin Enners was off ahead of us and was out of our sight in the blink of an eye. He had really figured out his machine and was looking for a MASSIVE PR. Around the 3/4 mile mark, our chair was wobbly. A bolt in the handlebars had come loose and everything was shaking. We shouted out to Rich Enners (Kevin's dad) and he was able to loan us his multi tool. After we made our fix and stuffed the tool into Kyle's pocket for safe keeping, we were off again.
For some reason the race felt hard. We were barely a mile into the race at this point and yet were starting to doubt our ability to pull this off. As we joined the half marathon runners for a portion of the course, we even joked with each other that we should just follow them and shorten our day. After some chuckles, we committed to finding a way to dig it out. Around mile 8, as the half marathon runners left us, we started to feel good. Back in the fight!
I told Kyle that when I stopped talking, that it was time for him to take over. That is when the race would be at the “hard point” or the proverbial wall that marathon runners talk about. At that point he would have to lead us home. After 8 we were on target and I was starting to feel "good" as far as running feels. We took on some nutrition, grabbed some fluids and hit the halfway mark on pace for a PR for us. Wait, what??? I checked my watch again and to make sure it was right. I felt fine and while it was just halfway to the finish, we were now slightly ahead of schedule. I reminded myself that the real fight hadn't even started yet...at mile 17 it happened. It just got HARD. I mean really hard. We were hoping to average just under 7 minute miles and up to that point we had been spot on. Then we saw our times hit 7:12, 7:15, 7:17. At 20, Kyle was in my ear pressing us forward. I decide that it was either forward or we weren’t going to know what a BQ felt like. Then we saw 6:59, 6:56, 6:55. With 3.2 miles to go, we knew WE could.do.this. Go Kyle, GO! We clawed our way to the finish in 3:02.39 for a marathon PR by more than 25 minutes and our first BQ time! What an exciting day. What a hard day. As we limped past the finish line, we found Kevin Enners who had finished nearly 34 minutes before us. Man that guy can fly! We have some work to do with Kevin to help open up more doors of inclusion for him. With his style of foot cranks, he doesn't qualify for many races. But, this is how he races. This is how he WON the wheelchair race in Albany. Next came Jessica Minton with her marathon PR. The “Roman Rocket” loves to go fast and it was great seeing another fast time from KPeasey that day. All in all it was an incredible day for our small contingent of racers.
Our #1 goal is doing everything we can to get Lizzie and Gordie into Boston. If there is a way to have two teams in Boston, then we will take Gordie's line from Marine Corps Marathon #bostonpeaseparty baby!!
Some more exciting stuff coming, of course! Next up is 60+ athletes taking on the Atlanta Publix Half Marathon.
We hope to have an exciting blog post with words from several athletes. Equally as exciting is a new partnership with MUTU Coffee Roasters, where you can shop for some incredible coffee and support your favorite charity. I mean, how else do we get up at 3:30 AM? Mutu makes some wonderful beans. You can learn more on their website or just trust us and order some delicious coffee. Can't wait to kick this off at Publix next week!