So with the high heat in the forecast I knew it would be a tough day for a lot of people.
I was going to Crew/Sherpa for my friend who was going to try to complete his first marathon.
The race plan was to run around a 13 minute pace and walk every aid station.
We started at the 5 hour pace mark so not to be too far back from the start. It still took us almost 20 minutes to get to the starting line.
The pacing started out well, he actually was running around 12~13 minute pace for the first couple of miles. I had assured him that. "This is a BIG race for the City", they won't run out of water. But starting from mile 1 through 10, I had to fight to get water. Most of the Gatorade was gone by the time we got there as well. People were hitting water fountains in front of condos and parks just to cool themselves off.
Around mile 10 my friend started to slow down considerably, I had made sure to at least find him either some water at the aid stations to keep him hydrated. But his stomach was acting up and he just wanted to throw up. He started to walk more and he felt he was getting hot and was having a little trouble breathing. So I knew it was not going well. So around mile 11, he told me he was going to stop and called a friend to pick him up along the course and take him home. He is doing well now, disappointed, but not discouraged and will try again another time. So I'm glad for that.
After he dropped I was going to run the rest of the way at my regular pace. At that point everybody was pretty much walking. I didn't really think it was that hot until I started to run faster. My heart rate was spiking pretty high at a pace that should be comfortable for me. But I keep running, weaving through all the walkers.
Then at a certain point a cop was saying you only have a couple miles to go, I was only at mile 16, WHAT, is he pulling my leg. Nope, they had re-routed the course and I did not know it at the time, they closed the race at a certain cut-off point. Yes, I got caught up in that cut-off point, but the people who were denied the entire marathon course were all still determined to step across the finish line in some fashion in this chaotic mess. I was one of those determined runners as well.
They even tried to stop us from timing in at the finish line. With only 20 miles of running, I put my foot across the finish line, even got my finishers medal. Not sure if I deserved it?? But they ran out of water, closed the course on thousands of people, and the day looked like a medical disaster zone. But I told my daughter I would bring home a medal for her, and so I did.
Personally, it was the most chaotic marathon or even running race I have ever done. With temperatures hitting the mid 80's or hotter. "Runner Down" was a common theme.
300 people hospitalized, some still in the hospital, and unfortunately 1 race related death at the race.
They ran out of everything at the aid stations. They ran out of ambulances to bring people to the hospital. I was totally disappointed of the race organizers handling of the heat!! They knew it was going to be a hot day and did not prepare enough for it.
I truly love my hometown marathon, I will continue to enter it as long as I can run, but was truly saddened by the events of the day. But all the people I knew who ran are home safe and sound, not in a hospital somewhere, including me, so I'm glad for that.
So I leave you with some pictures of some of the brighter moments of the race for me.
"Go Go" Mr. Testicles..