If you follow my blog regularly, you may already know that James and I ran Route 66 in Oklahoma last Sunday, November 20th (him the full, me the half). One word comes to mind… hilly. Okay… another word also comes to mind… fun. What a fabulous experience! We made a point to qualify for Marathon Maniacs/Half Fanatics earlier in the year specifically for this race and the VIP experience, and it did not disappoint. When you’ve had the extreme pleasure of standing in the never-ending portaloo lines pre-race, only then can you appreciate the serenity of a private row of blue cabins with zero wait time.
As I tend to suck at writing race recaps, I’m just going to stick to my little weekend summary with pictures, but do keep an eye on 50 in 50 Marathon Quest for the actual mile-by-mile breakdown.
Soooo… my first impression of Tulsa as we were flying over it on Friday was flat. Don’t laugh… it’s true, it looks flat. You can see forever, until the earth starts to curve again, kind of like a never-ending horizon. However, I discovered our first night there that Tulsa is anything BUT flat. And it has gorgeous sunsets.
On Saturday, we had the race expo and blogger’s forum with which we were invited to participate. The expo was great… lots of fun stuff to be had. We came away with a bag full of swag and stuff we probably didn’t really need, but it’s all part of the fun expo experience. I even found some shoe charms that James was gracious enough to buy for me.
The blogger’s forum was also a great experience. Everyone was so nice and so friendly, and the social media director for the race was just amazing… super sweet! I had a blast getting to know the other bloggers and talking with them, sharing notes and ideas, etc. If you ever have the chance to participate on a panel, I highly recommend it.
Okay, on to the race… we met up with the Maniacs and Fanatics beforehand (remember… our very own portaloos with no lines… okay, well, maybe a little line). This is the official picture of all the maniacs that were there:
In case you’re having issues picking James and I out in the crowd, here’s a little help:
It was cold… very cold. And windy (we later learned that the wind always blows in Tulsa). I tried to get some video at the start line with the music playing in the background, but my phone didn’t do a great job at picking up the music. However, if you’re interested in checking out the buildings down town and all the people, here ya go:
The course started out relatively flat… yay! But then we went around a corner, and it was all up and down from there. Long rolling hills. You were either going up, or you were going down. There was 1 mile out on the highway that was also relatively flat, but we ran mostly through neighborhoods, so up and down we went (but oh, the neighborhoods were gorgeous).
The support for this race was amazing. People were everywhere, having block parties and blasting music. The chickens even came out to cheer us on.
At about mile 9, beer shots were handed out at one of the aid stations. I don’t drink beer, and I certainly don’t drink it at 10 in the morning; however, I will admit I took a shot. After all those hills, I needed the sugar and carbs to keep me going. There were also beer shots at miles 10 and 11, and then somewhere in there, they had jello shots made with Fireball. What can I say? I had a great time.
The hill past the above sign really, really hurt… just saying.
Once we crossed the finish line, we hobbled on over to the Maniacs party tent to partake of the barbecue and pizza. We also received the medals specific for our club (Fanatic or Maniac).
And, with the Turkey Trot 5K we did 4 days later on Thanksgiving, so endeth the 2016 race year. Route 66 was a fabulous finale race and a fabulous time, with the best bling of the year. It made qualifying for the Fanatics worth every single painful mile.
After completing 8 races this year, 7 of them being half-marathons in 5 different states (including Washington), and after the heartache I endured this fall, I leave you with this pre-emptive Motivational Music Monday song:
I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter
Dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar!