This was my second marathon in 8 days! Yes, it's crazy but my friends and I wanted to become Marathon Maniacs. Woot! Woot! Denise, Larisa and Marie!
The weather was much cooler for the Clearwater Marathon. For the Disney Marathon, my mom (love her!) bought me a $1.50, throw away, thrift store, sweatshirt but I had no such thing for the Clearwater Marathon. What to do, what to do....my husband and I had a bag of clothes to donate to goodwill. I rummaged through the bag until I found something that would work.
One of my husband's old dress shirts was perfect for keeping me warm on race morning. One of my friends commented that I looked like a flasher because the shirt was so long and unbuttoned. Right before the race started, I tossed the shirt to the side.
The race started and we were off.....over the bridges and through the woods (Pinellas trail) to the finish line we would go. Our first bridge was the Clearwater Bridge over to the beach. We ran right along beautiful Clearwater Beach.
I haven't been to Clearwater Beach in years (probably since high school in the early 90s). So much has changed and improved. I was impressed with their open spaces and beach walk area.
We ran over our next bridge, Clearwater Pass and into Sand Key Park. Our running group friends were working the water station at the entrance/exit to Sand Key Park.
We chatted, posed for pictures, and were there long enough that non-racers encouraged us to start racing again and stop socializing. We were running this long 26.2 mile marathon for fun and not too concerned with time.
We ran onward to beautiful Belleair Beach with million dollar houses. I love looking at houses! Some of those beach front mansions were gorgeous with huge, ornate front doors.
Somewhere between the magnificent mansions and the next bridge, I was pleasantly surprised to see Powerbar Gel handed out at a water station. I thought we were only getting oranges along the course.
Shortly after the halfway mark we ran over our last bridge, Park Blvd Bridge, and on to the Pinellas Trail. I really enjoyed running on the trail minus the three pedestrian overpasses we had to scale. Being surrounded by trees and nature, I felt like I could block out the world and just focus on running. I didn't have my ipod because I left it in my car after Disney. My car was camping with my husband and oldest son. Anyway....It was at mile 16 that I realized I could beat my 5:31 Disney time from last weekend. I talked it over with Marie, she could also PR. This was supposed to be an easy race that we ran together but if I could PR, I really wanted to try. My sister would say I'm a bit competitive. I felt good, nothing hurt and I knew I could finish strong.
At mile 20 with just 6 miles left to go, it was now or never if I wanted to beat my Disney time. I told Larisa and Denise that Marie and I wanted to PR so we were going to pick up the pace and not stop much to walk. Larisa joined us but Denise didn't think she could keep our pace with the pain in her achilles so she fell back.
The last 6.2 miles felt great! I'm glad I pushed through and beat my Disney time!
I finished my second marathon and was eligible for Marathon Maniacs!
When Denise was near the finish line we ran her in, maniacs until the end.
I love my running buddies!! Great job girls!!
Overall place: 236/282
Gender place: 105/139
Age group place: 22/24
Half split: 2:46:36
Gun time: 5:26:20
Chip time: 5:25:37
Thanks for letting me use your pictures, Larisa and Aaron!