Kenai River Marathon Relay

September 28, 2010

I really enjoy racing, but the racing season ends up being pretty short here in Alaska. Most races happen between June – August with a couple sprinkled in during the months of September and October. It bums me out, but I try to run as many races as possible.

This past weekend, three other friends and I drove down to Kenai, Alaska (about a 3 hour drive from Anchorage) to run the Kenai River Marathon Relay.

We headed out Saturday afternoon.

Forgetting to use the bathroom before we left, a pit stop was necessary. I don’t know how many other state’s isolation would require them to stop at an outhouse rather than at a rest stop with flushing toilets. (Another “only in Alaska” moment.)

Fall is in full swing here.

Which means the temperature is also dropping. It was 32* here yesterday morning and 27* this morning! Much too cold for September.

The picture-perfect blue skies were very welcomed though.

As soon as we got to Kenai, we headed to pick up our bibs and enjoy a spaghetti dinner.

The race t-shirt. It was a “technical tee,” but the quality wasn’t anything superb.

Look at those cute little salmon running!

The best item in our goodie bag: Clif Shot Bloks! We were all excited about these. 🙂

I am always a little leary of eating food that I don’t prepare myself the night before a run, but I was starving, so I grabbed a plate of food. I only ate about 2/3 of the pasta and the non-buttered part of the bread. The dessert was awesome though! I think it was a dried cranberry lemon bar of some sort.

The lettuce salad was pretty pathetic looking, but I figured this was better than no vegetables.

After grabbing some food to eat, we drove the course to orientate ourselves with where we would be running.

We finally got checked into our hotel and quickly crashed to get some shut-eye before our race.

We didn’t have to get up super early, seeing the race didn’t start until 9:00 a.m. When we were arrived the start was bustling with people though.

Jen and Lindsey ready to run–and trying to stay warm on this chilly morning!!

The start.

And they’re off.

Our first runner, Kristin, ran 5.7 miles. She filled in for us last minute and what a trooper she was!!

Lindsey congratulating Kristin on an awesome job!

Our next runner: Jen, ran 6.7 miles.

I love how she always has a smile on her face! 😀

The final stretch for Jen.

Lindsey ran the third leg–a hilly 6.5 miles.

Sadly this was the only shot I got of Lindsey, but she smashed her goal time. She wanted to run around 10:00 minutes per mile but ended up running close to 9:15 minutes per mile!

I ran the 4th and final leg–7.3 miles.

I ran this same leg last year, so it was nice to know where I was going this time. (Not that I got lost last year, but psychologically it helps to know where I am going.)

I maintained a pretty consistent 7:00 minutes/mile pace. I felt good but I could also tell it had been a while since I last raced. (And I am still feeling the effects two days later!)

Dont’ worry, I wasn’t in that much pain. I’m just a really serious competitor.

Ready to cross the finish line.

Glad to be done. 😉

I picked these up from the free grub table after the race for some sodium. They were pretty good–the salt always helps. 😉 I ate about 1/3 of the package.

We stopped at the grocery store for some more substantial food. I was freezing cold, so a hot bowl of jambalaya soup to warm me up was just what I wanted!

And a roll for dipping. I was expecting more from this guy–it was not very flavorful like I hoped it would be. It still did the trick though.

This marathon was a very low-key race with only about 200 participants. The results haven’t been posted, so I don’t even know how we did, but as soon as I find out, I’ll let you know.

Overall, it was a lot of fun, but it sure went by in a flash!

    1. Looks like a fun race…I’m a big fan of the smaller, low key events…I found your blog a few weeks ago and added you to my reader!

    1. I think races like that (done in groups) would be so fun! Although I can’t imagine already running in such temps. Brrr. I don’t do cold well. I am a Southern gal after all.

    1. Wow – great job!! I am now back from hiking the canyon. I had the other extreme of 100* plus some days we were hiking ugly. My toes were sore along with my legs I could hardly walk to get to the restroom at camp the 2nd morning. I made it carrying my pack and up the steep steps and rocks it did feel good to finish it – not like running though.

      1. It sounds like running a race–difficult but totally worth it!! Can’t wait to hear more about it!

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