Monday, September 26, 2011

Air Force Marathon 10K

Brandon and I headed to Dayton a couple of weeks ago to run the Air Force Marathon 10K. We had thought about doing the half, but it sold out quick!

I had seen information about this race last April when I was sick with pneumonia and running was just a dream. I had lots of time to read and I saw this race somewhere online. It looked amazing and was a great training run for the Columbus half.

Brandon hadn't heard a lot about the race so he was on the fence if it was worth a hotel, driving 75 miles, etc. But, at the end he was hooked. The race has a small feel with a big race production feel. It's really perfect if it's your first race or 100th. You get the best of both worlds.

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We got up on race day about 4:50 a.m. Ouch, it was super early, but we had to be at the race gate to check in at 6 a.m. since it's at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. We drank a cup of coffee and a banana and headed to the race at 5:30 a.m. from our hotel. It was about a 20 minute drive and we got there in plenty of time. But, it was chilly, chilly. Like mid-40s chilly. I was so cold. We had worn old shirts that we tossed at the start line.

We got through the line to get in pretty quick and parked our car. It was here that we started getting excited. The long lines of cars just was electrifying. The base was sweet. They had airplanes lining the finish line.

We stretched a little bit, talked and went through the port a potty lines. We lined up in between the 8:21 and 8:47 pace groups and had a goal of just leaving everything out on the course. We didn't have gels or a garmin (dangit-left it at home), but thought we would run by feel.

We had a great time at the start. And at the moment right before the start, a B-1B did a flyover. It was so low it was just amazing. We were off with a horn and got started running. We did great on pace until the huge hill that went on forever. It was almost a 350 feet climb upwards and it was hard! Hardest hill I have ever done in a race. I kept on thinking - "I thought Ohio was flat!"

The hills were hard, but the downside of the hills were so fun to fly down. I was like, "Let's go Brandon!" and he would fly down with me. Brandon was super sprinty during the race. He could have gone a lot faster, but he wanted to run with me--at times I would tell him, "just go ahead, leave me!" My foot was still pretty sore and I was feeling it at every step. I drank a full bottle of half gatorade/half water and still stopped at miles 4, 6 to get more water. The volunteers were awesome and cheered for you by name (was on bib).

At mile 3.5 the marathoners split from us and we waved goodbye. Honestly, I was felt sorry for them. :) There were lots of military groups doing training runs with full gear, honestly, I don't know how they did it.

At mile 5 I took a last drink of water and we sprinted to the finish. I was so tired and feeling really sluggish until we saw the airplane jumper with a huge American flag in front of us in the sky. I have always been patriotic, but being on a base and seeing so many emblems of our nation just really got us motivated and inspired. We ran past the presidential hanger and then sprinted to the finish line that had airplanes lining it.

At the end we held hands and crossed over the finish line. A captain put a medal over our heads and gave us a handshake. Those men wait at the finish line all day - almost 7 hours for the last finishers to cross. PS-that's a random lady in the picture below. :)

Such a great race. Def. recommend it to anyone looking for a race. It's a bucket list race. And a great training race to test your pace before the Cbus Marathon.

We finished at 55:02 - about a 8:51 pace. I would have liked to get a 8:30 pace, but I just wasn't feeling it that day. I knocked off almost 15 minutes (wow!) off my previous 10K time last August of 1:09! Two goals down!

And you know Brandon and I have never really had the desire to do a marathon until that Saturday at the race. Those marathoners were just so darn inspiring. These guys below, yeah, they beat me by almost 3 min. in full gear. Geesh.

We had a great breakfast celebration of a biscuit and gravy, hard egg, and hash browns at Bob Evans. It tasted so good. And the girls had a great time with Momma and Poppa Kuhns. They didn't want to leave when I went to pick them up. I mean, would you when you get to go with them to see Aunt Becca and go and get fro yo with Aunt Kelly and Charlie and Ethan?

Okay, so what are some of your goals? C'mon, don't be shy. Inspire others with your goals!! Thinking Rachel and Kelly would like to complete nursing school, Brandon wants to do a 100-mile bike race, etc.


Kristy said...

Erin this is so awesome and inspiring! You guys are great! I think it is absolutely wonderful and so sweet to do the race together and finish it together! You guys rock!! The pictures look great too! I think I might sign up to do that one next year! I think that would be really fun! Are you guys doing the Columbus marathon??

Erin said...

Thanks so much Kristy, we had so much fun race morning. It was awesome! Brandon is hard to win over and he loved it. Thanks! We got the pictures off bright

You should sign up. In face, I saw on their Facebook page people are even reserving rooms for next year. It's like the midwest version of Boston. It fills up quick. This year i think it filled up by the early part of July. The marathon was the first to be filled.

Brandon is doing the Columbus Half Marathon for me. I am going to cheer him on! And our friends who are also running it. Excited to cheer for someone and not have those darn start line nerves. ugh. Good luck on your 10K in Nov.!

Tonia said...

Great job guys! You two are so cute!