|Technically not a totally new state, BUT it is a new MARATHON state.|
So, where were we? Ah, yes, we went to bed! Pretty early too. Since we decided that we were too lazy to think about what we were going to wear/bring/carry for the race the night before, we woke up a little earlier than we normally would. Turns out after you've done this five million times, you don't really need any extra time to get things together in the morning if you don't do it the night before. Of course, the first thing that I do when I get out of the bed is go for the rest of that piece of cake that we didn't eat the night before. Just as delicious after being left out all night. I then ate a proper pre-race breakfast of a banana and a plain bagel.
We met AH in the hotel lobby and made our way down to the start area. Since it was a little chilly, I brought my aluminum foil wrap that I was given at the end of the Blues. It kept me and one other person very toasty waiting for the race to start.
|What happens in the space suit, stays in the space suit!|
|Ready to do this thing!|
|I can't believe that people were actually in long pants and long sleeves. It was gonna get warm quick!|
The first few miles weaved through downtown Baton Rouge and then through some neighborhoods. The neighborhoods were actually quite lovely! The big live oaks make these beautiful canopies across the streets, but it was hard to take it all in since the streets were pretty beat up (we saw many people fall flat on their faces during these first few miles, and yes, I laughed). I apologize in advance for the bad photography.
Somewhere around mile 3 we approached the LSU Lakes and then the LSU campus. Have I ever told you how much I loves running through college campuses?? Well, except for the fact that no students come out to cheer us on! LAME! JB still had high hopes for seeing Mike, the LSU tiger, but her dreams were crushed with every passing mile.
|Hey look at what I make my friends do during marathons.|
|Coming up on the stadium|
|Let's stop again and take another picture in front of this sign.|
We stayed around the Lakes for what seemed like a very long time. Giant houses surrounded the lake and were nice to look at. We all picked one (or several) that we wanted to live in. Big trees make for big branches that can hold lots of swings! No one was interested in sitting in one with me though (insert sad face here).
|The girl in the pink pants ran on her toes. This provided great entertainment.|
|It's a great day to run a marathon and steal pictures.|
The half split from us at mile 10.5. This is where we had to part ways with dear SJ. We were only slightly jealous that she would soon be indulging in all the post race festivities while we still had almost 16 miles to run.
|Too bad so sad.|
After leaving SJ, we also left the lakes and the course got REAL boring. We started in on what would be a very long out and back. Seriously. We were at mile 10.5 and would not turn around until mile 18.5. But, we did get to watch all of the faster runners making their way back, even our friend that we went to dinner with the night before. She was at mile 22 while we were at mile 15! Her and her husband are both super speedy and did the marathon in like 2 hours or something like that (ok, that may be a slight exaggeration).
During the out part of the out and back, we tried to keep ourselves entertained with anything and everything. We got this fun picture.
|I'm smiling, but I didn't pee a little. Or a lot.|
By mile 14 ish, we commenced to walking a lot. Our only goal was to finish so that JB could earn the much coveted title "Marathon Maniac." It was quite sunny out and while the course was mostly shaded, there were a few parts of the neighborhoods that were not. We got to see Mike at one of the water stops.
|I wanna be like Mike.|
So the out kept going out.......and out some more......and then out some more.
|Almost time to go back!|
We FINALLY turned around and started to make our way back to the finish at around mile 18.5. Somewhere along our "back" someone going "out" asked us "How much longer until we turn around?" JB didn't hesitate AT ALL and said "You got a long ways!" Ha! Well at least she was being honest. During the back we got this slightly suggestive photo.......
|What are you doing back there?|
.........and JB picked out her future house.......
|Can I offer you some tea?|
We also got served water by the Duck Commander.......
|I've been to the real Duck Dynasty so I obviously know you are a fake.|
.................and passed this appropriately placed sign.......
|So close, yet so far away.|
By mile 24, I believe that JB was silently cursing me for talking her into doing this marathon and also for still being so darn happy! I tried to keep the conversation flowing, but she was all like "Not now Chief, I'm in the zone!" Well she literally didn't say that (or maybe she did, I don't actually remember), but she was definitely thinking it! Right before mile 25 we hit the last of only three slight hills on the course and I could see the Capitol!!!
|So close! JB was not impressed.|
We hit mile 25 and ran it in. At mile 26, we saw a familiar face (SJ). She ran with us for a few hundred yards before we hit the finish line.
|I would like to be done running now.|
At the finish we grabbed our medals and post race photo.........
|Happy finishers and a new Maniac!|
Then I went in search of the Maniac VIP tent so I could get my special ribbon. Found it (turns out it was not an exclusive Maniac tent, just a VIP tent and they weren't even checking people's bibs or anything before letting them in), grabbed my ribbon, perused the food, and grabbed some King Cake (because there really wasn't anything else to eat). For a race that really promoted their post-race party with all kinds of food, there really was slim pickins overall by the time we were done. SJ said that they were pretty much out of food at around the 3:30 mark. Major bummer. Also, for a race that promoted so many "Maniac perks", I really didn't think they lived up to all they promised. They have since taken down the list of perks, but I think that I remember a special Maniac gear check (didn't have one), special tent and food before the race (didn't happen), special tent and food after (OK, so they had a tent, but it was open to all VIP not just Maniacs), and special professional picture before the race (did this happen?). So, if you go to this race expecting special treatment, you will be disappointed. Also, if you are really looking forward to the post-race food, then do the half.
|Medal doubles as a bottle opener.|
And say hello to the new Maniac!