After missing the Monkey in 2010, I got a second chance to run this year. I was looking forward to this marathon because the race director sends out all of these fun emails before the race. There is just so much hype with the race, well, how could you not want to run it.
Diane Taylor offered to let me stay with her the night before which was great because it save me money, but also because I wasn't quite sure where the race was taking place. She had two other friends (Amanda & Kristina) staying (the monkey would be Kristina's first marathon). Diane had picked my bib up. We got all kinds of cool schwag (2 shirts, stickers, candy, etc). We were going to take the early start, so I settled on the living room floor in my sleeping bag for the night.
We headed out the next morning, I followed them in the bus because I wanted to head home as soon as I finished (since the race is on Sunday, I had to be at work on Monday). We reached the park and I said hi to Trent, the RD, before he gathered us all together for the early start. The four of us took off together, but I was feeling pretty good and I wanted to see how well I could do the race. I have yet to finish a marathon and run the whole way. I knew I wouldn't be running the whole way of this race, but I wanted to only try to walk the hills- or that was the plan. I was doing pretty good with that for a long while. Some sprinkles arrived, but I didn't really mind because I loved running in the rain. I just hoped not to get a chill. One of the coolest things I saw was a white chipmunk. I saw all kinds of chipmunks, but this one was pure white and we both stopped and stared at each other. Then he took off behind one of the many rock walls in the park.
Eventually, it looped around and I started seeing the runners that did not take the early start. It was kind of cool. Up to the point when I was coming into some of the aid stations and they were calling out, "first female". The first time I heard it, I looked around behind me to see her. Then I realized they were talking about me! I was so embarrassed. I tried to explain several times, but then finally gave up and figured just enjoy it- this will never happen again. The rain was definitely picking up and at the top of the hills it was getting windier and mighty chilly. Finally, the first female came by and I told her I was glad to see her. I'm sure she was like what are you talking about goofy lady!
The last few miles I started dragging some and walking some of the flats, but overall I was sort of pleased with my race, especially considering the conditions. I finished in 5:39:35. My time wasn't that great, but I felt better about how I managed myself.
Although this race is known for its smorgasbord of post race food, nothing really looked appetizing to me. Then again, food usually doesn't when I finished. I chatted with Joshua H. and Naresh while waiting for Diane. They came in shortly after me. I chatted for a little bit then headed to the bus. I had my blanket with me, so I sat in the back seat and changed my clothes under it so I could ride him in clean, dry clothes. I was chilled to the bone from the rain and was just ready to go home. I said my goodbyes and headed home.
The monkey is an awesome race and I look forward to running it again one day. Trent does an amazing job with the hype before the race and his volunteers are superb (they were so cheerful even though the rain was pouring down on them too). I would encourage everyone to put this race on their list- but hurry it fills up fast!