Southern Utah Trip: 2014 St. George Marathon

Odometer (Legend):  531,574

531574

Odometer (ILX):  99,001

99001

Trip Distance:  878.2 miles

phx_sgu

I traveled around 878 miles this weekend, but 26.2 of those were more painful than all the rest.  For those miles, I traveled by foot.  Well, by New Balance running shoe anyway.  It’s tradition each October to spend a weekend in my hometown and participate in the St. George Marathon which travels along State Route 18 and beautiful Snow Canyon State Park.  Here are write-ups on the previous trips to the St. George Marathons I’ve blogged about.

It seems that with each passing year, my training gets less and less involved, and that definitely held true for the 2014 event.  Having run only a maximum of 6 miles at a time since January, I was poorly prepared for what was to come.

On Saturday morning, a delayed race start (7:00 a.m. instead of 6:45) meant it would be a little warmer on the course for all of us.  The heat, as it turned out, was what really drained my energy.  I had a strong start, but by mile 7 I’d crossed into new distance territory and my body didn’t like it one bit.  My mom blew past me at mile 8, just before we had to tackle this huge hill (she’s pictured in blue shorts here).  I was amazed that we’d even seen each other, considering the fact that we hadn’t started together and there were 7,998 other registered participants!

mom_veyo

At mile 10, I could tell I was overheating and dehydrated.  I took advantage of a downhill at mile 14 to let gravity do some work for me, but the road quickly again leveled out and I told myself I’d never do this again.  A fitting song came on my playlist just then:  “Run, Run, Run” by Vicci Martinez.

It was around mile 16 when I slowed to a walk because I could tell there was a blister on my left foot.  I needed to get my mind off the race for a minute, so I turned my phone off “airplane mode” and checked text messages and emails while I walked.  I’m pretty sure I was the only person on the course reading his monthly HOA newsletter at that moment in time.  An aid station up ahead called to me like an oasis in the desert, and I downed 3 cups of Gatorade and half an orange when I got there.  That gave me enough fuel to pick up the pace again just a bit.

snow_canyon

My grandma was sitting alongside the road at mile 24 in the same place she’s been every year.  She’s definitely my most dedicated fan, and she’d gone to the effort of writing up a poem on posterboard to provide me (and my mom) some motivation.  The last couple miles of the race took us winding through central St. George, with lots of crowd support and fanfare as we neared the finish.  I saved a little energy for one last dash during the last couple of blocks, then came to a stop and felt the extreme sense of relief in knowing that I’d finished.  My cousin Nicki, who’d long-since finished the race, caught my finish on video.  My bright orange shirt was pretty easy to spot.

It wasn’t the ice cream sandwich, the Texas Roadhouse rolls, or the yogurt that I most enjoyed in the fenced-off runner recovery area after the race.  It was the chocolate milk, and I chugged a few cups of it in delight. I ended up with a 4 hour, 43 minute finish time.  This was over 20 minutes slower than my time last year.  Look at how much my pace slowed toward the finish!  Slow poke.

tyson_2014_time

We spent the afternoon relaxing with family.  Here are the rest of the pics from this weekend of fun.

I had the privilege of shuttling my cousin Nicki between Las Vegas, Nevada and St. George, Utah for the race.

tyson_nicki_expo

Unfortunately, the ILX was victim to a hit-and-run in Las Vegas early Friday morning.  I’m still trying to get ahold of my motel’s parking lot surveillance camera tape, but sometime between 1:00 and 7:00 a.m., the back bumper got hit & creased.  Bummer!

bumper3

bumper1

Carbo-loading at Pasta Factory in St. George, the day before the race.

pizza_factory

Ready to rock and roll!

bib

Bonfires at the start line helped keep the chilly wind from making us too uncomfortable.

bonfire

I thought it very fitting when this song came on.

vicci_song

Onward!

descent

Passing a mile marker somewhere.

405

Grandma on the roadside.

tyson_grandma

And her sign:

doce_sign

My friend Kerri was in her front yard cheering on the participants, too.

kerri

Best reward ever?  Chocolate milk at the finish line.

choc_milk

And an ice cream sandwich.

ice_cream

Mom showing off her muscles.  She pulled off a 4-hour finish time.

tyson_tia_finish

Much-needed relaxation.

pool

Hanging with cousins.

nicki_april_tyson

Oh yeah, and those “sport” pedals in the ILX?  I made the mistake of trying to drive barefoot after the race.  Those little rubber nubs lit my blisters on fire every time I pushed in the clutch pedal or brake.  Ouch.  I had to pull over and find my flip flops before continuing on.

pedals

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

17 Responses to “Southern Utah Trip: 2014 St. George Marathon”

  1. Another year down and another medal to hang and remind us of not just the 26.2 miles but, far more importantly, the connections we have with people. Family and friends are what keep us coming back. Well done my son, Tyson!

    • Profound, and so true! I’m sure I’ll be back to collect at least one more medal or two from SGM. At this point I need to get into the 10 Year Club at least.

  2. Congrats to both of you! I know how much determination and will power it can take to continue on in a race when you feel like quitting half way thru. I bet it was tough getting out of the car after running the race and then driving for hours. I usually can barely get out and stand up.
    Sucks on the parking lot incident. Hope the damage isn’t too costly

    • Yeah I haven’t been able to make any headway on getting ahold of motel surveillance – and it may not show a visible license plate anyway – so I’ll probably just end up being out my $1k deductible if/when I decide to have it taken care of. Thanks for the congrats!

  3. Your Grandma is awesome… to say nothing of your fabulous Mom!

  4. Tyson, I would like to see you in the Hawaii Ironman competition one day. Have you seen this competition on TV before?

    • I’ve heard of the Ironman competitions but I don’t know if I’d have the ability to pull one off. Running is about as much as I can handle! I would love to go to Hawaii, though 🙂

  5. Your mom looks 30 years old!

  6. 99,001 bothers me more than it should. haha.

    • Actually it bothered me a lot, too. That was exactly what the odometer showed when I rolled into the driveway after the Utah trip. Thankfully I’m already well into the 99k’s now.

  7. Wow your ILX got almost hit 100,000 miles soon! I can’t believe that was so fast.

  8. Great to see the family support while running the marathon. Sorry to hear about the hit and run. That kind of crap makes me mad! 99,001 is too weird of a number to let it hang out on the odometer too long, I know it won’t be there long.

    • Thanks, Dave. I hit a dead end with surveillance footage so at some point I’ll just have to bite the bullet and spend some money to get that fixed. It’s not going to get any body work before 100,000 miles, that’s for sure. Onward I go.

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