In July Kim emailed me to ask if she should run the full or half because she was getting a sponsor entry from a friend. She then asked me what my race plan was- I said "are you saying what I think you're saying?" And it was at that point I knew that I had signed up for this race to pace and run with my BFF (I just didn't know that when I registered).
I was nervous because I didn't want to let Kim down- since I hadn't run much over the past 7 weeks. The week before the race I sent her 27 questions- like what's your pacing plan, do you want me to encourage you in the late miles or STFU, so I had a good idea of her expectations to make sure we had the best experience possible.
The day before the race I took the train out to Britt's place. Her and her husband, D were so generous to let me stay with them instead of having to drive from Chicago way too early the morning of the race. She was so kind to even drive most of the course with me and point out all the interesting features and major inclines on the course. Read: this course is by no means flat.
The morning of the race I was a ball of nerves for Kim. I so desperately wanted the race to go well for her.
While waiting in the heated field house, I ran into a bunch of friends who were running or spectating the race. They recognized my owl head hat.
Ken, Me, Britt, Erin
Soon it was time to run 26.2 miles through beautiful Naperville.
I'll let Kim tell the story about the race experience because this race was entirely about her. Go read her blog for the race report and loads of photos.
•Seeing Kim's family and Bobbi and Erin and Michelle multiple times cheering their hearts out for us.
•The horse spectating around mile 4.
•The 105 people I gave high 5's to.
•Telling Kim early on if both Britt and us were on pace there would be a slight chance to see Britt around mile 14. WE SAW BRITT and cheered for her!!!
Had either one of us been 10 seconds faster or slower we would have missed her.
•Giving Britt's husband, D a high 5 shortly after seeing Britt.
•Having Kim's dad run with us for a block around mile 23.
•Grabbing Kim's hand at mile 26 shortly before the most heinous hill ever and running up that son of a bitch with the biggest smiles on our faces.
Proof at mile 26. All smiles!
•The wave of emotion that came over both of us as soon as we crossed the finish. Kim, I'm so freaking proud of you!!!
Kim's photo post race
Thoughts on the race
This was the first year for the Naperville marathon and I have nothing but positive things to say about it. (Some of the race directors are also the race directors for Fox Valley)
•Extremely well organized
•Ample Port o Potties at the start and on the course
•Heated field house to wait in before the start when the feels like temp was 24 degrees.
•Interesting and challenging course which went through commercial, residential and forest preserves.
•Loads of enthusiastic spectators and volunteers.
The only "negatives" I had were:
•Could have used a few more aid stations. They seemed pretty spread out- had I brought my own water this would be a non issue. I also understand the logistical challenge of getting aid stations in the middle of a forest preserve.
•The forest preserve from miles 14-20 went on forever! It was desolate and hilly and sucked our energy because we thought it would never end.
I'm so happy for Kim getting a new PR and even more happy that I got to run with her and help her achieve something great.
Marathon #10 for me will always be one of my all time favorites.
Now go read Kim's race report.