Little Rock Marathon Recap
Well the medal said it all “EPIC” with a lightning bolt as the “I”.
The weekend started well, we left Springfield around 1030 and drove to Southern Illinois to meet my mom so I could drop Graham off with her. From there we hit the road and made the trip to North Little Rock in about 7.5 hrs.
The temp was amazing, in compare to what we had been used to in IL. It was in the 50’s at night!!!! I didn’t even have to wear a jacket outside!!!! Friday night, we got into North Little Rock, grabbed some food,went to the hotel room to settle in and get some sleep.
Saturday was overcast but the temp was still holding strong in the mid 50’s. I wish the race would have been Saturday versus Sunday, but what can you do. Anyway we roamed around the expo for a little bit and checked out some of the vendors, went across the street and had a late lunch.
After lunch we weren’t ready to head back to the hotel room just yet so we checked the area out some and found this western store and decided to check it out. I’m super glad we did because they had a pair of the Corral boots that I’ve been wanting for about a year now and I just couldn’t bring myself to spend the money on them. Once I made it back to the boots I seen a pair in a 7.5 marked down!!!! But then I found a 9 and 10 at regular price. So I asked the lady working what the deal was and she said that the tags must have came off they are all the sale price!!!! SCORE….I checked online 1st and all the prices were still the same so couldn’t pass them up.
There were a few other people from work running the race too so for dinner Sat night we all met up. We ended up waiting over a 1.5 hrs to eat at Olive Garden. Definitely was not worth the wait but the company was good so that helped. One of the girls running the race has been in Little Rock since November for a military school so she came over for dinner too. We made it back to the hotel room about 9:30 and hit the sack.
Sunday Morning….Race day!!!!
So the morning started off well. We signed up for the early start and I’m really glad that we did. We got down town about 0530, got situated, and meet the other girl from my office that was running with us. There ended up being 4 girls from my HRO office that ran the marathon.
The race kicked off at 0600. When we started…it was 55 degrees. PERFECT running weather. I had brought a camelback with me because when I was 7 months pregnant with Graham I did a ½ and my dr stressed hydration so I made sure I had enough water and snacks. I was not going to be out all day with no food; I would not have made it. I had on my compression socks, capris, a tshirt, along sleeve dri-fit and a headband that covered my ears. About 2 hrs into the race…the rain started. Thank GOD for the trash bags we packed. We were able to stay dry and somewhat warm with the trash bags on us.
The race came in waves..there were points that were ok and others that just sucked!!!. I had taken my long sleeved dri-fit shirt off around mile 3 and tied it to my camelback and it wasn’t until mile 19 that the temp had dropped almost 20+ degrees. I was so cold that I had to stop and put on my long sleeved shirt. I have never had to add layers durning a race before. Like I said those trash bags were a life saver. About mile 18-23 is a down and back in a park area…there is nothing but a path and trees and on Sunday a timing mat and volunteers. Anyway…once we got to mile 21…volunteers started telling us that the race had been cancelled due to weather and that we need to take shelter…WTF we are in an area with no shelter WTH are we supposed to go?
Yelp…I got that answer…”Go to the next business and busses would be there to pick us up”..you wanna know where the next business was….3 miles down the road at Walmart…so at mile marker 24..there was Walmart and a line of people to get on a bus. I said screw it I can finish 2 miles faster than what I’m going to be able to get on a damn bus full of people. So the 3 of us decided to keep going. I’m glad we did because the buses dropped people off about .2 miles from the finish line and they were able to cross and still get their medals. I can’t be too mad…because it wasn’t their faults. I had a friend that was stopped at mile 15 and another at 21.
Then the kicker was the the Little Rock Marathon had posted on Facebook that the race had never been cancelled…the course had been “re-routed” so there was people who left the course because some of the volunteers said that it was cancelled and the police informed us that if we kept going, we were on our own with no road support. However, there were a lot of cops that stayed. It was a hot freaking mess!!!
So in a nut shell…the race sucked, time was terrible but I don’t care I finished the damn thing and got my medal to prove it.
The drive home!!!
I’ve grew up in the country and other than farmer john, that lives down the road, who would “plow” our roads…I grew up driving on substandard road conditions. But on Sunday-Monday…this was the worst I have ever driven on.
After the race I called my mom and dad to see what the weather was doing in Southern Illinois, that was going to be my deciding factor if I stayed an extra night in Little Rock or drove to their house. When I talked to my dad around 2 he said that IL didn’t get hit like they had thought and everything had already passed through, so go ahead and come on home. So I went to the hotel, showered and packed up. About an hr into the drive I started to get really tired. So I pulled over and took about a 30 mins cat nap.
Well of course, it was never a good sleep and my phone rang and it was my dad.
Dad: “um…have you left yet”
Me: “yes dad I left an hr ago why?”
Dad: “Well your about to drive in to the heart of the storm”
Me: “well I’m almost to Memphis and there’s just rain, so I’ll play it by ear.”
Once I got past Memphis it was like I was in a whole new world.
The roads where TERRIBLE. I could only drive 15 mph. Semis, cars, trucks were off the road. Vehicles just stopped in the middle of 55 with their hazards on! It was insane. It took me over 3 hrs to drive 55 miles. I was so scared and sick to my stomach. I called a hotel in Blyethville and once I finally got there I was done of the night.
I woke up in the middle of the night to go pee and I noticed that the digital clock was off but I was so tired I didn’t think twice so I went back to bed. When I woke up…ther power was out and ther was snow in my room by the air conditioner and my room was 57degrees…BRRR
So I brushed my teeth and went out to the van to find it frozen over from all the ice durning my drive and the night. Of course…where is the ice scrapper and my gloves…in the truck…at home!!! So I grabbed my brown Army undershirt, wrapped it around my hand like a glove and found a wide toothed comb in the van and started breaking through the ice. 35 mins later I was able to get it all off.
I was just about to get on the interstate and the other 2 people from my office called and they were at a hotel right down the road and their car battery had died. So I went and picked up her husband and took him to the deserted Walmart so he could get a new battery. Luckily they had one and everyone worked once the new one was installed.
We were about 10 miles are so from the Missouri state line and as soon as I crossed into Missouri I could drive about 20 mph for awhile. It wasn’t until I hit mile marker 36 nest Sikeston Mo that I was able to go over 25. I just kept plugging along and finally…once I got to IL…the roads were perfect. 70 MPH the whole way.
This was seriously the worst driving conditions I had ever been in and I hope to never do it again.
It took me 28 hrs to make it home and the other 2 ladies from my office it took them 19 straight hours in the car to make it home yesterday.