Marathon #19 – Downtown River Run, Reno NV – 5/1/16

Marathon #19 / Overall #25 / State #7 (Nevada)
Downtown River Run
Reno, NV
5/1/16

This was my 19th overall marathon, my 25th overall (including ultras), and first one at high altitude lol. I went to Reno with my friends Ray and Raquel (she had been training and this is actually her FIRST marathon). I had never been to Reno before myself.

We took a flight from San Antonio to Denver (it was snowing there!) and then to Reno. When we got to Reno, the weather was gorgeous, in the mid 50’s to 60’s and practically ZERO humidity lol. We stayed at Harrah’s Casino and Resort, which was virtually a block away from the start line on Sunday.

Then came all the carb and FAT loading before the race… lol

Race day 5/1/16

Having stayed at Harrah’s, the start line is like literally less than 5 minutes away WALKING lol. The marathon starts at 7am, and by 6:30 I was up and good to go! I had expected people to be out there already, but instead the start line was empty! Turned out that everyone was waiting in Harrah’s before the start, and that the race is only about over a hundred people in terms of who ran the marathon (a little more ran the half, which started at 7:30).

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Here I am with two other Maniacs before the start… Monica (the 6 hour pacer) and Cathy (who’s from El Paso and has family here in Reno). 5/1 was a busy day with races, and all the Maniacs were probably at the Flying Pig in Cincinnati, Tacoma City in Washington, or Orange County in SoCal… And then there were the few of us lol..

More pictures from the start. And here’s Raquel about to run her first marathon EVER, being sea dwellers and running up in altitude, I think that’s pretty impressive ha. However, I knew this was going to be a tough course anyways, I was glad to meet Monica, the 6 hour pacer Maniac, and I specifically said, “hey, please make sure Raquel does not fall behind you” lol.

And here’s Raquel about to run her first marathon EVER, being sea dwellers and running up in altitude, I think that’s pretty impressive ha.

No wonder they call Reno the “Biggest Little City in the World”. Reno is only about 150,000, but if you go to it, it feels like a big city, but yet it’s the size of Brownsville TX (yet what’s in Brownsville… nothing. LOL j/k!!).

The first few mile or two we were still in the city, and then we ventured out into the mountains and wilderness…

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This guy is a maniac and a 50 states person.. I was like, how did he get this jersey?? It turned out that he cut them in half and sew them together. lol

 

The first few miles were not too bad, then we went through some city park along this hike and bike trail. Man.. whoever said that the course is flat told a great LIE!!!

 

I was actually going with the 4 hour pacer, but finally lost him at around mile 8 when we hit this HUGE hill going up. Then we came about this park at where we turned around. The park provided some nice trails on dirt which provided some relief. When I turned around at the half mark, my time was a 2:02. I was thinking.. Man, if I keep this up, I can get a PR or get close to my Little Rock time…

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I thought this was pretty funny.. How the marathon has to go through this little narrow creavase.. It reminded me of this Scripture:

Matthew 7:13-14
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

LOL

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Coming back (around mile 15 for me), I saw Raquel coming up towards mile 12, along with the 6 hour pacer/maniac Monica behind her. That was reassuring.

And man… they say that going back was easy… Heck no!! The wind was blowing in our faces hard. Yes there was a downhill, but I felt the resistance of the headwind FAR MORE than what the ease caused by the downhill would bring… I started to lose it around mil 15-17.

By mile 18, I was done. I was getting cramps in my right adductors/quads, and I had to force myself to stop and take walking breaks. And I had realized that there will be no chance that I will be able to beat my time or come close to Little Rock, so I gave up and was like, why bother. Just make this a fun run lol.

So yeah, I just took pictures, took it easy, and walked/jogged the rest of the way back. I ended up with a finish time of 4 hours and 39 minutes, which is still not a bad time and waaay under 5 hours, even with all that bonking like my friend Alex was pointing out.. lol.

The great “BONK”!!!

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And I saw the 4-hour pacer (his name was Luke). I was like, “man.. you left us in the dust there!!” Lol. He said that he actually finished in 3:59, and he didn’t experience any problems on the way down. Good for him I guess..

I ran into Cathy first (after finishing) while carb-reloading, and no surprise, she found the course to be tough as well !! It was the wind, the hills, and perhaps the lack of humidity. And honestly, I thought the electrolyte mix they had was diluted…  There were a ton of fast people out there, but it just wasn’t my day. I also ran into this other guy (ehh.. I forgot his name already), and he said “hey man, thanks for keeping me going for the last few miles”. That’s really encouraging, as I did not know that I helped him. He finished about 5 minutes before me.

It was close to 1pm, towards the end of the race. I was a little concerned that Raquel and Monica had not made it in yet. I knew they were staying together at the mile 12 mark, and I knew that the maniac would make it just fine, but what about Raquel. The finish line would be closing shortly…

And then, I saw a few people running with police escort on motorcycles… And there they were! Monica was running behind Raquel, and they made it to the finish together!

That was the most encouraging thing I saw all day. To watch someone finish her first marathon while her husband was in the casino trying to win some $$$ lol… j/k. But seriously, it was awesome. I thought the course was hard, and I struggled at the end, so I could imagine how hard it was for them. But surprisingly, Raquel had said she felt fine, besides just being really sore. She said that she actually was pacing Monica for most of the time!! LOL. But I was really glad to hook up Raquel with Monica to keep her in pace. There was someone else who was actually behind THEM, who did not finish. Having someone with you in times like this really makes a difference. Why? Because I have witnessed it and have just seen it again.

Ecclesiastes 4:12
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
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And on top of that… we all made new friends from the trip and enjoyed a buffet together at the end (gotta love that prime rib and laaaamb LOL). Amongst the ones not mentioned here is another maniac named Craig from Denver, CO. This was his 105th? marathon… And Monica’s 80th or something… It puts my 19 to shame hahaha.
Life is not always about PR’s… but about celebrating the victory of others together, something much more valuable than what I can accomplish myself.

2 Thessalonians 2:17
Encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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