Saturday, December 19, 2009

St. Jude marathon

Anita, Andy, and I flew to Memphis to participate in the St. Jude marathon on December 5, 2009. We ran for Team Chase in memory of Anita and Andy's grandson, Chase.
I flew in to Memphis and my sister in law, Siti picked me up. She was competing in the half marathon also. I stayed with her and my father in law in Eads, TN.
We went to the expo on Friday and then had the privilage of touring the St. Jude facility. Wow, what a fabulous place!
On Saturday morning, Siti and I drove to Memphis and met up with Anita and Andy. We walked to the starting line where it was a very chilly 25 degrees. After we started running, we warmed up and the course was really nice. It had lots of rolling hills which are my favorite. I finished the marathon at 3:36, 3rd in my age group. Anita finished in 4:37, Andy finished 5:18 and Siti completed the half in 3:18. We had an awesome time. Below is a video we created to thank all those who donated to our team. As a team, we raised almost $10,000 for St. Jude. It was so emotional to run through the St. Jude campus and see little ones with masks and their IV poles cheering the runner's on. Truly inspirational!!
Run fun .....


I'm so behind in my blogging but I will try to catch up.
Thanksgiving first. Connor and I drove to Indio on Tuesday before Thanksgiving. We stayed at
our time share on a golf course with the mountains nestled behind us. It was beautiful. My mom and Ben were already there and the following day Matt and Sarah drove up. It was awesome.

We had a relaxing visit. On Thanksgiving morning I had signed Matt, Sarah and myself up for a local 5K turkey trot in La Quinta. It was a benefit for Martha's Village and Kitchen.

The weather had been gorgeous the previous days and Thanksgiving day followed suit. It was a little chilly at the start but by 10:00 a. the thermometer read 77 degrees.
Matt and Sarah planned on walking and my goal was to run 20 minutes or less. It was a bit crowded at the start with almost 1400 people participating. They started the "competitive" participants at 8 with "non competitive" participants at 8:10. The course was a big square with some hills in it. Nice. We finished up at a park and in the last .3 miles I passed a woman I'd been trying to catch and raced to the finish. My time was 20:36, 1st in my age group. At the finish I started talking with a woman who came in 2 seconds before me. It turns out she is an ultra runner and is in Western States this year. She invited me to run some trails in the Palm Springs area on Saturday. I was pretty excited about visiting some new trails. It turned out her husband became ill and spent the night in the hospital so she had to back out. I'm really excited to see her come through Highway 49 aid station at Western this year. This is her 4th attempt and has never completed it (I don't feel so bad now!) She is an awesome runner and has won Angeles Crest and Vermont 100 mile races a few years back.
We headed back to the condo and cooked up an awesome turkey feast. Of course, Connor had to do some swimming first!

On Saturday, we headed to Joshua Tree National Park. I had never been there before and was pretty excited. The weather had taken a turn and rain and dark clouds appeared. We drove into the park and took a scenic drive.

This is skull rock. As we got higher in elevation, it became very cold and there was even some snow on the ground.
Here is Connor and I in front of a Joshua Tree.

I would love to go back and spend some time camping and hiking at the park. It is spectacular with the contrasting desert cactus' and plants and the rocky mountains.

We returned home Sunday and back to the grind. I think we should plan this for next year!!

Run fun.....