Sunday, May 15, 2011

2011 Green Bay Marathon Recap

My good buddy (since the first day of kindergarten) came into town this past weekend to run the Green Bay Marathon.  We didn't get into too much trouble as he couldn't do dinner or drinks for obvious reasons, but that didn't stop us from having a good time just hanging out.   

We started out on Saturday doing the pre-event stuff at Lambeau Field.  There were lots of vendors, some good bargains on athletic gear, plus a pre-race pasta dinner in the stadium itself.  The pasta was just OK, but between my beer tickets, my buddy's beer tickets, and just about everyone else there that was running the next day and not drinking, I had a good time.  I mean a really good time.  Note to Green Bay drinkers: you'll not find more free beer at an event other than crashing a wedding.  Seriously. 

We came back and hung out by watching Hot Tub Time Machine (much funnier than expected), then watched the Twins choke away another game in extra innings.  With that under our belts, it was off to bed for the big day the following day. 

We awoke to sun, but to some brutal 35 MPH winds, with gusts well into the 40's.  It was coming out of the northeast which meant that the first part of the course would be right at runners' backs, but the second half would be right in their faces.  And that second part was brutal.  I ended up riding alongside my buddy for race, and just riding a bike into that wind was horrible.  I can't imagine what it was like to run into it for  10 miles or so. 

I was surprised at how much of the course I was able to ride with my buddy - I estimate about half of the marathon altogether.  In spots where I couldn't ride near him, I'd find a parallel route, bust up ahead of him, cut back to the course to stand on the sidelines and offer encouragement as he passed, then do it all again.  It worked really well. 

Here are some shots from the race:

This is the view at the four mile mark.  Hat's off to all of the Green Bay citizens that came out and cheered runners on.  You guys rock. 

Here's a good shot of AB, my buddy, in the middle of the pack looking at the camera. 

By about mile 10 things got stretched out, but there were still folks alongside the road cheering runners. 

Here's a shot of my buddy and a friend of his. 

This was my first attendance at a marathon, and I have to say I came away quite impressed.  It really was a community event, and I loved to see how the citizens of my new home supported the participants.  Likewise, I was really struck by the strength and fortitude of the runners.  They came in all shapes, sizes, and conditions, but each and every one of them were inspiring in their effort and perseverance.  Awesome stuff, all of it.

When this weekend started, I had no idea what to expect.  I came away from it proud, moved, and a little saddle sore.   

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