Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Ogden Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!
Anytime I’m given the opportunity to travel to a new location and run, I jump on the opportunity! When I gave birth to my first biological child 5.5 months ago, I wasn’t sure what life with a baby would look like for me. I’m so grateful to have a husband who supports me and lets me continue my “go-go-go” lifestyle. On that note, let’s recap my whirlwind, less than 24 hour trip to Utah.
After teaching my 5th graders for a full day on Friday, I took one last selfie with my 5.5 month old baby before I left her at home with Daddy!
My flight departed at 6:35pm and arrived into a rainy Salt Lake City at about 9:30pm after the slight delay and one hour time difference. I had hoped to quickly pick up my checked bag so that I could get to my hotel as quickly as possible, but I accidentally waited at the wrong baggage claim. (ooops… I blame it on being distracted by updating my followers on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.)
After picking up my rental car, driving from Salt Lake City to Ogden, and stopping by a store to pick up a huge water, I finally arrived to my hotel a little after 11pm. It was then time to prepare my things for the next day, pump a bottle for baby (#breastfeedinglife), and get ready for bed. When it was all said and done, I went to bed at about midnight. It was a short night’s rest since my alarm was set for 3am the next morning.
A few days prior, I contacted the Ogden Marathon to see if there was any way I could pick up my bib Saturday morning prior to getting on the shuttle since I was not able to attend the expo. They were very accommodating and allowed me to pick up my bib at 4am Saturday morning (hence the 3am wake up call).
I debated about taking a shower Saturday morning… would I be too cold if I took a shower? would I feel too dirty if I didn’t take a shower? would I be too smelly on the 5pm flight home if I didn’t take a shower? etc. Ultimately, I decided to take a shower. (I couldn’t take a shower post-race because I would already be checked out of the hotel.)
After I picked up my bib at 4am from the GOAL Foundation office, I went back to my car and waited until it was time to load the shuttles to the starting line. The race website states that “Bus loading for the Full Marathon is from 4:45 am – 5:15 am”. Previous experience tells me that it is pointless to be on one of the first shuttles to the race start line because then that just means more time waiting out in the cold. I, therefore, got on a shuttle (school bus) at about 5:15am. I was impressed by the number of volunteers who were friendly and helped direct everyone to where they needed to go.
I dozed on and off during the 45+ minute drive up to the starting line. Once I arrived to the starting line, I thought, “I should use the bathroom before the race starts.” Sadly, this is what the lines to the porta potties looked like…
The picture does not do justice to the starting line scene. It was sleeting (a mix of rain and snow) and the lines were extremely long to the porta potties (I seemed to have picked the slowest moving line). The lines, in fact, were so long that I, and many other racers, didn’t even make it to the front of the line by the time the race started! I decided to ditch the line, start the race, and find a porta potty along the route.
I started the race wearing a rain jacket, but quickly ditched the jacket within the first two miles. I had every intention of wearing shorts for the race, but the night before I decided to wear capris and I’m so glad that I did. I am not well acclimated to the cold like many other local runners and probably would have frozen to death had I chosen to wear shorts.
For the majority of the 26.2 mile race, I ran without wearing headphones. I wanted to fully take in all sights, sounds, and the people running around me. I was so inspired by so many runners that I met while out on the course. One runner was a 64 year old woman who was running her 81st marathon. She started running in 1985 and is still going strong. Some other runners were three gentlemen who were all in their 60s. One gentleman, pictured in the neon shirt, talked about how he has done 24 full ironman races with his last one just two weeks prior. Wow! So inspirational!
Besides meeting inspiring runners, another part of the race that I loved were the views. The views along the course were amazing! The lakes, rivers, waterfalls, mountains, rock formations, etc. were all so enjoyable to see and take in!
Taking the scenic (slow) route in a marathon has its advantages… there’s plenty of time to take lots of selfies!
The weather ended up being fairly decent. It rained on and off throughout the first 10 miles, but the rain stayed pretty light. By the final few miles, the sun even peeked out from behind the clouds.
At the halfway point I was on schedule to finish the Ogden Marathon 30 minutes faster than the OC Marathon two weeks prior. Sadly, after the halfway point, I saw each mile pace get slower and slower. My lungs felt great and I felt great overall, but my feet were another story. I could feel a huge blister forming on the bottom of my left foot. I thought about stopping at a first aid station to see if they could do something, but decided that I’d be fine. I ended up finishing the Ogden Marathon about 17 minutes faster than the OC Marathon two weeks prior. Considering that the elevation was much higher in Ogden than the OC, I’m pleased.
Overall, I left Utah feeling quite impressed by the Ogden Marathon. The race was well organized, the course was scenic, there were free race pictures, the finishers shirt had thumb holes (my favorite), and the volunteers were kind and helpful! I hope to be able to return to Ogden in the future.
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Until next time,
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