Fourteen was the Motorola Marathon in Austin, Texas on 15 February, 2004. This was Rachael's first marathon. She trained religiously according to the book "Marathoning for non-runners," and finished well. Here are the basic facts:
David Brady, chip time: 3:34:31.8, clock time:3:42:13.0
Rachael Brady, chip time:5:10:01.2, clock time:5:17:42.0
Rachael and I shared Valentine's Day weekend in Austin, what could be better than that? We were supposed to go out and back together while the kids visited their cousin in Saint Louis, but I had to go to California on the 12th and 13th, so I let Rachael fly out alone. I then ended up with a job in Dallas on the 16th, so I let her fly back alone. Things didn't get bad until I ended up needing to meet someone in Austin on the morning of the 14th. Life is hectic. We flew in to Austin on Friday night. I got there fron the West Coast half an hour before Rachael got there from the East, so I met her inside security at the gate. We got to our hotel at midnight. Saturday we had breakfast at the Hyatt among a running crowd and picked up our packets. Rachael was much more interested in the marathon expo then ever before. She stopped to buy all sorts of sauves and ointments, although not the sunblock she actually could have used on Sunday. We visited my friends at 11 and Rachael's friend Kelly at the University at 12. We went out to a Thai lunch and bought a UT hat for our collection. Saturday night we vegged in our room watching Duke's women cagers get by UNC on ESPN.
Sunday morning it became clear that the Austin marathon was the worst organized of the 14 so far. Don't take offence, but I think it is a Texan thing. The race is too big for causual organization and too small for true professionalism. There were not nearly enough buses at the Hyatt, 300 runners were still waiting when we left an hour before race time, the staff said that only 2 more buses were coming. There was an enormous traffic jam at the start, we got there 30 minutes early but had no real time to waste between obligatory pre-race tasks. I thought they would start the race late in view of the thousands trying to get to the line, but the race went off chaotically right on time. The start area was an ugly mix of burger joints and box motels.
I ran with Rachael for the first three miles. I loved it, but she was getting tired of me (she wanted to put on her head phones and forget the world.) I left her at three miles and began to pass. For me there was not much to the run. Austin is pretty for Texas, but it's still Texas. We ran by the University, the capital and along the lake. I think that I ran less than 23 minutes for the last 5K, it will be interesting to see the splits when I get them. It was the hardest running to finish a race I have done. One feels like an assasin passing people at the end of a marathon. I should be ashamed, but...
Rachael finished strong, I am working on her to do it again. She likes the idea of Napa.
Sunday afternoon we walked around downtown Austin and we went out to Roy's Hawaiian Grill for dinner and had a heck of a meal. We got back from dinner at 8:00 and were dead asleep by 8:15.