I am happy to report that I not only finished the marathon, but also survived the marathon. I was questioning both last week before departure. I even got all my business in order and relayed to BC where things were before I left!
We had a great trip---L O N G----but great! Ivory's finishing time of 4:06 was fabulous! She ran with a pace group until the last few miles and came in right behind them. This was by far her best finish and she was very satisfied with her time.
Helen and Sonja were "THE BEST SUPPORT CREW" for this marathon. They rode around from point to point-cheering us on! It was awesome to look up and see them down the road waiting. What great friends! At one point they had gone and bought a snickers bar and passed it off to me. Sonja hobbled on her crutches around the last turn you had to make to cheer me on and tell me I was there. The funniest encounter was the time that I HEARD Sonja laughing a LONG time before I saw them. If you know Sonja, you understand what I am talking about. I know everyone in front of me thought they were there to cheer them on!
I would have NEVER been able to finish without all of the GREAT support I got from all the running buddies. They were faithful training partners and full of encouragement to the day of the race. The best thing they did ---was tell me they would and then actually pray for me during the race. The winds of those prayers powered my run.
Albany was a beautiful Southern city and the race was well organized with GREAT volunteers. They advertised the course as flat--and for the most part it was---but NOT completely. You did have some long slow up pulls. The volunteers were a mixture across age, economic and ethnic lines---and each and everyone of them were unfailingly encouraging---pushing you on to the finish line. The weather was almost perfect--29 degrees at the start and in the 60's at the finish-which is a little warm on a sunshine filled day. It was a great marathon.
I finished according to my GPS in 5:06 with 26.49 miles (that will take some explaining at a later time). My official time was 5:07--not sure why the difference. I had to stop once for a BR break and had cramps in my feet that would radiate into my lower legs the last two miles. This cause LOTS of walking those last two miles. Ivory suffered from the same malady--so who knows. My goal was 5 hours and my PR (personal record) before was 5:14. I didn't meet my goal--but I was close OH SO CLOSE.
Another check on my "Bucket List"---a marathon in my 60's.