Friday I drove the North Cascades Highway up to the small town of Winthrop. Winthrop is a tiny town that looks like it was set in the wild wild west. It’s about 30 miles from the famous Omak Stampede and Rodeo.
Me and Teresa (Waterskimmer from RWOL) both rented rooms at the Badger Inn. It’s a house that was converted into an Inn. Back in the day (1930’s) it was the mayors house, situated a block from the main intersection. The place was great, nice and quiet with no TV or anything. It was a perfect way to unplug from it all. I went down and bought the book “Born To Run”.
Saturday afternoon a family of deer stop for some dinner in the yard.
The packet pickup was in Twisp, another tiny town 8 miles outside Winthrop. Included in my $65 race fee was a pasta dinner. There I met many fellow marathon maniacs and the grand dad of them all, Bob Dolphin. Bob is 80 years old and Sunday was his 473rd marathon!!! The race shirts were pretty good, for an extra $25 it was kinda army green with a logo that looked like and old western sheriff badge. Best of all it was made by Patagonia.
Sunday morning we pulled up to the start line in 3 buses, about 115 runners. This is the Methow Valley, scenic yet asphalt paved for all but the first 3 miles. At the start line there was a van with a roaring fire on the other side. I thought how nice of them to make a fire so we could stay warm. Uh, sitting at the fire was a guy with JUST a shirt on…… He was camping. He tried to kinda hold his shirt down as we wandered around asking what the heck we all were doing. I just asked him, “you thought they set up these potties in the middle of nowhere for you?”.
This race was pretty much all downhill. 1800 foot drop, 1500 foot net loss.
That’s was my downfall along with buying a gel bottle to put all 6 gels into. This made it hard for me to figure out much I was using. By the time I was done it turns out I only used 1-1/2 gels. I also did not hydrate enough. So, on BQ pace for 12 miles, then the quads quit and I had no fuel source due to my own error. In the end I saw great scenery, rattlesnake roadkill, and lots of perfect weather. Ended up with worst marathon (#15) besides my first.
At the finish line I saw one of my acquaintances, 81 year old David Painter. He finished in 4:29:59!!!!
Finishers medal was excellent, it was a sheriff badge laser cut out of metal much like my running medal hangers are. At the finish line there were tons of goodies given by the local business/sponsors. Free Mexican dinner right there at the finish, made to order. Free beer from the red schoolhouse brewery and a free giant scoop of ice cream from the ice cream parlor. Blue Sky Soda, chips, salsa….
This event was hands down the best dollar for dollar return on any race fee I paid, and I have run 45 races in 4 years. It made the 3-1/2 hour drive in my little sports car worth it, and believe me, it’s no fun running 26.2 miles and then sitting in that car like that.