How I got into MR Marathons and Awful Halloween Marathon in Lacey, WA

How I got into MR Marathons:

I had just reached AA GLD a month ago. I looked at the benefits and thought PLT was pretty good. During this time, there were a ton of delays on AA flights because of a small tiff between AA and their pilots. There were some rumblings of a DEQM promotion later in the year. I wasn’t putting all my hopes on DEQM but figured it would help.

I had already planned on running Hartford and started to search for other marathons to run later in the year. I was scanning forums for MR deals and also did a lot of searching myself to make certain marathons work.

I was in a tennis league so I had to be back by Sunday afternoon. My search focused on Saturday marathons and also flights back on Saturday night.

The first one I found was the Halloween Marathon in Lacey, WA (ontherunevents.com). It was ran by Bob Green and he was known to have quirky marathon with missing medals, not giving out a correct time. I found this out after I booked the flight and marathon. In short, no one was present at the finish when I finished. Still haven’t gotten my medal but I’ll end up running another marathon in WA to count for my 50 states. I do not recommend running any of his races. There’s no guarantee that he’ll give you a medal or even be there when you finish, especially if you finish over 5 hours.

Flight and Schedule

The flight I found was definitely not MR worthy. Because of the time of my flights, it was about $500 for about 7k miles. I found fly out Friday night and get there around 1am local time in Seattle. The plan was to rent a car, drive to Lacey, WA, sleep in the car for the late 10am start, then drive back to the airport. I would have a bit of time to drive into Seattle but not that much time. This was pretty much a barebones MR to run a marathon.

Flight to Seattle

When I was flying, there were still delays with AA. It was the end of October and the crisis was resolved about a week later. It still didn’t make my flight on time. My BOS-DFW flight was late by about two hours and by the time I found out, it was too late to catch the earlier flight out of BOS. I had a two hour layover in DFW and according to the arrival time, I would have 10 minutes to catch my DFW-SEA flight. I called the GLD line and they pretty much said “Yea we can’t do anything for you, have a good day.” There were no other flights to SEA that night as my flight gets in at 12:30am. The flight the following morning would get in late in the morning so I would miss my race. This was not going well. I was hoping that we would land a bit early and have enough time to run to my flight.

The flight got in a few minutes earlier than the planned arrival and I bolted out the plane. I was sitting near the exit so I was the first few people out of coach. I ran around to find the departures screen. I was shocked. My connecting flight was late! It was also delayed by an hour. The delay ended up being about 2.5 hours for some reason. We sat in the plane for about an hour and a half at the gate before we took off. There were some issues with the engine that was resolved. We made it into SEA at 2:30am.

Race Day

I got to the car and drove to Lacey. I saw that there were a few Subway Restaurants that were open 24 hours. I stopped in one when I got off the highway and i used that as a quick carb load before the marathon. I got there just before 4am. i got to the race start about 4:30am and tried to sleep. I slept for about 3 hours before the start.

During the early morning, it had started to rain. It would continue to rain the entire day. I got my packet and put on my number. There were a few porta-john there.

The race started on time and there were about 100 runners. There were only 7 marathoners, but about 20 halfs, and more 10k, 5k and 1 mile fun runs. It was nice to be with other people for the first half of the lap. It was an out and back course of two laps. It was also on the side of the road of a relatively busy road. Every once in a while there were trucks that would roar by. The course sucked.

During the race, the rain started to pick up. There were only a few water stations and are about 3 miles apart. I wasn’t concerned as I had my water pack. The first half went by fine. You loop through the start area and there were some food there, which was nice.

I went back out for the second half. The rain got worst and i started feeling blisters on the bottom of my feet so I changed socks, hoping that it would help. It did a little but it was too late as the blister was already there. It wasn’t too painful and ran the rest of the race. I just remember being wet and mildly cold for the last 1/4 of the race. I was getting introduced to how wet the Pacific Northwest is.

By the end of the race, there were only three people total running this 6 mile out and back course. In other words, I was running by myself almost in the middle of nowhere in the rain. I can’t tell you how much that sucks.

Worst Part about the Race

When I got to the finish, no one was even there. There were some volunteers who were in the car at the finish just to make sure people finished the course, but there was no clock or any food left. I still haven’t gotten my medal. I’ve called him a few times and he said he would send it but never received it.

I made it into my car and spent about 30 minutes changing and drying myself off. I ate another granola bar and drove up to Seattle. I quickly remembered that the largest REI store was there so I made a bee line to it. By the time I got there, the sun had already set.

The store was huge. It did have an indoor rock climbing wall and an outdoor single track for bicycles. I bought some bicycle gear as I needed it anyway and drove to the airport to fly home.

Flight Home

I had a flight to LAX then redeye to DFW then a flight onto BOS. It was a short two hour flight to LAX. I had a meal at Ivar’s Fish Bar. It was one of the best fish and chips I’ve had.

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My gate was at the N gates and I was a bit early so I got a beer at the Seahawks bar before my flight.

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Once I got on, I blacked out between taxiing from the gate at SEA to taxiing to the gate at LAX. Being that I didn’t sleep much the night before, a marathon, and a beer, that helped me sleep.

I went through DFW to get a few extra miles. Next time I may not be so thrilled about redeye through DFW. It was awful. You take off around 1am from LAX and land around 5am at DFW, and it was only a three hour flight. I didn’t get much sleep and I was exhausted when I landed. I slept another two hours at DFW before my flight, and then a few hours on the flight to BOS. Once i got home, I took another nap before my 6pm tennis match.

It was a rough couple of flights and the marathon sucked. It was definitely an expensive mistake but at least i got the miles for PLT status. The next marathon I’ll pick would be much larger. I’m done with small marathons.

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