Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pa Grand Canyon Marathon 2013

Early Morning Runners

Running in Pink TuTu style

Joe Brockway 80 years old

Back of Joe's shirt.
Ace a friend of mine and I went down to the first ever Canyon Marathon to help. We were designated helpers at an aid station and handed out water, Gatorade, and snacks. The day started pretty miserable with constant rain and the road was quite muddy for the entire event. They started at 7 am and by 10 am the rain had slowed, but we stood in a very muddy spot all day.
250 runners of all ages passed us twice at about the 10th mile out and 17th mile back. There are quite a variety of people who run from the die-hard serious competitors to the people who just enjoy completing the race and being part of a fun day. Some people came in groups and seemed to be having a sort of party along the way. They knew how to enjoy life and shared it well with every step they took.
 You could tell by watching the runners they all enjoyed the race in their own special way. I recorded a couple of standouts. First person who was hard to ignore was this lanky, tall, bald guy running with a pink shirt and a tutu. He seemed to be holding his own kind of style in about the middle of the pack and definitely, gave me a reason to smile. The last but not least of the competitors was Joe Brockway, who just turned 80 and finished the race at just over 8 hours and 10 minutes for 26 miles. Many people his age can barely make it from one chair to another let alone run an entire marathon. He calls himself, "The Abominable Slowman," and is the very unofficial race turtle of any race he runs in. 
Many of the seasoned runners said this marathon was a lot harder than any they had ever run in with the long hills. But they also commented it was one of the more beautiful runs through the scenic forest. The ending was a very tough 3 mile uphill and my hat goes off to all who finished. 
I will say this for the runners they are all very thankful and generous with their praise to us volunteers for helping them along the way. So, if you need a couple hundred thank-you boosts, volunteer at one of these runs it was very enjoyable.
I am a long way from being able to run 26 miles, but they have promised a half-marathon next year and 13 might just be something to aim for in 2014. You can find the list of the finishers on this LINK Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

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