It started to rain, so I ducked inside to try to get the first word out about the Twin Cities Marathon. I missed a few people (notably Julie Berg and Norm Purrington), but saw a ton of the ultrarunning crowd, including three spectators wearing FANS shirts. This year's weather was okay for once - last year was hot, the year before it rained and was cold.
Nic Geibler was on about 2:55 pace when I saw him, so I think his first sub-3 is in the bag. Joe Ziegenfuss was about 5 minutes ahead of him (at 21 miles), pacing another... wouldn't you love to be able to run a sub-3 as a training run to help out a friend?! Justin Youngblom looked like he was not pushing, but taking it as an easy day and Mark Hanson looked like he was having a remarkably easy time, though he was racing. The Lake Phalen runners (Allan Holtz, Barb Johnson and Don Dornfeld) all looked strong, as usual, as did Jerry Heaps and Ed Rousseau. Up toward the front were Jim Ramacier and Kirt Goetzke and so many TCRC runners, I'll leave it to Kurt Decker to list them all.
I was watching from my usual spot, where the road narrows to one lane for a block, giving the best perspective of runners as they come and prepare for the race's worst hill. The same family of volunteers is posted there every year (Dan, his wife Natalie, their baby, and Natalie's mother and sister Kelly) and I've gotten to know them as well as many of the runners.
The one thing I noticed this year is that the first men look a lot like the men an hour behind them, but the first dozen or so women look very different from those an hour back - mostly, it's a matter of paper-thin skin; they're carrying astonishingly low amounts of body fat.
I'm looking forward to the reports to come in. It'll be interesting to see who says it rained and who says it didn't. It was that spotty.
Going up the country
1 day ago