Race report: Wicked Marathon

Wicked Marathon

Marathon #9

March 30, 2019

Place: 61/66

Time: 5:48:03

Just finish, man. That’s what I told myself going into this one. My fitness level is rubbish, to say the least — and to put it mildly.

The weather forecast was… well, worse than rubbish.

My expectations for this race were extremely low. Not that I didn’t trust the folks in Wamego to put on a good event — they did — it’s just that I didn’t need much out of it other than time on my feet and to get some long miles in two weeks ahead of Flint Hills 50.

I didn’t need a cool shirt or medal or a good time. Just finish, man.

I did know going in the bibs would be fun.

bib template

This was the bib template they shared on Facebook.

I got to Wamego after the 45 minute drive from Topeka (while getting pelted with snow/rain mixture) and landed a cherry parking spot right across from the building where check-in was located.

I checked in, got my packet, used the restroom, chatted with some folks and meandered to the start line for my longest run of more than 15 miles since October — if I lasted that long. I wasn’t certain going into it.

I didn’t understand a couple things about this event. One: why the half marathon starts first, then the 5K runners and marathoners started 15 minutes later — together. Bizarre. Never seen that before. Two: Why, on the above bags, list the longest distance in the middle, rather than first or last?

Just the things that make me wonder. But like I said, I didn’t care nothing about nothing on this day. Just finish, man.


Shirt fits nice, but is… well… not attractive. Stop it with the white, race directors.

bib on shorts

Bib affixed to shorts, as always.

Despite the cold morning, I opted against the compression sleeves, thicker gloves and stocking cap at the last minute at the expense of comfort. Great decision in the end, as it turned out.

We would run three three-mile loops before starting a would-be brutal out-and-back in what seemed like the middle of nowhere.

Wicked 26.2 map

Wicked Marathon course map.

In what would be my saving grace in the early going, I linked up with another runner who actually looks a little bit like me — if I had a sweeter beard.

By that, I mean… he’s tall like me. Tall folks (6 feet plus) stand out more than I’d like at running events. It might be in my head, but I doubt it.

I probably got in 14-15 miles in with him at my side. We chatted it up for most of that stretch. Dude’s from Manhattan — farmer/grain trader. Wife is due with their first baby next week.

His phone rang in mile 2 and I thought my running partner would vanish as soon as he arrived, but nope. Work stuff. We ran together until my ankles gave me fits and he pulled away around mile 16 or so.

I asked how he did shortly after I finished and was pretty pumped to hear how strong he finished — especially with it being his first marathon.

Thanks for the miles, Jake — and congrats on your upcoming promotion to Dad.

As for me… Just finish, man.

After a few miles of snow, a few miles of rain, a few more of sleet and several more of drizzle and rain and wind — the sun finally popped out for the last 8 miles or so. Thank goodness.

I knew I’d fight to beat the cutoff and fight to avoid last place. I occasionally thought I cared about either of those, but nah. I am out of shape lately. Been busy. Like, real busy. My ankles were swelling up, my feet were sore. Blah, blah, blah. Excuses, I know. But I said it over and over — Just finish, man.

I shuffled along at a snail’s pace until finally reaching civilization inside the city limits of Wamego again. Passed a couple ladies in the last few blocks and crossed the finish line in 5:48:03 — my worst marathon time ever by 13 minutes. Brutally embarrassing splits late that would barely hack it in a 50-miler, let alone a marathon.

But on this day… in these conditions… in these circumstances… Just finish, man.

10:06, 10:40, 10:56, 11:03. 11:12. 11:00, 10:49, 10:31, 11:12, 10:42, 11:21, 11:10, 12:20, 13:06, 12:04, 12:54, 13:45, 16:17, 16:15, 16:34, 16:38, 17:09, 18:04, 16:19, 15:01, 13:18, 12:44 (0.57)
13:05 / mile overall

The (plastic) finisher medal was huge. Somehow, someway, I managed third in my age group and another (plastic) medal. The bagel I snagged was stale. But the chair was nice. Called the wife, updated her and headed for home.

And of course we went for Mexican food for supper. Kind of a post-race ritual — especially when you burn 3,910 calories. Should be that plus at least half again after Flint Hills.


Wicked Marathon swag.

Next up: Kickin’ it for Kids 10K — Mayetta, KS — Saturday, April 6

Race report: Hangover 5K*

Hangover 5K*

5K #46

January 7, 2018

Place: 37/135

Time: 26:29

My tradition of running a half marathon on New Year’s Day was planned to continue again this year.


Hangover Half Marathon Leawood/Overland Park, KS

Until Mother Nature had other plans.

With a real feel race-time temp of -28 degrees on the first day of 2018, the race was postponed. I wasn’t mad about it. Six days later, the temps were warmer (about 25 degrees), but with a steady drizzle. No harm done, I thought. I’d run in worse.

It would be gloomy and I’d had almost zero sleep the night before thanks to the baby boy (get it together, kid), but I was ready to try tackling 13.1 once again.


Bib on shorts, per uzh

Just a few minutes before toeing the start line, they announced the half marathon had been canceled and all interested runners would be allowed to still complete the 5K distance. Blerg. I drove an hour (plus a few minutes) for this and now wouldn’t get to run. Wish I’d had more warning. I wouldn’t have made the drive for just 3.1 miles.

Whatever. Three miles beats no miles, I guess. I took it steady and slow, running with a guy from Omaha and chatting the whole way. The course indeed was slick; race organizers definitely made the right call. Still bummed, though.

Me and Omaha (I never got his name) slipped a few times and stuck to the grass when possible. Whatever, we thought. Just stay upright and enjoy some conversation.


Running up a hill, and a slick one at that

I’m not sure if anyone actually wound up falling down, but I saw several people slipping and sliding on numerous occasions. While I went home still bummed, I can’t imagine how interesting it might’ve gotten over the course of 10 more miles.

Splits: 8:16, 8:15, 8:34, 8:16 (0.19) — 8:18 overall

But I’ve got a couple more 13.1s planned in the coming weeks, with hopes of gearing up for some spring ultras. We’ll see.


Me and Omaha — Texas? — crossing the finish line. Thanks for the miles, brother.

For the second straight year, I went home with a pint glass courtesy of KC Running Company and a hat — I had to purchase it separate this year. I wouldn’t have done that had I known going in, but… You know, whatever, man.


Post race swag.

Man, call me overly stitious, but 139 must be bad luck for me. First time at 139: DNF at Heartland 100. Second time: Half marathon canceled, forced to run 5K.


Pre-race, Heartland 100.


Oh well, you guys. I live to run another day. Speaking of which, I better get to it…