A few months ago Dave decided he wanted to run a marathon. He comes from a family of runners! His dad has run multiple marathons including Boston as well as a few other longer races. His younger brother has run 3 marathons in MN. And all the boys in the family have run a 1/2. So, when Dave’s resident schedule calmed down for a few months, he decided it was the perfect time to train for a full marathon. He did some research on which marathon would be the best and found out that Florida doesn’t offer any marathons during the summer months. Go figure! So, after much consideration, he found one in Chattanooga, TN that he thought would be a good one. There were only a few hiccups – it was 2 1/2 months away which meant a shorter training schedule AND it was a trail marathon in the mountains, which you can’t train specifically for here in Florida, but he was up for the challenge!
So, on February 27th, he went out for his first run – an easy 10! Do you know how long it would take me to train for an “easy 10”? HA! Not my hubby – 10 miles is cake for him! Training started well, but 2 weeks in he injured his foot playing soccer. That meant about 5 days off from running, but he was able to bike. … Then, 3 weeks before race day, he injured his ankle pretty badly. He ended up seeing an orthopedic about it who suggested at least a week off of running and physical therapy. The other problem – his bike was stolen from work and he couldn’t even compensate for not running by biking to work. Once his ankle felt a little better, he started running again on the treadmill. He didn’t hit the road running until his last 5 days of training. In the midst of all those hiccups, he stayed focused and excited about race day.
Friday before race day we drove the 7 hours to Chattanooga, TN. Fortunately, Ashley, my best friend from high school, and her husband moved to Chattanooga just 3 weeks prior and we were able to stay with them! It was so nice to see them!! Ashley made a special spaghetti dinner with homemade sauce just for Dave in preparation for his run. It was delicious! Dave’s dad also made the trip up from Tampa to support him and arrived later Friday night. We got everything ready for the next morning and tried to get to bed a little early – which was more like midnight! oops!
Dave and his dad got up early Saturday morning to get to the race well before the start time of 8:00am, which ended up getting pushed back to 8:30. Here he is getting ready to start the Scenic City Trail Marathon!
And, he’s off…
Into the woods he goes… only he’s not going to grandmother’s house! haha! :)
We, on the other hand, slept in a bit and met Dave and his dad about an hour and a half into the race. We arrived just before 10 am and met Dave at the 11 mile aid station. He was looking good – full of energy and feeling great. He said his ankle was bothering him a little, but the brace was helping. He grabbed some water and a quick family pic before heading off again!
His next stop was at mile 15 so we decided to take a quick tour of the mountain and see the sights of Chattanooga, TN from above. It was beautiful outside! Here we are at the lookout point.
Cori Belle, me, Ashley, & Lochlan
Cori Belle & Pops
It was SO WONDERFUL to have Dave’s dad come up to support him. He was such an encouragement to Dave and we certainly enjoyed getting to spend time with him too!
Then, we headed to the mile 15 aid station to meet Dave again. We had a little extra time and took some pictures of Cori and Lochlan playing in the grass with a stick. Lochlan was wearing a sweet little painters hat, which Cori took from him to try on herself. It was so cute watching them interact!!
Dave made it in, still looking good. It was a much shorter stop than the 11 mile stop and he was off again. Next stop – 20.5 miles. We packed up and drove over to meet him. We got there pretty quickly and had to wait for a bit. Pops decided to run up the trail to meet him and run with him into the aid station. He did that quite a few times and ended up running about 9 miles that morning! Cori was getting hungry at this point and decided she needed a snack. She ate 4 bananas, a few gummy bears, and some Pringles from the aid station. Thankfully the people in charge didn’t mind! :)
Dave finally arrived. You could tell his ankle was bothering him, but he was in good spirits to finish. He grabbed a few cold, wet towels to throw on his back, re-hydrated and headed off. Next stop – 23.8 miles – then all the way to the finish. Here he is heading down the mountain after mile 20 …
The finish line was an uphill climb out of the mountains and onto a paved road. Couldn’t they have just put the finish on a flat surface!?! The last thing I would want to do if I was finishing a marathon would be to run uphill!!! But the runners did great! Here comes Dave…
He finished in 3:58.24 in the top 30. I got the picture from the back and Pop’s got the picture from the front. I thought it was pretty cool that we captured the pictures at the exact same time!! The clock doesn’t lie! :) If you look closely, you can see Cori in the picture above. She was so excited to see her daddy and ran from where you see her in the picture to the finish line. She wanted credit for the marathon too and thought it was a must to cross the finish line! :)
She was a little worried as she watched her daddy sit on the ground while we threw cold towels and water over his head. It was HOT out there, that’s for sure!! After some rest, water, electrolytes, and of course, a mountain dew, he was feeling a little better!
We were all so proud of him and so glad we could be there to support him during his first marathon!! It definitely wasn’t an easy first, but he did awesome! Actually, most people there were surprised that he had chosen this marathon to be his first and were very proud of his accomplishment.
Congrats, Dave! You are amazing. I love you and am so proud of you!! :)