Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bass Pro Shops Maynard Cohick Half Marathon

This was a really special race to me.  I wasn't running to set a PR or to try to be the fastest in my age group.  In fact, there was no "me" to this race.  This race was about "we."  This was Lana's A race for the year, and I had the privilege of running with her.  It was a great opportunity for me to do the half marathon format before my first ironman 70.3 next year, sure enough, but being able to train and run with my most important person was the best part of this experience by a long shot.

We lined up for a 7am start on Nov 1st, the same day everyone changed timezones.  Regardless, everyone seemed to make it to the start on time.  After a short invocation and the babershop quartet style singing of "The Star Spangled Banner" by the sons of silver dollar city (did I mention I was in the SOUTH?) the gun went off and we waited to start running.

The first few miles were very uneventful, aside from having to work a bit to settle into our pace. 

There seems to be a bit of a cult following for Jeff Galloway in Springfield, Mo and as such there were MANY Galloway training groups running the race.  The only thing worse than one person suddenly stopping in front of you is a whole group of people suddenly stopping in front of you.  Lame. 

Around 7 miles in we were greeted by Lana's parents, who had driven all the way from Minnesota to cheer for us.  They had actually made signs for us!  It was really cool! 

A few times in the race we passed a woman cheering loudly with a sign that just said "woo hoo."  We took note of her each time.  That following Thursday she would be the instructor for a spinning class we would both attend.  Small world...

At around 12 miles we were both showing some pain on our faces, and things started getting hard.  I was starting to cramp very badly.  In the end though, we made it through and rounded the corner to finish strong.

Post race we were treated to Miller Lite (which appears to be some strange type of yellow water, I wouldn't  recommend drinking that crap...) and biscuits and gravy.  Did I mention I was in the south?

After a quick shower we were out to get some real food (and throwed rolls) at Lamberts, which is really the coolest place ever.  My food log would later reveil I put down 1400 calories there, and it was delicious!  I had turkey, dressing, gravy, throwed rolls, potatos, fried zuccini, etc.  Wow, lots of food.
So that was the half marathon.  But wait one second... Who was this Maynard Cohick character anyway?  Maynard Cohick was a famous lawyer who would run between clients appointments in Springfield and his office in Republic.  When he wasn't doing that, he was breaking records climbing mountains.

Unfortunately this would ultimately cost Maynard Cohick his life

Maynard Cohick spent much of his life traveling around the world; he died on top of it. In his last letter to Jeanne, received about the time of the accident on Annapurna, Maynard wrote: "I love you very much, and hope this long absence hasn't been too difficult for you. Tell all the gang I said hello and the next time you hear from me, I will have been to the summit."  --Lance Feyh, Living the Life with

As I write the ending to this chapter of my life, framed by multisport, I can't help but think about the mountains in my own life.  Yeah, it takes some endurance to run 13.1 miles, no doubt.  But living 386 miles away from your best friend and greatest love is a real test of endurance.  Lana, I love you very much, and hope this long absence hasn't been too difficult for you.   We will be at the summit soon. 

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