Barefoot Rick's St. Louis Marathon Report - April 15, 2007
Finish Time - 3:39:31 (8:23 Pace)
2nd Fastest Barefoot Marathon!
14th Place AG (50-54 Males)
47th Marathon (26.2 Miles or Ultra Distance)
29th Consecutive Barefoot Marathon Since April 2004
What a weekend! First of all, it snowed about 3 inches on Friday night. Saturday morning I headed outside for a couple of barefoot miles -- undoubtedly my last snow run of the 06-07' winter season. The snow was melting quick and by the time I loaded up the truck and left about 11:30 a.m. it was mostly a memory. The next 3.5 hours were pretty much uneventful as I "trucked" my way down I-70 to St. Louis.
The expo and packet pick-up were normal fare. I saw a few folks I knew from previous marathons, well-wishers from the 50 State Marathon booth (yep, there is an actual club of folks that travel around running marathons in all 50 states. Kind of like collecting all 50 state quarters, or something like that). On my way out, I ran into a group of high school girls from Iowa who had seen my website. Their parents had brought them down to run their first half-marathon. We all took some pics together. The parents were good sports as they shot the pictures of their girls with the old barefoot guy!
Barefoot Rick with the Iowa high school girls!
Saturday evening was laid back with an anchovy pizza and turning in early. Wake up was at 5:15 a.m. for a 7 a.m. start.
Sunday morning the weather was cool (36 degrees) and crisp with a gorgeous sun coming up in the east. We all lined up in our respective places in front of Union Station on Market Street a little before 7 a.m. The National Anthem went off without a hitch and we were soon off.
Sunshine, on my shoulder, makes me happy!
The miles peeled away as we ran toward the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. At about mile 3, there was a fellow that said "Hey, you forgot your shoes" as I hear this a lot in marathons. Well, there was a guy next to me that I explained that I had forgot my wash cloth that I usually carry with me to wipe sweat. This guy (whose name is Jeff) gave me one of his wristbands to help sop up the sweat. I certainly appreciated his kindness as I would have been blinded later in the race by sweat otherwise.
There was an awesome bagpipe player outside the brewery playing his heart out. I have a weakness for bagpipes -- probably that Scottish blood from my mother's side of the family. I had to stop and dance a wee bit of a jig while the he piped. Ah, twas' a merry sound! With my dance over, I continued on my way up the hill to the brewery. The Clydesdales were out in their pen which is always a nice touch.
We headed back toward downtown and continued west on Market where the race started. At about mile 8, we came to Forest Park Blvd. which changed to chip seal! Ouch! I didn't remember this from last year! It only lasted about 1.5 miles but it seemed like 3 miles. I slowed a bit on this area, but was soon back on smooth concrete and asphalt.
Continued on through Forest Park, on to Washington University. Throughout the marathon, I had people yelling my name, but at about mile 18, some guy yells "Hey, Barefoot Rick! I lost a 20 dollar bet last year with my brother because I didn't beat you in the marathon, and now he's losing to you and I will get my 20 bucks back." I just smiled, and thought it was kind of weird being the subject of side wagers going on. Hmmmm ... wonder if I shouldn't have gotten some of the take?
We then headed back to Forest Park. Then it was time for a repeat of chip seal, this time going the opposite direction. Actually ... not so bad this time. Guess after 23 miles my feet are less sensitive than 15 miles prior.
The home stretch is always fun. I did a lot of hand slapping along the way, but even more so in the final stretch. I cruised across the mat at 3:39:42 (chip time 3:39:31!).
Wrapping up, St. Louis is a great marathon that keeps getting better and better each year. St. Louis should be proud of how the city gets behind the event along this beautiful course.
*I am a marathon runner and do not prescribe to a run/walk method for MY marathons. Likewise, I do not judge anyone else for "finishing" a marathon in whatever way they can propel themselves across the finish line, whether it be walking, crawling, etc. All marathon finishes are notable in their own regard.
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