This is totally what I thought this race was going to be all about. Sadly, I was mistaken.
The last thing my wife said to me before I left was "Try not to take a lot of pictures of you posing with girls this time." Uhhh...
I was going to chit-chat with Christine a little, but she seemed more interested in doing weird things with a rolling pin. I do not judge.
And we were off! I quickly moved to the back of the pack to ensure that I did not win the race and deprive someone else of a place on the podium.
Moving down the green corridor. Sights like this are why I couldn't sleep last night due to pre-race excitement.
The pack begins to tire of my presence, so it pulls away from me. I cannot blame it.
I thought to myself "Little Bear? This is going to be adorable!"
But then this guy jumped out from nowhere and scared the crap out of me.
Nanook almost ran my ass over here. Hey, Nanook! It says "Keep Right" and that means you, Mister!
I call them "Mini-Cairns."
Now this, my friends, is how to properly mark a trail! Well done, Mr. Welts.
Just seeing this picture lowers my blood pressure by ten points.
"I am too cute to pass up taking a photo!"
"As am I!"
This one's for my wife. Me and hunky RD Ryan Welts.
Hmm. I seem to have caught up with some people. How very odd. Not something I am used to.
Steve, Ericka and Cindy. Always a pleasure to run long distances with a group of like-minded people (i.e. those who do not think marathons are for the insane).
There is always time for a photo during a race, in my opinion.
Or even two.
This house was built using space-age tyvek wrap.
This one was not. What's holding your house together?
It's a trail running and bushwacking experience simultaneously (and here I am without my favorite machete!).
A scenic swamp. It's pretty, but unfortunately around 10,000,000 deer flies call it home.
Steve briefly pretends to run for an action photo, then gets back to power-hiking. Hey, we've all done it. Don't try to pretend otherwise.
I ran down the hill faster than everyone else since Dan Scotina used to yell at me if I ever walked downhill, and now I find I sprint down them to avoid his censure, even when he is not there. Thanks, Dan.
Getting near the end. Can't be much longer. Of course, we couldn't remember if it was 26.7 or 27.6 miles. I hope it was the latter, since we would get a bonus mile for no addition charge. Score!
I meant to get a photo with Adam Wilcox at this aid station, but got confused and took a picture of this flamingo instead. Sometimes, it's rough being me.
"Quick, pretend to run during the photo op! Also, flash a quick smile!" Yet again, Standard Operating Procedure on the trail.
Steve climbing uphill while we are accompanied by the melodic tinkling of a delightful stream at out feet.
Unlike 90% of Southern New Hampshire, there was actually a view or two to be had here today.
Cindy finishing her very first marathon ever! Whoo-hoo! She was one tough cookie, no doubt about it.
Cindy and Hiro nab a photo op with the RD.
For some reason, they even wanted a photo with me. Either that or I jumped into a photo I didn't belong in.
I wish we had a cool sounding name for our group, but all I was able to come up with was "Team We Ran Together During This Race." Not only is it not catchy, but the abbreviation is "TWRTDTR."
This patch was the bomb-diggity (as the young kids say these days). Gross, yet highly effective. Many potential bites were averted this fine day! (forty-two, to be exact). Oh, and don't worry- I'll make my wife clean it up (that will teach her to major in Environmental Biology in college!). http://www.deerflypatches.com/
Nice swag. I love it! I thought this was my fourteenth marathon, but it turns out it was my eighteenth. I felt good about that until I remembered that co-runner Steve just hit 123 today. Damn. Give me like 50 years or so and I will totally catch up to him!