Route 66 Marathon Race Recap: The Race!

This is my part 2 of my Route 66 Marathon Race Recap. If you want to read about the race expo, please read my Route 66 marathon recap Part 1.

GOAL TIME: Less than a 4:30 Marathon with a Center of the Universe visit.

Surprisingly, I slept like a rock in our hotel room that night. It took a while to get to sleep, but once I was out. I was OUT. We woke up, I grabbed a cup of coffee and a piece of fruit from the hotel breakfast, and we headed off to the VIP tent! I hadn’t done VIP before, but the tent was heated, they had snacks and more coffee (Okay, just one more cup…), and flushing bathrooms.

TIME IN THE CORRAL For the Route 66 Mararton

A quick hug to Mom, and I made my way into Corral B. I found the pacers for the 4:15 and 4:30 marathon, and planted myself in between them. Honestly, while I shivered in the 33 degree weather, tears started streaming down my face. So much led up to this moment, and it was happening! I’m one of those criers that leak at any strong emotion, and I was having all of them. The crowd cheered, the first corral was off! And our corral was next. You can hear the beeping of everyone’s running watches getting ready. Cannons of confetti explode overhead and we’re off!

Route 66 Marathon start line in 2019

Miles 1-5

The fall foliage on the course was absolutely gorgeous as we traveled past a few small parks and through a small college campus. At this point, a lot of the runners are chatty. It was good to be able to talk a bit with some fellow runners. It let me know I wasn’t breathing too hard, and I settled in about a 9:30 pace. I was a bit worried about maintaining this pace long term, but it miiiight be because it was about 40F degrees by this point. I’m so used to running in the heat, this perfect weather was an unexpected benefit.

Miles 6-10

Still feeling great! Rolling hills through some neighborhoods, and lots of unofficial pit stops! I took a jello shot and enjoyed the park next to the river as we approached the Route 66.

Miles 11-14

We head across the old Route 66 Bridge! This has to be my favorite my part of the race, and probably the most iconic. It’s a small out and back, with a timing mat at the head. The new bridge looms over us on the north side and as we exit back into the street, we go under the huge Route 66 sign. Then, we head close to the finish line where the half marathoners start to peel off. This is one thing I love about this race. They have a marathon relay, so NEW runners enter the course about every five miles. It’s great to be running next to fresh legs, and gave me a bit of jump in pace. Mile 14 was actually my fastest split of the marathon.

As I headed into mile 14, I hear a shout on my right. I finally see my boyfriend Adam, with the largest of our dogs Auri amoung the spectators. We had planned on seeing each other around mile 5 or 8, but logistitcs had kept him from being there when I passed by. I was so excited, I didn’t slow down as I saw him. I just altered my trajectory! Wrapped him in a hug that knocked the wind out of him, and was on my way! And I cried a little as I went by. Often I do these races on my own, or with other runners. This is the first time he has come along specifically to cheer me on.

Mile 15-19

Miles 15 through 19 were mostly noneventful. We passed by the VFW which had a flag hoisted high for us to run under and firetrucks. A great photo op! Around 15 is when my body started giving me warnings are well. The hills were causing some pain in the bottom of my foot. I had to stop and retie both of my shoes at this point. Then, my right hamstring started to cramp. With this, I realized my phone has been in my right pocket for the entire run! I stopped to quickly stretch and switch my phone to the left side, and the pain went away.

Luckily, the crowd support was still great in the later miles! Lots of unofficial stops! I had a few beers, but stayed faaaaar away from the fireball shots that were offered. That heartburn!!!

Miles 20-25 and Center of the Universe!

And, ladies and gentlemen, the WALL has arrived. Around mile 21, I started giving myself 45s walk breaks, usually uphill. It slowed my mile time to about 10:30 and it was starting to warm up. Around 70 degrees now, I took off my vest and started carrying it and my jacket like a football. I saw Adam again at the Mile 25 marker. Again, I changed course and tackled him.

After Mile 25 was the Center of the Universe Detour! You make this little 0.3 mile out and back and receive a coin for the “World’s Shortest Ultra”. It was its own little party with lots of crowd support, and at the turnaround timing mat there was a choice of beer and jello shots again!

Statue and mural along the route of the Route 66 marathon

And the Route 66 Marathon Finishline!

26.5 miles in 4 hours and 21 minutes. My offical marathon time was 4:18. I hit my goal!!!!

It’s amazing to put everything on the table. To dream, to plan, to schedule, and then to reach the goal! I cried in the corral before the race, I cried at mile 14 when I saw Adam the first time, and I bawled at both mile 25 when I saw him again and at the finish line. I set a personal best by almost 45 minutes, on a hilly course. I had all the emotions that day at the finishline.

To celebrate, since we had the doggo, we went to a nearby local craft brewery: Cabin Boys Brewery. I loved their rustic look, and the beer was GOOD. Their 2nd anniversary ale tasted of cherries. AND they had a cobble beer that tasted like apple pie. Definitely check these guys out if you’re ever in Tulsa.

In conclusion, I LOVED this race. It’s a more challenging course, with a LOT of hills, but the crowd support and the unofficial aid stations make it a great time. I had a blast in Tulsa!

Route 66 Marathon Bib, Medal and Center of the Universe Detour Coin

If you missed it, make sure to read Part 1 of my Route 66 Marathon Weekend!

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