Sam's Blog
Read as Sam shares his feelings and experiences while completing the 50 Marathons in 50 States in 50 Days!
Mardi Gras Marathon- New Orleans!
There was a great crowd waiting at the Superdome when we arrived, mostly from the New Orleans Track Club, but also my awesome friends from Bay St. Louis were there who have been holding down the fort while I've been running- Lulu, Richard, and Scott, and also some friends from Rhodes- Danny, Pat, and Carl. Chuck, the head of NOTC, led the way through the course, and I had a a handful of awesome cycling escorts as well, plus Tony again who was braving traffic yet again to clear the way for me. For whatever reason I felt really good this morning and really hoped to run my fastest time yet today, then cruise in easy tomorrow in Bay St. Louis. As I knew it would get very hot very soon, I took off pretty quick, and was really cruising for quite a while. Tom from N.O. and his dog Thin ran with me for the first half, then broke off, but others picked up and I had company the whole way. As I ran the course, I saw vividly yet again that everything was far from fixed in the area. Parts of the course went through areas that were still totally deserted, the water line was still very visible on homes, and the still quiet was haunting. To see middle class homes where people just like you and me lived not long ago totally ruined and abandoned really does underline not only just how vulnerable each and every one of us is, but also how important it is for us to work together and help those that need our help so desperately. Cooking at a pace a good bit quicker than usual, I started to run out of gas around mile 16, but Kirsten kept packing gels and fluids in me and I kept pounding pavement. As I ran around Audobon Park, I was mentally not looking forward to turning around and retracing my footsteps as that was the course when I ran it 2 years ago, but when we hit what I thought was the turnaround, we kept cruising and my leaders told me that the course had changed and we only did one loop and then we were headed back. With that nice news, I kicked it up a notch once more and finished strong back at the Superdome, with a great crowd of friends, even another friend from the Vicksburg Wolf Pack, Terry. I did end up finishing this one, number 50 (because I threw in D.C.), in my fastest time of all of them- a 3:29, and it felt great. I got to catch up with friends a bit, then we headed back to our gracious host's house for the usual routine and even a luxurious nap. This was the first time in nearly 2 months we were staying in the same place on consecutive nights! I made it through the momentous last ice bath of this endeavour, as I didn't plan on doing one after the last one, as I knew I didn't have to run another marathon the next day. We rested well, then had an incredible dinner feast at my friend Michael's parents' home. It was so nice to just relax in a real home and eat wonderful food and enjoy conversation without the pressure of travel, etc. Full and happy, we went to bed again, looking forward to the big day tomorrow...
2006-08-21 01:28:33 GMT
Comments (1 total)
HI Sam saw you on the news this am(8/21/06)!! Just wanted to send our suport from Edmonds, Wa!! You should be very proud...we are!! Great kudos to you and your team!!
--J. Barnet
2006-08-22 01:09:20 GMT