Montgomery Marathon Trip: A Guest Dude’s Perspective
I have had the good fortune of running with the Skortaholics over the last 2+ years. This secured me a coveted invite for a race road trip to the Montgomery Marathon. I immediately jumped at the opportunity, and boy am I glad I did!
The race was fantastic (more on that later), but for me the whole trip was more of a learning experience. I knew these ladies liked clothes and headbands, but I had no idea of the depths of their “passion.” Believe me, I had time (14 hours of driving and a whole weekend) to learn.
Travel Lessons Learned
Seven of us piled into a midsize SUV (which was a hastily, last minute borrowed substitution for the planned-on mini van) and headed to Montgomery, Alabama – leaving a half an hour late, which I later found out, is right on time.
I ended up in the driver’s seat after our first pit stop—and never left. Lesson learned!
On our third pit stop, a full hour and a half into our seven hour journey, I began to get hungry. Knowing a fantastic BBQ place in Nashville, I suggested we stop there for lunch. I preface this by saying, I was aware that most in the group are vegetarian. In my mind, the corn, greens, and beans would have been excellent options for these dietary needs. My plan was foiled due to pork seasoning in the cooking process. The aroma, passing several BBQ establishments along the way, had me very hungry upon our arrival at Panera (which was very tasty) two hours later.
Along the way, my vocabulary grew:
- Knickers, which are yoga/running pants, similar in style to capris, but apparently shorter.
- CHI, which I understand to be a brand of hair straightener.
- Grippers, this one is a bit difficult to describe. To my understanding, it is a rubber strip attached to various pieces of clothing, designed to keep very important body parts in their proper place.
- Compression Socks, I knew what these were, but these gals love those PRO Compression socks!
Lodging Lessons Learned (earplugs)
Upon arrival at our palatial estate in downtown Montgomery (we rented a house through AirBNB), we discovered that our residence for the weekend shared a parking lot with an “entertainment” establishment twenty feet from our bedroom windows. It was quite entertaining on Friday and Saturday night around 2:00 a.m. for those who did not pack their earplugs!
Race day Saturday morning proved to be a perfect day for running — 57 degrees, overcast, and wind free. Each runner had a truly positive, rewarding experience.
Sandy sped though the half in 1:49, winning her age group by a full 8 minutes! This is common for Sandy who is off the charts in her division.
Deborah, who had been hampered by a pulled hamstring, running a total of three times in the past eight weeks, had to switch to the half, and finished in 2:07, well under 10 minutes per mile. Great recovery and smart decision!
KB, this being her longest run in over two years, finished in unison with Deborah, making for a great “photo finish.”
MB, in the beginning stages of her Ironman training, completed the full marathon capturing 3rd place in her age group, in 4:21, a sub 10 minute pace!
LA decided at the last minute that a half marathon wasn’t enough and decided to switch to the full. As she has proved in the past, this turned out to be no big deal. Petting dogs and drinking beer along the way, she finished with an empty beer can in her hand and a smile on her face!
Mike was the next girl/lady to finish. Having announced his retirement from marathons six months ago, Saturday marked his second marathon coming out of said retirement and 32nd marathon overall! You can’t keep a good man down!
After collecting the various medals and going through a surprisingly short line for multiple free beers, we walked back to the estate for a nap. Correction, what I thought would be a nap, turned out to be “lets walk to Wendy’s, it is a only couple of blocks.” We walked a mile, uphill, and by the time we got there, I was starving. The Skortaholics ordered either a baked potato OR a medium fry. Not both! Who does this? Answer: Very fit women who run very fast for a very long time! My regular order of a burger, fries, chili and a frosty now just sounded silly, so I scaled back to a burger and frosty.
On the Road Again – Athleta Pit Stop
On the way back to Lexington, we stopped at an Athleta store. This too was a new experience. Each of the ladies took so many items/outfits into the dressing rooms that it required multiple trips. Then another curveball — apparently the above-mentioned “Chi” has a duplicate meaning. It is also a brand or style of Athleta, I’m just not sure which. [Skortaholics note – OF COURSE the Athleta “Chi” is the super cute symbol they put on all their gear!]
. . . And Near Fail
The vehicle was so full on the way back home that the remaining beer bottles from Saturday night would not fit it the car. The ladies made the decision to leave the beer behind.
This is where I drew the line.
We took all of the bottles out of their cardboard carriers and placed them individually amongst the luggage, carefully closing the tailgate of the SUV. When we arrived back in town, it took three of us to open the tailgate to keep the bottles from falling out, but we accomplished this with zero breakage! Now, that’s what I call a successful trip!