Sunday, April 22, 2012

I am officially a marathoner (on a bike)

Saturday was Salt Lake's Marathon. As we know, one of the great (or annoying, depending on where you're standing) things about the marathon is that the 26.2 mile course consists of city streets that have been closed to car traffic.

What's even better is that before they release the runners, they let the bicycles have a go. Car-free streets? Bicycles ruling the road? I am so there!

I am sooo sporty. I have a number and everything.
So sporty, have a number and everything.

So my friend Heidi and I got up for the oh so early start time of 6am. In fact, it was so early for Heidi, that she could not manage to put on matching footwear. (Don't worry, she had her appropriate and matching shoes to clip into her pedals.)

A little early
Heidi realizes she is a mess on the train. 

Nerves before the ride...
Excitement or nerves or tiredness?

We started from my place, road a couple of blocks on our bikes to a trax stop and took the train up the hill to the University of Utah. This was great because it dropped us right off at the starting line. And when you have a starting line on a "bench," or foothill, the first bit of the ride is all down hill. Whee!

Starting line.
Starting line.

At first, things were a bit crowded. I felt a little claustrophobic as so many bikes zoomed by. If one cyclist fell down, it would have caused a massive domino effect. But eventually the paces were set and the bicyclists evened out.

During the ride, I kept thinking how cool this experience was. By removing cars from the situation, I was free to just enjoy the ride, soak in the sunrise, and experience new neighborhoods by bike. I sincerely loved it! I don't have any pics while on the ride, which I am a little bummed about, but stopping periodically to take pictures just didn't seem thing to do.

There were definitely some hills I had "moments" on, but you know what? Somehow I powered through and moved on. And that is a great feeling. Although there is was one at the mile 26 where I thought I might die. But I didn't. Instead I finished and got a cool medal.

Medals!
The champs.

You know, sometimes the victories come in knowing you are not the worst. Heidi and I finished in about 1 hour and 45 minutes, averaging about 13 mph. Apparently were were solidly in the middle of the pack. I am very pleased with being average.

Finish line

And one other thing...can I just say how nice it is to have a bikey friend? I have grown used to doing bike activities by myself. But since Heidi and her sister, Haley, have signed up to do the Little Red ride with me, we have been training and going on rides together. Not only does it push me, but it does make rides super enjoyable. So thank you, Heidi! It is nice to being able to experience this ride with a friend. Especially one that I have known my whole life and like a whole lot. 

Heidi and her medal
Heidi is awesome. That is all. 

14 comments:

Elisa M said...

Congrats! So sporty and awesome!

Patrick said...

Well done. I'm impressed and am glad that it seemed more enjoyable than painful.

Rachele Alpine said...

Wowsers! You rock! I love the idea of biking a marathon (something that would be more realistic for me since I like to bike and loathe to run! I just checked the Cleveland marathon and sadly, they don't do this. I wonder if other cities let you bike the marathon?!

anniebikes said...

You two are freakin' cute! I'm proud of what you've accomplished. Did you have time for a cuppa before the event? That's an ungodly hour to get up for a ride.

ty and megs said...

go kara! that is awesome!!

Adam and Bri said...

so proud of you! you're the cutest marathoner (on a bike) ever.

Chantal Boucher said...

Wow! Felicitation!

Stacy said...

Congratulations! Good for you!

Erin said...

I love this post. You and Heidi are biking superstars. I can't wait for Little Red...

Dottie said...

Bikey friends rule!

Allowing bikes to ride the car-free course before the marathon is a great idea. I wish Chicago did that. The starting line does look scary/crowded, so it's good to hear that it spread out nicely after a little while.

Lap Dog Knits said...

So fun...great memories for you to share when you're "golden girls"
My friend - hasn't been on a bike since she was 12....
I told her this weekend, "put on sneakers"...she's about to peddle again

Jason said...

What a great idea to allow cyclists on the marathon course! I wish they did that here in Boston. Congrats on the great ride and post!

Jacey said...

Yay, Kara! You are awesome and inspiring!

inspiredcyclist said...

How so very cool Kara!