Wingman, meanwhile, was a small, Columbian, extremely hyper Elvis.
We were sent off just after 6 am with an Elvis impersonator singing "Viva Las Vegas" and "A little less conversation" and fireworks. And, hey, what other marathon has Robin Leach as a comentator?
I got to start near the front of the mass of over 16,000 runners (!!!!) and I then scooted off to the side and got the hell out of everyone's way.
Good thing, too, because people were passing me for about 13 miles.
But, I'm getting ahead of myself.
Several marathoners were wearing running "wedding" regalia, and my favorite was a woman and her husband who had written, "25 years and still running" on the back of her little white running dress and his black tuxedo shirt."
I also did this sans ipod. And, it was no big deal, really. I always wondered, what would I listen to for 6 hours? The time goes by faster than you'd imagine.
<-- LONG UPHILL - about 6-7 miles long (see run profile, below) and about 2-3% grade. Luckily, I studied the run profile in advance so I knew what was going on.
After mile 20, people are walking.
(Shhhh. We triathletes know how to pace, so we negative split it and start passing people. I was running about an 11 minute mile in the past few miles. )
The last band on the course was this super cool drumming thing. I know there is a proper name for it. I think it's Japanese. It was awesome.