Saturday, September 08, 2007

Mesa Falls Marathon

Many of you know that I have spent much of the summer training for a marathon. I can't say its been the funnest thing to train for--way too much running. I think its much better on you body if you mix your exercises up a bit. But the day finally came to run the marathon, and I did it. I can't imagine a more beautiful place to run a marathon. The marathon started at 6:30 am in the middle of Targhee National Forest. It was about 40 degrees outside, but it didn't feel too cold because the adrenaline was pumping. We got started, and the first nine miles of the race was on a national forest service dirt road through the forest. It was so beautiful. You would be running through thick trees and would round a corner to find a stunning mountain meadow. And to the East, the sun was rising over the Tetons. Just seeing the red sunrise over the Tetons was worth the price of admission. You would also occasionally hear a moose or wolves greeting the morning.

After the nine miles in the forest, we ran down a paved road past Lower Mesa Falls, which was also quite pretty. Just after mile 13, I was Grace and Katie, who were there cheering me on. Their cheers were needed because we then dropped down into an old railroad trail that ran along the Warm river. The views were spectacular again, but my lack of training on trails caught up to me, and my IT band flared up. My knee just killed. I quickly downed the advil that I had in my pocket, and I had to stop and walk a lot of the trail (which I didn't mind because it was so beautiful).

After the trial, we had a three mile long climb out of Bear Gulch, which was killer. My knee was still killing, so I had to alternate walking and running every five minutes or so. But after climbing out of the gulch, it was only six miles of rolling farmland to the finish. I had to stop and rest my knee fairly often, but I kept plugging away, and Katie, Grace, and my parents were there cheering me along.

We ran through the booming metropolis of Ashton, Idaho for the last mile of the race. I was feeling good, and I thought I was there. But at mile 26, with .2 miles left to go, I encountered an unexpected obstacle--a train crossing with a train beginning to cross. I was shocked. The train was being pulled along very slowly by a tractor. I looked down to see how long the trail was, and I didn't see an end to the train. At the slow speed that it was moving, I was going to have to sit and wait for five minutes for the train to pass--unless I could beat the train. I summoned all of my strength and began to sprint (not an easy feat after 26 miles. I had to veer left to make sure I had plenty of clearance, but I made it. After that, it was an easy .1 mile to the finish. What a great feeling! It was fun being cheered by family and friends.

I made a little video montage commemorating the event. Enjoy:


cblakes said...

wow, your digital mixing skills are as good as your running ones. The Rocky and Chariots of Fire music was awesome.

Cathie looks so surprised at something when your talking after the race. Was she that surprised that you finished?

Katie said...

Nice montage Ian. I bet you're glad you had a personal photographer along there with you :).

I was sooooo proud of you. Way to go. You rock!

Darth Spencer said...

He bro. Sorry you didn't beat Oprah's time. Don't feel bad though, she is a pretty athletic woman.

I love the train story. While listening to your story I couldn't help but think about the Superman movie where he's still a young guy and he is running through the corn fields and out runs the train.

Ian said...

Cath looks suprised because I was recounting the incredible feat of outracing a speeding train at mile 26 to finish the marathon. And I am sure that Oprah used her star power and millions of dollars to cheat somehow.

Darth Spencer said...

I can't believe you would doubt Oprah's intergity and athletic ability.

Obama Oprah '08

Diomedes Mike said...

Ian, that is quite the feat, atta boy. I went over to my parents house the other day and ran on the treadmill for 2.26 miles. I was so tired that I staggered over to the couch and let tanzy lick the salty sweat off of my calf.


ian, too bad tanzy wasn't there to lick your sweat. (gross mike). I would have paid money to watch you outrun the train. Are you in the best shape of your life and is it all downhill from here? Or are their greater feats and acheivements?

Diomedes Mike said...

In response to your rude comment towards me I would like to use this forum in order to be rude to you, in a Law of Moses sort of way.

First, Judd, or as we know him, "Mr. Rumble," is notorious for sharing his popsicles and other treats with the dogs: he licks it a few times, they lick it a few times, then he licks it again...and so on.

Actually, I dont really want to say anything more to damage Judd's reputation.

Ian said...

Rumbler, I actually don't think running a marathon is a very good way to get into shape (at least not the way I did it). It is so hard on your body that you have to take a lot of breaks to let your body recover. I think you would be much better of to run shorter distances more regularly, unless you're a serious marathoner and your body is just used to being pounded for hours at a time.

S+S said...


What do you do for your IT Band? I don't run anymore because at mile 1.5 Mine pretty much kills me so I stretch and run another quarter mile until it kills me again. I can't believe you ran a marathon like that. You must have a crazy superpower or something! :)

Maybe I'm doing something wrong though. Give me some pointers Bro.