Published March 2nd, 2010
It’s bonus time in EDRW land — you get THREE race reports in one!
Woolley Trail Marathon, February 20
This was a grief run for me as we had to put our kitty down the day before. Since my darling had a photo shoot in the afternoon we opted for the 6 a.m. early start, which meant we had to leave our house about 4:15 for the hour and a half drive to Sedro-Woolley. We had a rough start to the morning as our kitty’s absence set in; there’d be no strident meowing for breakfast. I broke down in sobs several times, plus I found it hard to concentrate on what I should be packing. As a result we got a late start, but figured the race director would understand. Besides, it wasn’t as if we’d be competing for the top spots.
The early starters took off just as we pulled into the parking lot. We checked in and confirmed with the RD that we could use the time on our Garmins. It was still dark, so my darling decided to run with me for the first few miles until it was light enough to put away the headlamps. Even though it was going to be a sunny day, I fortunately made the wise decision to wear a long-sleeved shirt; however, I forgot to throw on gloves. BRRRR.
This was the inaugural year for the race, which follows the Cascade Trail from Sedro-Woolley to Hamilton and back. It’s a nice wide, flat course that offers great views of the Cascades and local farmland. I started my run listening to a podcast about gastro-intestinal distress in long distance runners, and the eau de cow provided an appropriate olfactory accompaniment.
Although he had intended to start running at his own pace once the sun came up, my darling decided to stick with me. After all, we had another race the next day and there was no need to go fast. Besides, it would only mean he’d have to wait around for me at the end. While we didn’t talk much (I had my iPod, he did not), it was comforting having him close. After my podcast ended the sad songs started (I was in a melancholy mood), as did the tears. We stopped to hug several times. Fortunately the pain in our hearts was the only pain we suffered that day, as the run was quite cathartic. We crossed the finish in 4:51:12, and after an aprés race lunch of chili and hotdogs we headed home, where once again we were overcome with grief from her absence.