I start by saying who would have thought!
I have run this marathon several times now and I always would finish unsatisfied for several things from the event or from during the event. I’m not even going to finish this paragraph with bad things to say about this year’s Dallas Marathon. It deserves a stand ovation to the organizers and crew who made this the best marathon yet.
It all started at the New York marathon this past November when I ran with Ryan Hall and Sarah Hall organized by the Dallas marathon. I had the privileged of running with this group where I also met Patrick Byerly the president of the Dallas Marathon. I then saw and chatted more with Sarah Hall at the packet pickup for the NY marathon. So, I was very happy I got to see them and meet Patrick.
Later in the Month I received the press released with the announcement of Sarah and Ryan Hall to be at the Dallas Marathon. That was awesome to hear and wait for a great run to see. In the wait to run the marathon I was becoming a bit conscious about the route I was about to endure. I kept on saying to my self, I have to run on that route, again!. Later they release the new route which looked interesting, I decided to take on the challenge without scouting the route and not thinking about the marathon until 2 days before.
I picked up my number package on Friday during my lunch break from work, since I work just a few block from the DCCT. I got my number, spent some time with the different vendors at the Expo. and headed back to my office. I got home later that day and went through the package, I took out the information papers and then my number bib. That is when it hit me! ohhhh crud! I’m running this Sunday.
On Saturday, I invited Amy Roybal (3:35:40 full marathon) a friend runner who has been kind to invite me out to run in the mornings and who is also a great runner among the competitive women runners, to come out and carbo load with my wife and I. While eating my salad and pasta, I was thinking about the marathon. I then took my mind off of it and started listening to Jen and Amy talk about the different injuries their patients have. That took my mind totally away from my task of Sunday.
It is Sunday morning! I am so concerned about the weather, it is 79 degrees 80% humidity and 20mph wind from the south. Well, I have to make a decision! do I race or do I have fun? I’ll make that decision when I get there, but 90% I will not be able to race bcs of cramps and dehydration, believe me I had an awful experience at the Miami marathon. So, I’m at the site about to start the marathon and I see many people I’ve seen in past races and some other friends. First I saw Shawn Denny an ex-co-worker who was at the 11 minute mile corral. Then in front of the pack I saw and talked to Joshua Gurderian a Triathlete and a fast 1/2 marathoner doing the half. I couldn’t talk to other people I saw because the marathon was about to start.
The countdown from 10 starts, my watch is ready, my legs are ready, y mind is where it needs to be and the cannon full of confetti sounds and alerts with a big bang the start!
Great! I’m in front of the pack we are going up hill headed to Deep Ellum, I don’t know at what point we hit mile 4 when I hear this lady sitting on a wheel chair outside from her apartment “Thank you all God bless all of you for coming to my neighborhood and making the best day of my life, I am having so much fun. Thank you! Thank you!” I replied with a big smile “Thank you for cheering and God Bless you”.
At mile 6 I see Froy my marathon friend, we are talking about the weather and how much we plan to push through it. I am telling him, I’m not feeling like pushing today so I’m going to chill and have fun. Then he asks me at what time am I planning to finish, I tell him around 3:12 which he replies you are going too fast. I said, yes I will be slowing down here in a few. By mile 10 I slowed down and maintained.
I believe it was about mile 12 when I saw the Dallas Mavericks mascot and music playing. Funny thing, I started dancing to the music, but the mascot thought I was trying to race him so he got next to me and we raced for a second. That was fun!!! Then, as we made the way towards the White Rock Lake, I was just having fun! thanking the volunteers fro supporting and helping at the water stations.
We were about to reach the Lake when this little woman passes me at full speed! I was surprised for a second, then I thought Noobb! you don’t do that you woman, you! that’s what I thought! ohh well!
We reached the lake, it was kind of hard by then because we were still climbing. I then hear my name being called, I looked towards the voice and it was Michael Vargo a fast runner I run with some times, he tell me “you are looking strong javi, keep it up”. I smiled, said thanks and continued.
I am climbing Tepe Hill and guess who I see on the side of the road? The noob woman cramping on the side. I felt bad for her, but that is what it takes to learn how to pick your battles. We are about to hit the turn around point when I see the DRC Elite member Barnabas. We hit the turn around and we also hit the wind straight on. I felt like I was not even moving!
We kept going on the usual WR Lake trail then mergin on the Santafe trail. As soon a I started on the Santafe trail, I see a familiar runner from FT. Worth. He is cramping really bad and screaming, I said rub it and stretch it, I know you can do it! Then at that same time, two triathletes sporting their overall full gear tri on with their Iron Man tatoo pass me going strong. We are not at mile 20 yet!
So, we are on mile 18, it is humid and people are hitting the wall before mile 20. hmmmmm! what do I do? I’m staying with my pace and not caring about anyone else but me. I catch one of the tri dudes as he is struggling to get air in his lungs. He stays behind me for a bit, but drops his pace. I see the other guy, but I’m not wanting to make an effort to catch him. We are now at mile 19 and I start to reel in the other guy. I’m a bit closer to him.
We are about to hit mile 20 when I pass the guy before the bridge, there is music playing, the cheering and gue station is near. I pass the guy and start getting all of the GUE packs from Cliff the people are passing out. The music is at full blast, I look up to scream while raising my arms “saying my own personal cheer I’m now willing to share”. People are shouting, laughing and I’m just getting fed with all of the cheers. I then started passing GUE packs to people cheering! they are loving it! I’m loving it! The tri guy probably thought “who is this guy?”
I hit mile 21,22 then 23
I was feeling ok so, I started running! hmmm! I feel good. I’m having fun!
Mile 24 then 25
I’m feeling awesome! we are in Deep Ellum, I’m still filling like a rock star so I’m going to run!
I’m at the end of Mile 25 when this bicyclist gets in front of me and I push him/hit him on the side, I cannot believe this guy! I almost felt, I didn’t see him coming! What happened? who was that guy? I did not turn around or even say anything. I let it slide since I was about to finish. I pushed my pace.
I’m feeling great! I want to do my stride but feeling the cramps slowly creeping so I decided not to. Then I hear my friends cheering! so I pushed it to the finish line!
What an awesome feeling! It had been a while I felt like that! I did not care about my time or anything. I had a blast and that is all that matter.
I am fist bumping the people finishing, then I see my friend Froylan who finished before me and I see my wife right away on the side, so I invite my friend to take a picture with me. Then we proceed to the exit of the runners to meet our loved ones.
I am smiling and enjoying the great time! I see people just done, hurting, cramping. I’m just enjoying everything.
Later that day my wife tell me my time was 3:08 which is another B.Q. for 2016.
On Monday, I went to meet and greet Meb the Boston Marathon winner and I see Patrick and his crew. I had a great time talking to him. I was very please to know he was the organizer and the person responsible for the awesome events leading to the Dallas Marathon.
I take off my hat and sincerely thank you for everything Patrick Byerly and a job well done.