Olympic Marathon Trials and Houston Marathon

Desiree Davila, Ryan Hall, Abdi Abdirahman, Shalane Flanagan, Meb Keflezighi, Kara Goucher

Kim, LaRene and I were in Houston to watch them all run to victory and earn a spot on the 2012 USA Olympic Marathon Team.

The course ran through downtown and then made an 8-mile loop, which the athletes ran three times.  This allowed us to be “this close” to the runners about every 15 minutes. It was amazing and inspiring.  We had a blast.

Also running from the ultrarunning community was my personal favorite, Devon Crosby-Helms, who kicked it at 2:38:55.

The next day, fully pumped and inspired, the three of us ran the 40th Houston Marathon.

It was an awesome enjoyable experience.  We did not bonk or hit the wall.  We all enjoyed the music and loved the crowds.  It was extra special for me because Houston is my home town.

Two magic moments happened during the 26.2.

Unbeknown to any runners, former President George Bush Sr. was hanging out at mile 19 and he shook hands with every marathoner who came up to him.  Politics makes no difference (I happen to really like him) when you have the opportunity to shake the hand of a former U.S. President.

Magic moment two was running with a blind marathoner and his guide for 10 miles.  It got even better when they asked me to navigate through the heavy crowds for about three miles.  They finished in 3:53, which is awesome for sighted runners.  They had to run the whole thing attached to each other (hand on shoulder).  To listen to the guide lead his runner (Joe) through the course was something I will never forget.

And to cap off the day, the shirts and medals were great!  And we got a second t-shirt and a mug.  All in all, a first class event and a world class weekend with two of my favorite running partners.

Lead women around mile 2
Lead Men – Mile 15
Lead women – mile 15
One of America’s marathon greats – Deana Kastor
Finish Line
Meb, Ryan and Abdi!!
The great Ryan Hall
Shalane, Desi, Kara (with her baby on her hip…so cute)
The ladies take their victory walk – from front to back is Kara, Desi and Shalane
Start line of the Houston Marathon – the morning after the Trials
JW, Kim and LaRene – two of my favorite running friends. We were each about to have a great race.
I am from Houston, so my mom, stepdad, brother, sister-in-law and nephew all came to cheer me on. We enjoyed a little post race coffee.
My littlest fan – Luke – at post-marathon family get together

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