In case you were wondering... after Kevin kind of missed his goal at the DC Marathon, he was feeling a little blue. And since I love him SOOO much, I couldn't just sit idly by and watch him feel bad about himself. So I did what any good wife would do and signed him up for another marathon (6 weeks after DC) so he could prove to himself that he does, in fact, ROCK!
On April 27th, we handed the girls off to our AMAZING friends, the Browns, and then started our 3 hour drive south-ish toward Champagne-Urbana. We got there just in time to pick up Kevin's race packet before the Expo closed!
Once we got the packet and made sure that Kevin was indeed signed up for the race, we drove to Pizza Hut for one last round of carbo-loading before we made the hour drive to our hotel. (It turns out if you try to get a hotel 6 weeks before a marathon, an hour away is the closest you can get!)
On the morning of the 28th, we woke up at 4:30 to prep for the race and make the hour drive back to the start line. Unfortunately, when Kevin started getting all geared up, he realized that he had packed one of MY running shirts instead of his own! Hahahahahaha! Luckily he had an extra long sleeved running shirt in his bag that he was able to wear instead :)
When we got back into Champagne we got really lucky and were able to park right next to the start line AND the porta-potties! It was a little wet and cold, but because of our rock star parking space, we got to stay warm in the car until the race started.
Which gave Kevin plenty of time to freak out!
But it wasn't long before they sang the national anthem and asked everyone to get in their corrals.
Kevin got to start in the same corral as the elite runners because of how fast his predicted time was!
Once the gun sounded, the wheelchair racers took off, then the elites with Kevin hot on their tails!
He was definitely feeling good when he started out and was cruising despite the fact that he was trying to hold himself back for the first half of the race.
Once Kevin passed me, I started walking toward the half marathon point. On my way there I got my first real look at a non-BYU college town. There were hundreds of drunken frat boys lining the streets (at 7am) laughing, drinking, barfing, dressing like penguins, and trying to see who could collect the biggest pile of discarded running clothes. It was... interesting, and a bit smelly to tell the truth!
Anyway, I made my way passed the big crowds of runners and to the halfway point where it was mostly empty and silent. Most marathoners wouldn't be passing for 2 hours, but I knew Kevin would come through sooner so I decided to wait.
This is where the race got interesting for me. I sat next to the only other lady there and we started talking about our husbands. Both Engineers, very similar personalities, both had just missed their goal on their last marathon (her husband ran Boston 10 days before this race), and both came to the Illinois Marathon to redeem themselves and move passed their bad feelings about their last race!
The interesting part came when the elites finally started passing us. 3 Kenyans were leading the pack, then a Brazilian dude, and then Brett, the lady's husband came rounding the corner in 5th place!!! We both started freaking out and cheering. It was pretty awesome!
20 more runners passed and then my incredible husband came hauling through in 25th place overall. I was so excited that he was doing so well on his first half that I didn't even realize how freezing cold it had gotten outside! (However, that is something I WOULD discover later on.)
After Kevin passed, me and Lisa (the lady with the super fast husband) started walking to the stadium to see the finish. We spent the whole day together and had a blast! It really made the time go by faster having someone to talk to.
When we got there, the half marathoners were coming through, but it would be a while before the marathoners were finishing. So we people watched! 3 of my favorite people to watch at the finish were a guy who ran the whole half marathon carrying an American flag (he got TONS of cheers), a man who did a karate chopping motion throughout the entire race (yes... I saw him at the start, middle, and end, and he NEVER stopped chopping), and a 70 year old man with a bum leg who limped his way through the entire half marathon. VERY cool!
But enough about that, a little after 2 hours in to the race, the elites started coming through. At 2:40:00 Lisa's husband (41 years old) came through STILL in 5th place! We were ecstatic and celebrated together before she finally took off to greet her husband and left me alone in the cold to stress over my own husband. :)
It was VERY cold and I was VERY stressed out as I watched the clock tick away. Soon Kevin's goal time of 3:05:00 passed with no Kevin... I started fidgeting and biting my lips. His PR time in Chicago of 3:13:00 passed... I started praying out loud. 3:15:00 came up on the clock and I started threatening imaginary Kevin that he better not be dead somewhere or I was gonna KILL him! Then at last, I saw him round the corner at about 3:19:00. I was so relieved that he was OK but also stressed that he would be unhappy that he didn't qualify for Boston...
But once we finally found each other in the bleachers, I knew everything was OK. Kevin ran 26.2 miles in under 3:20:00 and he was proud of himself. He cramped up around mile 23 and got lost at mile 25, which is what really hurt his time, but despite those setbacks he ran an AMAZING marathon and we are both proud of his accomplishment! Of course... the first thing he said to me after the race was, "I WILL qualify for Boston! I don't know when, but it IS going happen!"