Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ogden Marathon Review - 2011

I was excited to even be able to run the Ogden Marathon this year, considering that last year for the race I traded carbo loading for barfing in a garbage can. That pesky flu/food poisoning forced me to drop down to the half marathon. This year I avoided any pre-race vomit. Bonus!

At the marathon expo the day beforehand we picked up our packets, taste-tested Clif Bars, and tried this fancy training contraption. When nobody was looking I did my best Karate Kid impression:

We had lots of fun with our friends the day before the race. This is Micah, Braydon, Michelle, Melissa, Mel, some nerdy dude, and my brother Kenny. Notice the fact that everyone is smiling. This is because we had not yet been rolled over by the train named Ogden Marathon.

We boarded the bus for the starting line at 5am (5am = ouch). At the top we met this guy who was a clown two years ago, a ballerina last year, and a bumble bee this year. That is basically awesome.

As me and Kenny were waiting around for the race to start, I saw a notable figure exit the bus - Mr. Pony Tail!

We saw this same guy when we ran the Top Of Utah Marathon last year and since then our pre-race strategy has always included "Follow the pony tail!" Seeing him again was certainly one of the highlights of the day. Here is a picture of the same guy from last year:

If you look far in the distance you will see the starting line of the Ogden Marathon. (Just ignore the guys on the side by the fence who didn't have time to make it to the Port-O-Potty before the race started.)

A few miles into the race I heard someone yell "Cory Reese!" I looked over and saw my friends from graduate school, CJ and Annie Anderson who I haven't seen in many years. Simply nuts. This was CJ's first marathon, and considering some health issues, this was an absolutely amazing accomplishment! (I award 73 points to the guy in the background who photo-bombed the picture. Well done.)

Let me tell you something - the volunteers at the Ogden Marathon are beyond incredible. Honestly, every single volunteer I saw was so happy and friendly and helpful. I could have hugged each of them. I appreciated them so much, and made sure to tell them. One aid station had loud 70's music pumping and all the volunteers were dancing around in hippie costumes. Here's your proof:

The amazing scenery of the Ogden Marathon ALMOST takes your mind off the fact that you are running 26.2 miles and your legs are screaming. Almost.

Isn't this a cool waterfall? It very well could have been tears of the runners who passed before me.

With my knees still recovering, I knew this wasn't going to be a PR race so I decided to take all pressure off and didn't even bring my Garmin. My only goals were 1) to finish, and 2) to have fun. I stopped to take lots of pictures along the way, talked with other runners, and made friends with a horse on the last mile of the marathon.

I finished in 5 hours and 42 minutes (which is approximately 5 hours and 30 minutes longer than any human being should be running). I'm hoping to win my age division in the Most Awesome Jumping Picture category. I got a jump in at every photo spot including the finish line. Please, hold your applause. This will likely lead to lots of awkward photos but hopefully a few keepers.

It was so fun to get race reviews from my friends and brother at the finish line. Many of them even got PRs. We ignored our angry legs for a few seconds to get a group photo:

I joked that by the time I got to the finish line all the food would be gone and a volunteer would stand there with a sheepish smile and say "Um....sorry.....most of the food is gone.....but we have these left-over banana peels." Thankfully the Hostess store is right by the finish line! And thankfully I remembered money in my pack this year! I can think of no better post-race meal than cup cakes and raspberry filled donuts.

I wish I hadn't been in injury-recovery mode for the race so that my time would have been better. But I think as runners we realize that there are ups and downs, and we just need to take what we're handed and do the best we can. I feel happy with myself knowing that I took what I was handed and did the best I could do. I'm looking forward to doing the Ogden Marathon again in 364 more days!


  1. Have you got what is wrong with your knees diagnosed? I have been stricken with a miserable case of ITBS in my left knee since the Hurricane half (popped up that Tuesday out of nowhere even though I managed runs on Sunday and Monday just fine). I have found what is working for me is heating pads (ice made it worse and just tightened it up), a back massager (wonderful invention) and the foam roller. I am hoping I am recovered enough to start training for Saint George nest Monday. Hope your feeling better and awesome job on the marathon.

  2. I think it awesome that you even ran the marathon with your knees hurting! I am also sure it was fun to run and not have the pressure of your watch and a time to get. I loved all the pictures as well! Congrats on yet another marathon!

  3. Well done, my Hostess-addicted friend. Well done!

  4. I can't imagine doing a marathon without my Garmin--I'm too serious! I envy your connection to the "real" reasons we should run; I feel like often I neglect them for that PR. So thanks for always reminding me what it really means to be a runner. :)

  5. Great job! I loved that you enjoyed yourself WHICH IS ALWAYS most important! I had a weekend just like yours!

    I know I've told you a million times but you take the bets race pics!

  6. Great job! These pictures are great, and the scenery looks so beautiful for this marathon!

  7. I always enjoy your race reviews-you always find the humor while in agony. If you can't find that-well then you aren't living! Would love to run that some day-scenery looks amazing. I can relate with certain people who you see at races all the time. We have a few regulars too. Arm swinger lady, the old guy with the hat etc. The people make the sport not the PR or act of running! Congrats on another fine finish!

  8. I loved running the Ogden marathon 3 years ago. It was brutally hot that day, but the scenery was fantasic.

    I agree with Coy, you take the best pics and I am always left with a giggle or two.

    Ok... so funny you mention raspberry filled donuts.... This is my hubby's favorite treat, and you can't find them out here in Kentucky. Yes, a month ago, we had his mom send us 4 boxes. haha, they were gone withint 2 weeks. Yikes.


    You ran a MARATHON while you are "recovering from an injury."

    Seriously. I needed to read this and live through your experience! Even though my knee isn't perfect, I am still going to do my best to make it to the Top of Utah Marathon this fall. After all- sometimes it's about the journey!

    Get this- My cousin's brother was running this as a relay. He had the first leg. He decided to keep running with the next person for a bit, and then the next person. Well, he ran the ENTIRE marathon. He never had a training run longer than 6 miles! I.N.S.A.N.E.

    You are inspiring! Go Fast Cory!!!!

  10. i love that even for you a marathon is brutal. i swear i'll give them up after every one i run. i hate training for them, i hate running them and i only love when i get a pr or hoped for time. i guess the best part is running with friends. every marathon i've done had loved ones at the start line with me ready to run and loved ones at the finish line (runners and spectators). i guess that makes all the pain worth it.

    good work on another race. your body is amazing.

  11. Great race recap! And congrats for finishing and doing it with a smile! Your pictures are amazing! I just ran Ogden too and I wish I had gotten a few along the way. It really was a beautiful course. And I love that you had your medal and number one while buying your Hostess products!
    I can't wait to see your jumping pictures. I tried that at the TOU half last year. Not a one turned out. Well actually I was trying for a heel click and they all looked really stupid.
    Congrats again and hope you rest and heal up!

  12. Looks like a gorgeous marathon!!! Congrats on another finish!
    Also- the Nathan I used was one with a big waterbottle- I think it's called a triangle belt...not quite sure. both worked just fine. the plus about having the small bottle is that you have the option to use some for water and others for an electrolyte drink.

  13. What a great story to read today...It sounds like so much fun!! I love it!
    From ponytail guy to the amazing scenery to having fun with friends...What more could you ask for?? :-)

  14. Your pictures are awesome - I hadn't even noticed the photo bomb guy until you pointed it out, and then I burst out laughing!

    Congrats on finshing and having a great time despite not being at 100%!

  15. This was a fun race, thanks for letting me hang out with you guys at the condo and during the run. Next year should be fun with the whole fam damily running!