On Saturday I ran the Utah Valley Half Marathon. Months ago I bought a Nacho Libre wrestling mask to wear at a race, so this half marathon seemed to be the perfect opportunity. I bought some kids shorts and a flesh-colored shirt from the women's section of Walmart to complete the outfit:
My brother Kenny and sister Hollie also ran the race. I sincerely appreciated their help the night before the race to draw a few markings on my shirt to make it look more realistic:
I ran the full marathon last year and the year before but was happy to do the half this year. This race was the first time I have run on pavement in months. The temperature as we began the race was pefect.
I may have been half asleep for the first half of the race. We had to wake up at 2:30am to get to the bus loading in time. No. That is not a typo. 2:30am. That is positively disgusting. But I suppose the scenery is worth the early wake-up:
I was thankful I remembered to look behind me to see our surroundings from a different perspective:
I learned a few valuable lessons running the race as Nacho Libre:
1) Running 13 miles in a wrestling mask feels like running 13 miles in a sauna.
2) Capes are itchy and scratchy.
3) A sweat shirt tucked into your shirt will bounce around like CRAZY.
4) A few people will look at your lumpy stomach and ask in all seriousness "Is that real, or do you have something stuffed in there?"
5) Did I mention that capes are insanely scratchy?
I arrived at an aid station and took my mask off for a second to take a drink. One of the volunteers looked over at me with my mask off and said "Way to go! Are you a.........um..........pregnant mom?"
Here is another valuable lesson I learned: When you dress up as Nacho Libre at a half marathon, you INSTANTLY have a couple thousand new friends. It was funny to see how excited the spectators became. I gave a high five to every single person I saw. And then I saw the finish line up ahead. I grabbed my cape and started weaving through the chute. My friend Amber finished the race earlier and happened to catch this picture:
I must say - I loved every second of this race. I had so much fun. My body felt great for every step of the race. I have so much fun running comfortably, stopping to take pictures, and running with only one goal: have a blast. I'm not sure I will ever "race" at a race ever again. The siblings encouraged me to get a side profile at the finish line:
Some people at the finish line said they loved the movie Nacho Libre and asked to get a picture. Afterward I asked if they would take a picture of me, Kenny, and Hollie. This fine photographer snapped one of my favorite jumping pictures ever:
Two thumbs up for the excellent race organization. And the excellent volunteers. And the excellent crowd. And my excellent new runner friends. The finishers medal was the best I've seen from Utah Valley.