Mother Road Marathon

The past year has been filled with lots and lots of running. Running. Running. And more running. Obviously all of this running was not done by yours truly, but rather by my husband, Brent. 

Last October Brent completed his first half marathon. He was elated…and determined to run a full marathon in a year. He ran another half in the Spring [in the meantime welcoming a brand new little girl to the family], and then started months of training this past summer. 

Last weekend we packed up the car after celebrating Torri being on the homecoming court [a few pictures to come of that, I'm sure], and headed south to Joplin.  Brent had chose to run in the "Mother Road Marathon." It is one of the only [the only?] marathon that crosses three states: Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri, and it follows the old Route 66.

We loaded Brent up on pasta none other than Olive Garden [obvious choice], and then crashed at some friends' place. Bright and early the boys [Brent trained simultaneously with his good high school buddy, Brandon] loaded up and headed out to conquer 26.2 miles. 

Blythe and I soon followed, and though we both would have liked to have slept in, I'm sure glad we got up and travelled from place to place to cheer Brent on. 
Waiting patiently at our first stop, at about mile 7. 
He spotted us! 

He was looking good at this point and I was impressed at how far ahead of the pack he was. 
At the halfway point in Baxter Springs, Kansas, his parents, Beck and Joan, and his sister, Beth, and her son, Henry, joined Blythe and me. 
Henry was very excited and was telling all the runners GOOD JOB as they ran by.

We soon spotted Brent! He was still doing AMAZING! 

Henry was super excited to see Uncle Brent run past. 
We all stopped and got a little breakfast, then headed on our way to the finish line. We stopped and cheered him on once more time at about mile 18 or so, and then met up with my parents at the finish line. 
This was a very, very big moment! 

He said his body was in turmoil at this point, but for those of us watching we would have never known! He galloped through the finish line!

Someday Henry will probably run a marathon. 

Me snapping pictures and my mom helping Blythe wave her daddy in!

Crossing the finish line! As he crossed he also turned over 500 miles ran for the year. 
He grimaced for a few minutes, then walked and walked and walked. And then was on cloud nine for what he had accomplished. Here he is with another good high school buddy, Derek, who lives in Joplin and met up with us at the finish line, and Beth and Henry [who was racing his shadow, I do believe].
Here is our friend, Brandon, reaching the finish line in true Brandon fashion!! 
Way to go, guys!
Oh and … Brent just so happened to get second in his age division and come away with this great trophy! No big deal :) 
Blythe and I are proud to claim him everyday, but especially this day
And then baby girl crashed…it was a big day for us all!

For those of you that have trained for a marathon, you know just how much work goes into this. I cannot even describe how dedicated Brent was to his training, and yet how he balanced it so well with life and still prioritized his time for Blythe and me. As I drove in the early dawn light to the first place we would see him that morning, I started to get a little emotional just thinking of how much he amazes me. When he sets his mind to do something, he not only does it, he does it with 110% of himself.

 One man was on the side of the road holding a sign the day of the race. It read: "STRANGER, I DO NOT KNOW YOU BUT TODAY YOU ARE MY HERO." Brent, Brandon, and everyone else who has run a marathon: What you have accomplished is not a small feat. Way to go!


Here are a couple snippets from an email Brent sent out to a few people a couple days following his race:

 Thanks for your support of me during the training and the race.  As you could tell, mile 22-26.2 I struggled to push on (the course designers were mean and made the last 4 miles up hill)...but a lot of why I continued through the pain was because of the support of those closest to me. Love you guys. 
Kelsey took care of me yesterday and scheduled an hour massage, so today I'm feeling better than I thought I would.  I'm recovering and happy about the accomplishment. 
If I had to describe the race it would be a tale of two races...The first part was the 20-21 miles of enjoyment and fun.  I got to see Kelsey and Blythe early on in the first town we ran through...That made me smile for a lot of miles after that.  Then my parents and sister, along with her son Henry were in Baxter Springs, KS to cheer me on at the half way point.  I was feeling great and confident...on pace to run a 3:30 marathon (which was my goal).  It was just after 13 that I felt like I might be going too fast too soon, so I toned it down (or at least I thought I was, so I could have enough to run uphill for the last few miles).  I conquered a large hill at mile 18-19 and though I had the cat in the bag to finish out these last 6-7 miles.  I almost simultaneously passed a super athletic/muscular/cool looking dude at mile 20 and saw my family driving along side me.  Looking back there was some pain there but not bad.  I made it through the last town in Kansas and then on into Missouri for the home stretch. 
Race number 2.  With hardly anyone in sight ahead or behind I started to feel it and allowed myself to tone it down since there wasn't anyone to compare to at that point.  Then out of no where a guy whom I'd passed around mile 5-6 passes me just before the uphill drive to the finish line.  With 3 miles to go I decided to forget that guy and walked for the first time at the water station.  My legs were screaming at me...and it was totally a mental battle at that point to convince my legs to start running again.  I did and can't remember how many times that process continued, but I would commit to a location and then allow myself to walk for a certain duration before I'd try and run again.  It became more and more difficult to start running again. That was the story of the last 2 miles.  Then I could hear the DJ at the finish line and the music and people...this gave me the last mental push to finish with what seemed like the longest road in history.  The pain at this point was taking my breath away, and I had to force myself to start breathing again a couple times.  I hate to admit it, but the urge to cry wasn't far from happening...None the less, I forced myself to stop showing the pain on my face for my supporters at the finish and ran with all that I had to cross the finish. 
I walked for a while and got some calories back in me and got to eventually see my buddy Brandon finish, which was honestly more fun than experiencing the finish myself.  He did great and I was so proud of him. 
Thanks everyone.  Couldn't have done it without you.   

My official time 3:49:42 (8:46 per mile).  2nd in my age group out of 6; 15th place in Mens overal out of 84; 17th overall out of 157.

Here are my splits from my Nike+ App:



Hannah said...

1. That picture of of Blythe sitting in the car is adorable.
2. Your family picture is super cute, and it does not look like Brent just ran 26.2 miles.
3. :)

Ana-Lou said...

Thank you for your diligence Brenters! So PROUD of you for being a Godly Husband, Father, Son . . . . and being one to endure the race and FINISH.

Your life is a marathon of ETERNAL RAMIFICATIONS that Brings Him Glory! May the Lord continue to enrich you for WHO YOU ARE in HIM. For the man who held the sign; "STRANGER, I DO NOT KNOW YOU BUT TODAY YOU ARE MY HERO." Little does know - you are a Hero, an AMBASSADOR of THE KING!

Well Done ~ Well Done!

jenny said...

Truly amazing. He totally looks calm, cool, and collected at the finish line! Way to go, Brent!

Tara said...

way to go, brent!

i ran the mrm 5k that day...it was my first race ever and i loved it!

i just started running this summer and i have become addicted. (i was even googling races the monday after the mrm race!)

here's lance's post on it: