Sunday, January 31, 2010

My wife, Gerda Kalb, meeting Olympian, Ryan Hall, at the ING Miami Tropical Marathon Exposition

Elve Dryer speaking at the ING Miami Tropical Marathon Exposition

Michael Aish speaking at the ING Miami Tropical Marathon Exposition

Ryan Hall speaking at the ING Miami Tropical Marathon Exposition

Ryan Hall being interviewed at the ING Miami Tropical Marathon Exposition

ING Miami Tropical Half Marathon
Miami, Florida
Sunday, January 31, 2010

I race walked the ING Miami Tropical Half Marathon on Sunday, January 31, 2010 in Miami, Florida. The temperature was around 67 to 73 degrees during the race with overcast skies and wind in exposed areas. Fortunately the predicted rain never arrived. The course is flat except for the crossing of the high bridge on MacArthur Causeway and features Ocean Drive in South Beach. The first water/Gatorade station was near mile three with the rest of the station spaced approximately every mile thereafter. There were 18000 participants in the half and full marathon which caused the water/Gatorade stations and some of the course to be somewhat crowded. There were plenty of enthusiastic volunteers, however. Intersections were controlled by friendly police officers. Many cheering spectators were interspaced along the course. The pre-race exposition featured Olympian Ryan Hall as well as past Olympians Elva Dryer and Michael Ash. My friend, Dane Rauschenberg, also spoke about completing 52 Marathon in 52 weekends in 2006. This was the eighth year for this event and I have completed 7 marathons and 1 half marathon since its inception. As always the event was extremely well organized. I enjoyed myself as usual even though my time was slow because of being tired from leaving Maui at 2:45 AM EST Friday morning and arriving back in Key West at 9:00 PM EST on Friday night, then getting up early to drive to Miami on Saturday and waking up at 4:00 AM Sunday to proceed to the starting line.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Maui Oceanfront Half Marathon
Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii
Sunday, January 24, 2010

I race walked the Maui Oceanfront Half Marathon on Sunday, January 24, 2010 in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii. The course was an out and back route and for the most part flat with a view of the ocean. Most of the course was on the shoulder of a main highway containing plenty of traffic. Fortunately, the shoulder was wide enough that I never had to walk on the roadway. Water stations were located approximately every 1.5 miles and were manned by plenty of enthusiastic volunteers. There were no sports drinks available during or after the race. There were no need for traffic control except in the first and last mile, where a few volunteers were needed. The race was well organized and featured a 5K, 15K, half marathon, and full marathon. The weather was sunny with the temperature starting at 67 and becoming hot in the mid 70's once the sun came up. There was almost no breeze. I did manage to see 3 humpback whales out in the ocean as I walked the race. It was a wonderful day in Maui and I enjoyed myself.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Disney World Half Marathon
Kissimmee, Florida
Saturday, January 9, 2010

As I walked to the staging area for the Disney World Half Marathon held on Saturday, January 9, 2010 with the temperature hovering near 32 degrees, the exposed skin on my face was pelted by sleet and chilled by the wind. I wondered if the race had somehow been moved to my home state, Ohio. No! I was still in Florida near Orlando and about to endure the most miserable weather that I have ever experienced during a race. The sleet continued intermittently for the first hour of the race. Finally it stopped for about half an hour, then a light drizzle that gradually increased in intensity soaked my clothes and shoes for the rest of the event. I became extremely cold as I headed from the finish line to my car. The volunteers at the water/Powerade stations located every 1.5 to 2 miles were exceptionally wonderful as they cheerfully and enthusiastically handed out the liquid even though they had to be miserable from the nasty weather conditions. I want to personally thank each and every one of them and all the other volunteers who ensured that the race proceeded smoothly. As always the Disney event was extremely well organized and despite the miserable weather I enjoyed the event.
I have done the Goofy Challenge for the first four years that it existed and had entered it this year also. However, last August I made a decision to only do half marathons and give up my chance to be Perfectly Goofy and receive a special award for doing my fifth straight Goofy Challenge. The program for this year’s event had my name listed among the approximate two hundred participants who were eligible for the award. It was a good decision as I do not think my left knee could have taken the extra training and distance.