Monday, June 27, 2011

A picture from near mile 1 during the Jackson Hole Half Marathon with the Teton Mountains in the background.

Pam Reed was one of the prerace speakers at the pasta dinner. She is a world reknown ultramarathoner who was the overall winner of the Badwater 135 Mile Ultramarathon in Death Valley. This May on consecutive weekends, Pam finish a full ironman, won the womens division (3rd overall) of the Keys 100 mile Ultra Marathon, and finished another full ironman, qualifying for Kona. The picture is Pam finishing the Jackson Hole Half Marathon which she used as part of her training for this July's Badwater Race.

Mike Ehredt who was one of the prerace speakers at the pasta dinner is famous for his run from Oregon to Maine were he placed a personalized flag every mile honoring a fallen military personnel from the war in Iraq. There were more than 4000 flags placed in reverse order of occurrence of the deaths. The picture is when he finished the Jackson Hole Hlaf Marathon.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Jackson Hole Half Marathon
Jackson, Wyoming
Saturday, June 18, 2011

The sun was shining with little breeze and a temperature near 40 degrees as I began the Jackson Hole Half Marathon in Jackson, Wyoming on Saturday, June 18, 2011. The first 5.5 miles was along a bike path near the base of the Teton Mountains which were still covered with plenty of snow and glistened in the morning sunshine, making a spectacular view that made concentrating on the race a little harder because I just had to look at the scenery. The next 4 miles went along the shoulder of a busy highway that also had spectacular scenery. The rest of the course was 2.5 miles of bike paths and 1.3 miles of community roadway to a finish in a park where the temperature was nearly 60 degrees as I ended my race. The total distance for the course was nearly 13.3 miles which was nearly 0.2 miles long. The entire course was at an altitude of over 6000 feet and was mostly a gradual downhill with two gradual climbs of 0.5 miles near mile 9 and 1.1 miles to the finish. The bike paths went through tunnels under the major highways; thus, only two police officers were needed to help the participants cross the road near mile 5.5. Unfortunately, there were not enough volunteers or signs along the course to help the participants find the route along the forks in the bike paths. Many of the out of town participants missed turns and had trouble following the course. I missed one of the turns; however, a person behind me yelled and I only had to retrace about 50 feet. I was lucky. I suggested to the race director after the race that he could mark the turns with chalk to help the out of town participants who are not familiar with the various bike paths. The 5 water/Powerade stations were located every 2 miles beginning at mile 3 and were manned by plenty of enthusiastic volunteers.
There was a prerace spaghetti meal was nice and featured two accomplished local runners. Mike Ehredt has made two long runs to honor the fallen military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan. He ran 30 miles per day from Oregon to Maine and planted a personalized flag each mile with the name and date of the person killed in Iraq in the ordered killed, over 4000 flags. He had just got back from another over 500 mile run in Spain honoring the fallen in Afghanistan. Pam Reed was the other speaker. She is a well known ultra runner who was the overall winner of the 135 mile Badwater Ultra Marathon twice, once finishing in front of Dean Karnazes. Pam has also run 300 miles without stopping. This May on consecutive weekends Pam finished a full ironman, won the women’s division of the Keys 100 Ultra Marathon (3rd overall), and finished another full ironman, qualifying for Kona. In July she was planning to do Badwater again. Both ran the Jackson Hole Half Marathon with me, in fact, with my 1 hour head start for the walkers, I finished in front of them.
I had a wonderful time in Jackson Hole, Teton National Park, and Yellowstone National Park.

Unfortunately my knee is still bothering me and I am taking some planned time off from half marathoning before I finish my last 3 states in October which will allow me to complete both a full marathon and a half marathon in all 50 states plus DC. I had an MRI done of my left knee and the cartilage is completely gone from part of the joint. It appears that a knee replacement is going to be in my future afterwards.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Minneapolis scene #13

Minneapolis scene #12

Minneapolis scene #11

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Minneapolis scene #9

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Minneapolis scene #1

Monday, June 06, 2011

Crossing the Mississippi River during the Minneapolis Half Marathon

Michael Hoyt and myself at Minneapolis Half Marathon

Craig Swanson at Minneapolis Marathon

Minneapolis Half Marathon
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Sunday, June 5, 2011

I race walked the Minneapolis Half Marathon in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Sunday, June 5, 2011. The temperature varied from 64 degrees at the start to 75 degrees when I finished. There was almost no wind and the sun was shining brightly. The course went on roads closed to traffic which went along the Mississippi River with two crossings of the river. There were a few hills, two of which where somewhat challenging to the 4800 participants in the marathon and half marathon. Water/Powerade stations were located every two miles until mile 6 after which they were located every mile. Plenty of enthusiastic volunteers manned the stations. There were many spectators along the route that cheered for the participants. The race was very well organized and fun to do. I got quite a surprise when I checked the results. I was second in the male 65-69 running age group in which I was entered because, as is normal in most of the marathons and half marathons that I do, there was no walking division. It is very unusual for me to win a running age group award.