Saturday, June 25, 2011

Running with Dean Karnazes

This morning I woke up at 6:45 with plans to go run a 10k before racing to the Plaza for a fun run with Dean Karnazes at 10:00. It was cloudy, but no rain yet, so I was hopeful we would be spared from the full day of rain showers that the weather channel was calling for earlier in the week. I got to the race 30 minutes before the start and did a quick warm up run. Still no rain, but the gray clouds were ominous overhead. Finally about 5 minutes before the race was about to start we were advised to go back to our cars because there was lightning in the area. There was rain, lightning, and lots of wind for about an hour, and finally when the storm seemed to be winding down around 9:00 the race was called off. I was bummed that I didn't get to race since I've been doing so many 1/2 marathons lately, I haven't run a shorter race since March. Even though I was disappointed, I had more running plans for the day. I ran home to change out of my wet clothes and got ready for my next run in record time. I got to the plaza about 5 minutes before 10, and there was already a smallish crowd gathered outside of the North Face Store. I'm sure the early morning plaza goers were wondering why all these people were standing around dressed in running gear. If we were runners, why were we standing around instead of running? Right at 10:00 the reason we were all standing around showed up, Mr. Dean Karnazes. It is always weird to me to see people in person that I've seen so many times on TV or in pictures. This proved to be no exception. The race director for the North Face Endurance Challenge explained a few safety rules for the run, and then Dean talked for a couple minutes. He is very personable and humble. I know why the North Face chose him to be their spokesman.
After all the welcoming was out of the way, we headed out on our 5k journey.
I never run with other people outside of races, so this was a different experience for me. I went with the fast group of runners who were supposed to be keeping around a 9 minute mile pace (I may have secretly been very excited that my average pace was considered fast!) although I don't feel like we actually kept that pace.
I want to say that there were around 20-30 other people running this morning, but eventually the larger group broke off into several smaller groups. After 1 1/2 miles there were only about 7-8 people left in the group I was in, including Dean. It was pretty fascinating to hear him talk about his run across America, and all his other running journeys. He said that he would usually be running a 100 mile race on this day, but was here instead. I don't know if he had much of a say into the scheduling of this event, but it was pretty awesome that he was here running a short 5k with us instead of running a 100 mile race. Another run fact, someone asked how many pairs of shoes he burned through on his run across America, and his response was 53 pairs! I'm just now thinking about getting my 3rd pair of running shoes. I can't imagine running so much that I go through 53 pairs in 75 days!
After the run Dean talked again for a couple minutes, then had a meet and greet with the people who came out to see him.

I got this shirt for being registered for the marathon! I think the swag from the race is going to easily outweigh the registration cost.

I was pretty excited to get a chance to meet Dean and talk with him. Since the North Face Endurance Challenge is going to be my first full marathon, it was awesome to get to hear tips from Dean, along with other runners during the morning.
Dean asked if I was nervous for my first marathon, and I told him that I truthfully wasn't too nervous. I've been sticking to my training, and I'm confident I'll cross the finish line. I told him I wasn't sure how long it would take me, but I would get there sometime in the 7 hour time limit. Dean signed my book with "see you at the finish :)" I can't wait!

1 comment:

  1. What an awesome day, Heather! Looks like a ton of fun! Love that shirt! :0)