Welcome to Marathon-ville
You’ve probably heard of Margaritaville or even Farmville…but for 50 States for Sole’s 12th and 13th states…it was all about Marathonville!
The Charlottesville marathon in Virginia was chosen very specifically because the University of Virginia is there, and that’s where my oldest brother went to college. I went down to visit him once, and was there again for his graduation, when I was a little kid of about 8 or 9 years old. I thought it would be pretty cool to do my Virginia marathon there, and have my brother come with me for the road trip and to run the Half Marathon. I sent him an email with the suggestion, and he was in.
And so it was me, my brother, and Tattoo Liz on the road to C-ville! It wasn’t until we got there that I realized how incredibly hilly Charlottesville is! (Clearly, I don’t do much in terms of researching course elevation and such before registering for a race.) My brother was cracking up at me for not knowing the marathon was going to be hilly as hell. I was happy to have some quality time with him, and to see him happy- even if it meant being the silly and impetuous little sister he always remembers me as.
My brother arranged for us to stay with friends of his from college who reside in Charlottesville. They were the most welcoming and warm hosts, and it was incredible to stay in someone’s home instead of a hotel. We had the most amazing time with them, complete with a ride to and from the race, a personalized guided tour of UVA’s amazing campus, and post race drinks at Pippin Farms Winery.
I knew the race would be ultra challenging when I found out that only 500 people were doing the full marathon, and over 1000 people were doing the half marathon.
It was a beautiful day on April 5, 2014 for the race, and the temps were perfect at about 63 degrees. The course was absolutely beautiful, albeit one of the hardest marathon courses I have ever run. The hills were beyond challenging; relentlessly steep, and they just wouldn’t quit- but they tried their best to see if I would.
It took true mental mettle to get to the finish line and receive my medal.
I had to dig inside my arsenal of motivational mantras and recite them in my head until I reached the finish line in 4:12 – happy to be done and even happier to see my brother there cheering me in.
Over the course of our lives, the relationship my brother and I shared had as many steep ups and downs as the Charlottesville Marathon course. Recently we have really grown to understand and respect each other, and doing this race together, as well as for Girls With Sole, made it all the more awesome, amazing and special.
On April 19, 2014 it was time to take the Girls With Sole mobile back on the road to complete my 13th state and the 27th marathon in my lifetime in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon is an awesome race that I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a fairly large, and really well-run race!
The Derby Festival Marathon is a big hit! Dare I say…it’s quite the Slugger!
We stayed at the Host Hotel, called the Galt House, which was within walking distance to the race start and finish. We were in the heart of downtown Louisville, and I was surprised by how nice the city was, and how much was happening there!
Tattoo Liz and I got to the Expo on Friday afternoon and picked up our race packets after checking into the hotel. There were 17,000 people in the race, which included a Full and a Half Marathon. Even with the large amount of registered runners, and the professionalism with which the Derby Festival Marathon was run – it still had an amazingly warm community feel to it. There were tons of spectators throughout the whole course, and the volunteers were amazing.
The course itself was really beautiful, scenic, and fun! We ran downtown, in some awesome parks, and in cool neighborhoods.
In my mind, though, the highlight was being able to run in Churchill Downs alongside the beautifully majestic horses as they prepared to run in their own big race!
The weather began to heat up towards the end of the race, and although I was happy to feel the warmth of the finish line – I was thrilled not to have to run in the heat of the day.
After receiving our heavy horseshoe shaped medals, Tattoo Liz and I walked back to the hotel, and then got back on the road for home- feeling lucky to have completed another state for Girls With Sole.