March 10, 2011

Little Rock Marathon Recap - Part I

First of all, Little Rock rocks.  Seriously.  I was lucky enough to be there when a good friend (we'll refer to her as Spazz) ran her first marathon.  But even without such a momentous occasion, it's a great race.  The people were awesome.  The post-party was a blast.  (Nothing says recovery like dancing your face off.)  And the medal... well, you already saw it.  It's ginormous.  People kept telling Spazz, "don't get used to this" but it's not a bad way to get started.

Spazz & cheesy deliciousness.  Mmmmm.
You can't run a race without shoving incredible amounts of food into your face carb-loading beforehand.  Lucky for us, a friend of mine used to live in Little Rock and recommended Damgoode Pies.  The name is dead on.  First off, we ordered an appetizer expecting a small slice of garlic bread & ended up with what was basically an extra pizza.  (See picture)  That tipped us off that we were in for a treat.  The crust at this place is amazing.  It's possibly the best pizza I've ever eaten.  We polished off our meals with a groan & convinced each other there was *just* enough room for dessert.  I have a vague memory that it was something chocolate cheesecakey sprinkled with crack before descending into a wonderous food coma & rolling myself back to the hotel.

Upon arriving back at our sketchy as all get out lovely hotel room, it was time to let our my OCD take over and get everything set up for race day.  I'm a bit paranoid about forgetting things so I lay everything out ahead of time.  Plus, being a momentous occasion, we wanted to maximize crowd support for Spazz.

What'd we do?
Label, label, label.  By that I mean, we:

1. Sharpied her initials on duct tape that we plastered to her chest:
Initials have been changed to protect the innocent.

2. Sharpied her name on one leg* & "1st race" on the other:
Ok... she has the picture of her leg.
You'll have to settle on mine from Mercedes marathon.
You get the idea.
If you haven't tried sharpie-ing your name on your leg, I highly recommend it.  The idea came from another running friend (we'll call her Pebbles) and it's amazing.  Why?  No one sees it at the beginning of a race when you're caught up in the crowd, feeling good and riding the adrenaline wave.  But in most marathons (not New York, Boston or the other biggies) the crowd starts thinning out around the same time as your energy & enthusiasm does.  Now, all those people sitting on the sidelines can see your name &, if you're lucky, you'll get a lot of people cheering you on.  It's awesome.  Even though you know they're merely showing off their reading skills, you can't help but get a little pep in your step when you hear someone totally random cheering you on.  (If you feel great from start to finish you won't need this support, but it never hurts.)  

3.  Made a funny sign & pinned it to her back:
This sign was a MAJOR hit.  For the entire race, we could hear people periodically chuckling behind us and we knew what they were laughing at.  Many stopped to say hello, congratulate her and wish her luck.  Around mile 6 a guy ran up to us and said that people were talking about the sign for miles.  Literally.  He'd seen people pick up the pace, catch up to us and then drop back to tell their friends.  In fact, he'd heard about the sign a few miles before running into us from someone who'd done just that.

For now, I'll let you with that teaser until I get some more pictures.  Spazz has a bunch (I ran with her camera to document the race as we went) and the official photos should be back in a couple days.  Whenever I get one or the other I'll get back to you with the rest.

to be continued...


  1. Love the sign idea! I'm going to have to try that one for my next race. Now to think of funny phrases...

  2. I've heard nothing but great things about Little Rock. I might have to make the trip next year.

  3. My first half featured personalized bibs with our names. You are so right it's a HUGE pick-me-up to hear random strangers call you out by name with well wishes. At one point I had forgotten our names were on the bibs and was like "how did he know my name?" - that was about the same point when the heat was kickin' in and I was loosing it mentally.
    LOVE LOVE LOVE the cherry sign - totally going to borrow that idea if/when I do my first full!!!
    Such a fun time you helped Spazz create for her first. Awesome friend!

  4. Awesome. "Spazz" was amazing company during the 20 miles she ran with me for my first marathon- she was like a one person cheerleading squad for me and everyone else who she thought needed a boost. I hope she had an amazing time! :)

  5. Those medals are completely awesome in every way.

  6. i love all the hype from the sign!

  7. that sign on the back was AWESOME!!!