This is my third year in a row writing a Kroll’s Bismarck Marathon Relay recap. That is awesome! This year was especially fun because I got to run with my girlfriends. In the past, I ran with co-workers and that was also a blast.
The event was held on Saturday, September 17, 2016, starting in Bismarck, looping into Mandan and finishing back at the start line in Bismarck – the same path as years prior. The weather was beautiful and perfect for running. The start was a bit chilly, but things warmed up with bright blue skies and hardly a breeze. I know our first runner was chilly but she just added on a layer and was good to go!
The event has not only the marathon relay, but a 5k, 10k, half marathon and marathon. The day leading up to the race they also have some kids fun runs. Our start was at 7:30 a.m.
All of the people on my team were from Minot or Hazen. Minot is quite a drive from Bismarck (2+ hours and Hazen is a bit over an hour away) so a few of us decided to get a hotel room in Bismarck. We met up the afternoon before for some wine tasting, a bit of shopping and out for dinner. We enjoyed our wine, but still managed to keep it a fairly early evening to try for a good night’s rest. I think we probably got about 6 hours or so before the alarm was going off to hit the hotel breakfast buffet. Excellent planning. Then, we went to the Scheel’s parking lot to meet our other runner and get our day started.
Of our five teammates, this was two of our runners first ever running event. I was so happy to be a part of their day and cheer them on. The five legs had varying distances to cover from 4.2 miles to 6.6 miles. For our two newer runners, they would both be covering personal distance records. How exciting!
In true teammate fashion, we all rode together and handed off to each other at all the checkpoints. Naturally, in between the driving and waiting for our friend to finish, we chit chatted. We talked mostly about running and what we talked about with other runners if applicable. There was a lot of talk about pace and distance. As newer runners in our mid-30’s with careers, kids, pets, social lives, etc. running isn’t the #1 priority. This was a challenge to complete something – put in the training, the work and time and get the satisfaction of finishing and earning that medal.
For us, this truly was NOT about our paces or the distance we ran. The race was about the completion, the hours spent going on runs in the rain, in the heat, around and around the track at the Y, the countless text messages shared griping about running (and also about what we wear, hello!) and about our day spent together achieving the finish together.
We certainly did not break any speed records, but we really didn’t do bad either. We finished happy, healthy, accomplished and thirsty!
We wrapped up our day with a meal at a local restaurant and a few beers. What’s next? Will we do it again? Will we get faster? I’m not sure but I know we will always remember this day, this accomplishment together and some of the best women I could spend my morning with. As humans, we are always wanting to improve ourselves and get better. Each step, each mile, each day of work is towards that goal. I am so proud of us!
Our finish prize!