3 hours, 46 minutes, 34 seconds.
He did it. Jason finished the Eugene Marathon this morning. He's been training for a couple months now, and today was the big day to put his feet to the 26.2 mile test. (And to save you from possibly embarrassing yourself in the future, you should never ask, "So how long is this marathon?" All marathons are the same distance.)
Since he had to report to the starting line at Hayward Field at 6:30 AM, we had to wake up very early to make the hour-drive down there. We packed everything the night before so we just had to wake up, get the girls in the car, and head out. Well, we packed almost everything. We forgot shoes for Sydney. Better than forgetting diapers.
Even though Eugene is the track-and-field capital of the world, they have never hosted a marathon. It was pretty cool that Jason got to participate in their first one. It was very organized, with thousands of volunteers. It was also a beautiful course -- along the Willamette River, as well as some of the streets of Eugene and Springfield -- and had very few hills. It sounds like the kind of marathon I would like to run, whenever that comes along. Not anytime soon.
The race started at 7 AM, and Jason along with our friend Paul were off.
See Jason run. Run Jason run. Run run run.
It's a bit tricky to watch too much of a marathon without having to jog all over the place, so the girls and I headed over to Jason's grandparents' house to hang out for awhile. Eventually we headed across the street to see Jason and Paul run by at the 20 mile mark.
Sydney and I had lots of fun cheering the runners on while we waited for Jason to pass by. We clapped and cheered, and Sydney totally got into it by alternately yelling "Go, Runners, Go!" and "Good job!" She was rewarded with smiles and waves from lots of the runners. We practiced and practiced our cheer for when Jason would run by, and when he finally did, Sydney held out her hand full of pebbles and yelled:
"Look Dad! I have rocks!"
It was a fun day though. I'm so proud of Jason. He crossed the finish line at Autzen Stadium, got his medal and a bottle of water, and said, "I'm tired." I would be too. (At least he felt better than the first marathon runner, who ran the distance to announce the Greeks had defeated the Persians only to die moments later from exhaustion. Bummer.) In the end Jason placed 462 out of 1496 runners, 357 out of 835 men, and was 53 out of 117 in his division (men 18-34). Better than average. But of course I knew that. He's amazing. An amazing race for an amazing man.
Truthfully, he doesn't actually like running all that much, but wanted to train for this because he thought it would be a good experience. Something to check off his list of things to do.
Ride a bicycle from Oregon to Washington, DC? Check.
Ride a bicycle all along the Oregon Coast? Check. (I did that too.)
Run a marathon? Check.
That's my guy, always the athlete. More than 14 years ago I started cheering for him when he was playing basketball in high school. Later on, I cheered for him when he played college soccer. And still later, I cheered for him when he coached both basketball and soccer.
Today I got to cheer him on in his first race. I never get tired of cheering for him. I'm sure I never will.
I love you, Shmoopie. I'm so proud of you. xx