Surgical Artistry Modesto Marathon is a well organized local race drawing about 3,000 people. It features a marathon, half marathon, and 5k. My dad and I ran the half marathon.
Farewell to Modesto
The purpose of my coming to Modesto was to help my mom and dad empty their house and move to the Washington coast.
The move required a massive downsizing –from a 4,000 sq ft home to a cabin less than half that size. Literally every item had to be packed, sold, or given away. I’m talking about 60 years of stuff! Some of the stuff was going to me . . . I just had to get it home.
The move just happened to coincide with the Modesto Marathon so Dad and I decided to run the half as a final goodbye to the city where I grew up and where he lived most of his life. It took us 2 hours and 24 minutes to finish the half marathon. Apparently we like long goodbyes.
—Read the rest of my race recap—
Running Slow in the Big MO
I had the privilege of running the entire race with my dad. This meant that I had to make a conscious effort to slow my stride. Dad said his feelings wouldn’t be hurt if I blazed ahead. “Don’t let me slow you down,” he insisted.
“There will be other opportunities to run a fast half marathon,” I said. “But I don’t get many chances to run with you.”
Our pace averaged about 11 minutes per mile. I enjoyed ribbing him, “Man, it’s a lot of work to run this slow!”
The Race Expo Encounter
Packet pickup was easy and lots of vendors were on hand to promote their products. Each runner got a nifty gear bag and t-shirt.
At the expo I met the unique and tireless “Tyre Girl” Rima Chai a British runner who has completed 29 marathons pulling a tire. Yes. She pulls a tire.
Tyre Girl (tyre is the British spelling of tire) wants to carry a message to the world that we must “reduce, reuse, and recycle”. She drags her tire with a rope and harness to keep her arms free. I got to wear the harness and try pulling the tire, which wasn’t too difficult, but a few hours of it could be a real drag.
We started downtown near the campus of Crosspoint Church then ran by Graceada Park where I have many childhood memories. Then we crossed over California Highway 99 on the 9th street overpass. That was the one and only hill. The course officials posted a sign that read Mount Modesto, Elevation: 113’4’’.
Most of the course is along quiet country roads which pass beautiful orchards and farms. Both the full and half marathon are out and back courses. Water stations abounded.
I saw Bart Yasso of Runner’s World Magazine along the course. He spoke at the race expo and ran the half marathon. I pulled up next to him and struck up a conversation. We had Bart on the podcast back in 2009. He’s working on a sequel to his book My Life on the Run and said he would love to come back on the podcast.
Finishing the Race
The Modesto Marathon will hook you up with post run food. They offered bananas, oranges, apple slices, pretzels, energy bars, chocolate milk, bottled water, apple chips, and baby carrots – more food than we could carry. I wish I had time to stick around for the post race party but I had to scram.
Driving Back to Missouri
During this very hectic week my marathon training fell to pieces. And come to find out . . . moving heavy furniture is not good cross-training.
I’m glad the Modesto Half Marathon was there to keep me going. It was a privilege to run with my dad and the best way I can think of to say goodbye to a very special place.