Race Recap: The Modesto Half Marathon

Modesto Half MarathonSurgical 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.

The Course

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

modesto half marathon medal

Finisher’s Medal

Dad and I finished just behind the first place marathoner. In fact, we saw him break the tape. Dad jokingly said, “It’s good to know that we were only lapped by one person.”

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

Trailer blowout in Joplin, Missouri

Trailer blowout in Joplin, Missouri

I spent the following three days driving a Budget Rental Truck from Modesto, CA to Sikeston, MO. Getting my stuff home required 30 hours of mind numbing driving in a gas-guzzling truck. Luckily I had my son Riley along for company. We only had one blowout –in Joplin, 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.

Back home with tons of stuff

Back home with tons of stuff

2 Responses to Race Recap: The Modesto Half Marathon

  1. Amanda July 1, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

    I am just starting to train for my first half marathon, and I just found your podcast last week. Imagine my surprise to hear you are from my hometown! I was born and raised in Modesto, and after a 10 year stint in Sacramento, I’m back in Modesto to raise my kids. I found this post very heart warming because you don’t often see positive comments about Modesto. My husband and I have run a couple of local 5ks, and have found the running community to be very positive and welcoming. I just wanted to comment as a fellow Modestan and say thanks to you and Angie for the encouragement at the start of my running journey.

    • Trevor July 2, 2013 at 9:16 am #

      Hi Amanda! It is good to hear from a fellow Modestrian. I really enjoyed the Modesto Half but I’m sure it’s only half as fun as the full. Congrats on beginning your training. I’m glad you like our podcast. I guess good things can come from Modesto after all.

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