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If you haven't heard me whining about it all fall I strained a calf muscle in the lead up to my HM in September. So I decided that running all out was not in the plans for November, but with the KickFest going on at the Philly Marathon/HM/8K I felt like I needed to do something to enjoy the festivities.<br><br>
I will now attempt to race report that entire weekend. (Gulp!)<br><br>
I've seen a number of people comment similarly, but just wanted to add my voice to the list of people who have said what a great experience it is to meet more and more of the KR crowd. We have a strong local group in the Philly area and we've gotten to know each other pretty well - so it was really nice to meet people in real life who I've known online - some for a long time, some not so long!<br><br><b>Friday Night</b> - Friday night I was lucky enough to have <b>Moon</b> & <b>Frankie</b> staying with me. Those two managed to run into each other at the airport (which I believe was temporarily renamed the <i>KickRunners International Airport</i>) and drove up together. We took the train downtown to meet-up at a pub with people who were already in town.<br><br>
We had a few beers (OK, maybe I had more than a few. That is entirely possible) and I had a great dinner with <b>Solar</b>, <b>CoachT, CT Tim, Winter and BigG</b>. <b>Beaker</b> had set this place up and we had a great room upstairs where it was easy to mingle and meet everybody.<br><br>
That night <b>Moon</b> and <b>Frankie</b> - who BTW gets my vote for most generous (or craziest) KR of the weekend drove down to the airport to pick up <b>Beth</b> and then crawl into bed in my basement just a few hours before my crazy kids woke him up! <b>Frankie</b> - you're a champ!<br><br><b>Saturday</b> - Saturday I ran into a few people at the expo - <b>Tim, Coach, Pacer</b>, and the place was insane! We had a run setup for 3 at the Art Museum so I had to hustle to get over there. This was the First Annual Schwetty Ballz (tm) Pro-Am Fun Run for the Cure. Expect a line of fully licensed merchandise.<br><br>
We had a great turnout! And kick me now - I'll forget someone!! Thanks to <b>Nettie, Winter, BigG, LLRunning2MarrathonsIsNoSweatForMeBerg, Bobmann, Liam (and DW?), CoachT, TheKenyan</b> (who, just noting, does not look like he is Kenyan), <b>Voodoo Joe</b> and the Blue Shorts of Death, and <b>CtTim</b> for showing up!<br><br>
I got out for another nice run around the river and then meet-up for Saturday night dinner which was organized by the peerless <b>Theia</b> and was a blast! I met just too many people to try to mention and I had a fantastic time!<br><br><b>Sunday</b> - Sunday <b>Moon</b> and I rose with the early bird to get to the start area around 6. My plan was to meet-up with <b>KrisE</b> - we had talked ahead of time and I was going to run with him on his first HM and hopefully get him under his goal of 1:40. I was lucky to meet <b>Kris's</b> parents in the start area (his dad was running the 8K) and we ran into <b>Winter</b> as well, so the 3 of us headed into the corrals together.<br><br>
We weaved our way up on the HM side to where we were about even with <b>PacerChris</b> since staying in front of his 3:20 pace group would keep us around or under our goal. We were saddened to hear that Pacer struck out with Carrie Toleffson. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Sad"><br><br>
I'll leave the details of <b>Kris's</b> race to him - but I'll just say he did an outstanding job! I've talked with a number of people here before about how much fun it is to see people show up, put in the work and over the months and years just get better and better. <b>KrisE</b> is definitely one of those and it was really an honor not just to be able to see him run (and kick ass) in his first HM but to do it with him.<br><br>
Around mile 2 or so we ran into <b>Notey</b> who was running the full and recognized him by his KR shirt. We ran together on and off through the first 13.<br><br>
After <b>Kris</b> and I finished the HM and passed the KR banner and <b>outstanding cheering section!</b> I decided to head back out and see if <b>Notey</b> wanted some company for a bit, or failing that, find <b>Pacer</b> and run with him for a while. So I hopped the fence in the chute (and almost lost some padooblies in the process) and jumped back on to the course.<br><br>
I finally saw <b>Notey</b> around mile 16 or so where he was stopped to take a potty break on the side of the road. The spectators were enjoying this and one of them was nice enough to explain to the others that if you 26 miles you can pee where ever the heck you want!<br><br>
After we passed mile 18 I told <b>Notey</b> that this was the furthest I had ever run (I've never done a training run over that) and he asked when I was going to turn around. Of course the last 13 of the Philly course is an out and back, so by this point I figured I might as well just tag along to the finish.<br><br>
We got to enjoy the Hash beer stop on the way in and out of Manayunk. It was here that I suffered my first (and perhaps most serious!) marathon injury - Beer Eye! That sucker stung!<br><br>
We got to see <b>PacerChris</b> leading his merry band of 3:20ers out of Main Street. His group was huge!<br><br>
We also saw <b>BobMann, LLRacingIsNothingToMeBerg</b>, and the dynamic duo (<b>Solar/CoachT</b>) as we headed back down Kelly Drive.<br><br>
Most inspiring view of the day (out of many!) we also saw a woman who was a high-leg amputee running probably a 3:15 with her carbon fiber leg. It made me proud to be a Philadelphian to hear the crowd as she passed. I saw her first going around the Art Museum circle and the roar of the crowd following her was awe inspiring. I saw her again headed out of Manayunk and the crowd was cheering for her like the rock star she is. Why do we run? There's a great reason why.<br><br>
I did my best to provide <b>Notey</b> with some Philly tour guide expertise on the way back down the drive and also subjected him to some of my best jokes. He politely requested that I limit myself to 1 joke per mile. A reasonable request.<br><br>
We finished through a huge crush of people and I got to enjoy going by the KR cheering club a second time. Now that's cheating!<br><br>
It was great fun to run with 2 fellow KickRunners and for me, a great way to do my first unofficial marathon - fun, with friends, and totally low-key. My wife joked later that it was just like some great way to lose my (marathon) virginity (sorry <b>Notey</b>, this is how rumors get started!) just lots of fun instead of some high pressure intense event! Where you might be 'unable to perform'! OK, OK - I'll stop! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
Huge thanks to everyone who worked to put this weekend together, and to all the KR peeps who flew in from around the continent (and abroad!).<br><br>
It was a blast and I can't wait for our next meet-up.
 

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There was never a doubt in my mind that you are a terrific guy but Sun solidifies it!!! Move over <b>Chris,</b> there's a new <b>pacer</b> in town! Nice work! And a <span><b>Birds</b></span> <span style="color:#000000;">win to top the day off! S</span>o great to see you this weekend!! But please tell me you will do an official full sometime in the near future?! Pretty please?!
 

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Way. To. Go!!!!! You totally rock in every sense of the word!! Awesome runner, great friend, generous host, tour guide, handsome, funny... OK, I'll stop before your head explodes! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Dude,<br><br>
I'm looking forward to running with you Ptom.<br><br>
Notey spoke very highly of you when I got a gmail from him regarding the race.<br><br>
your pal,<br><br>
oache
 

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You know, I don't think mortals are supposed to go out and run 26.2 miles in 3 and a half hours. The psychos that go out and do it talk about training for months and running a bunch of 20 milers beforehand.
 

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It was good to finally meet you. I thought I saw you on Kelly Drive but I remembered you were running the half and thought I must be seeing things. Good Job.
 

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Nice write-up <b>Tom</b>! I think your wife hit it right on the nose. It was a perfect way to lose your virginity to mary!<br><br><b>Scratch</b>, I hear that <b>Tom</b> ran 15 miles the day before!
 

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Oh, and the dreaded Beer Eye...that sucks, I've done that to myself a number of times! Spectators need to realize that the new plastic beer bottles are the way to go at a marathon - you can control the flow, then chuck it to the side when it's empty. Plastic cups are prone to Beer Eye, and paper cups take some of the carbonation away (not to mention both are smaller than a bottle).
 

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wow <b>Tom</b>....wow.
 

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Great write-up! You make this weekend sound just about as great as it was - and I agree with <b>Heather</b> - run a marathon already! I can imagine the cheering section you'd get attending, cause we're all so impressed and awed by your running talent!<br><br>
It was great to meet you this weekend!
 

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Way to go PT! can't wait for your marathon racing debut...when? Next spring. Hey you should join up with us in Athens OH. I'm sure you could get a BQ on your debut. You'd need 3:15 too right? Pacer is going to hopefully guide is in right on time.<br><br>
As far as the solution to the dreaded Beer Eye...kids size camelbak (20oz) is the way to go...or so I'm told. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> [pick up the camelbak @ mile 22 and drain on the way to the finish]
 

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My head just about exploded when I saw you running with <b>Notey</b> during the full! So, you're a talented runner and you look 15 years younger than you actually are; how about leaving something for us mere mortals, eh? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> (Oh, I do have that whole correctly opening a door thing going for me though. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">)
 

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Fantastic report Tom. It was great to finally meet you this weekend. I have to admit that I was shocked when I heard that you did the whole [email protected] thing. So, now that you've got a feel for the distance, what are your thoughts on doing your own in the Spring? <span style="font-size:xx-small;">(Just do it you big sissy)</span> <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">
 
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