After a couple hours of thinking it over, I randomly stumbled on a Facebook update from my friend Tammy. I was surprised to find out that she was going to be running in Richmond too. I paced Tammy for the last stretch of the Vermont 100 a couple years ago, so I knew I'd be in good company if I ran with her again. Amelia said she'd feel better if I still ran the race, so off I went to pace Tammy once again. As the following pictures will prove, no one runs a marathon quite like Tammy!
Here we are at the chilly start...eventually the layers would come off as it turned out to be the best race-day weather I've ever experienced!
Proving the ultra-world is well-represented at every race, I ran into fellow VHTRC-er Mike Bailey (who I'm sure appreciates me including this "bottoms-up" photo of him!) and his friend James Carter just before the start. Mike went on to pace James to his first marathon finish - Congrats James!!!
The race started off nicely as we ran through some beautiful fall roads in and around Richmond. Tammy only had to take her eyes off the views every few seconds as she put on an amazing display of running-while-texting early on. After we chatted with our friend Jamie on speaker phone for a few minutes, I realized we probably woke her up since it was only 6 a.m. at her home in Colorado. Sorry, Jamie!
Tammy is known for carrying her Sparkly fanny pack filled with waaaay too many supplies during races. The day before her running of the Javelina 100 a couple weeks ago, Jamie texted me to say Tammy had "15 lip balms and a poncho" in her pack. Here I am showing off the Chapstick I carried with me as a sign of solidarity for Tammy!
Eventually we caught up with Tammy's husband Tristan and his dad around mile 12...for a much needed Cupcake break!
I was laughing at Tammy for eating the cupcake while we were running, but a couple minutes after that she really started moving! I should also point out that Tammy's outfit (complete with pink everything, sparkly waist pack, and a lei!) made her a HUGE fan favorite along the course. Richmond loved her!
Of course she was also taking pictures the whole time too, so I think everyone got a kick out of that as well!
After running across a loooong bridge back into the city, we passed by the "Mosque Theater" where I took Lizzy to see a comedian on one of our first dates!
Shortly after the cupcake energy wore off, Tammy hit The Wall. ....actually, she never came close to hitting any wall. We clicked off even-paced miles in the second half to negative-split the race quite nicely. While you may not be too impressed by that fact per se, check out all the rest of the crazy stuff we did over the last few miles!
First off, when Tammy saw a cute dog along the course, she demanded a photo stop!
Seriously, this happened multiple times!!
...but I guess I can't complain. I had my own reasons for stopping too...
...multiple times as well! Tammy posed with me here to help me feel like less of a lush!
The colors were extra-pretty the rest of the way!
Sadly, the finish line came all too soon. ...and while you might think it took us forever to finish with all of the photographic evidence above, I'm proud to report we crossed the line in 4:07, just a couple minutes off Tammy's marathon PR! Sure I might come back in the future and try for a fast time of my own on this excellent course, but I guarantee I won't have as much fun (or beer!) as I did this time around! Thank you, Tammy!