Barefoot Rick's Gobbler Grind Marathon Report - November 19, 2006

After one of the most enjoyable marathon experiences of my life in Chicago just four weeks earlier, I really had no expectations going into this one but just to have some fun and try to finish in under four hours. I accomplished both goals.

I wore last year's Gobbler Grind  technical shirt which has a great turkey logo and I sported a Party America paper pilgrim's hat. For a three dollar novelty hat I was surprised that it lasted for 26.2 miles. It did, however, and will probably make a reappearance at the local 5K on Thanksgiving day!

Pre-race
I waited in my truck with the heater blaring until about 7:45 a.m. I had checked the weather on my cell phone and it was 24 degrees outside, far colder than any previous marathon I had started. I walked the short distance to the start line where I met up with Barefoot Byron Rieper and first time marathoner, Joe Loranger. Byron and I both commented about 7:55 a.m. that our toes were getting a bit chilly and we would be glad when the race started. We didn't have long to wait after the National Anthem by master of ceremonies BJ the DJ. We were off and running on this frosty, fall morning in Overland Park Kansas!


(L to R - Barefoot Byron, Barefoot Rick, Joe Loranger)

 

Race
Marathons, for me, have gotten to be social events where I enjoy talking to both runners and spectators. It helps the miles just peel away. The course was different this year, in that it went on some city streets for several miles. Personally, I would have preferred to stay on Indian Creek Bike Trail. I enjoy the flatness of the bike trail, but the hills through the city streets weren't too bad.

It was a pleasure to see Jeff and Sarah Winter (father and daughter) at about the 15 mile mark. This was their first marathon and we encouraged one another with shouts and kudos! I continued on my way the last few miles, running solitary and enjoying the magnificent cool, crisp and sunny morning. Crossing through the last tunnel, a quarter mile away was the finish line. I crossed the finish in 3:53:44. A few minutes later, Jeff and Sarah came cruising in under 4 hours! Man, they looked great and were elated with their finish as first timers!


(L to R - Sarah Winter, Barefoot Rick, Jeff Winter)

Overall, a good race. Kudos to race director Rusty Collins and all the volunteers. The 10th Annual Gobbler Grind was definitely not a turkey in my books!

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Factoids:
42nd marathon
24th barefoot marathon
10th 2006 marathon
*Ran the entire distance

bib number: 62
age: 50
gender: M
location: Lees Summit, MO
overall place: 58 out of 178
division place: 6 out of 16
gender place: 47 out of 118
time: 3:53:44
pace: 8:56
half : 1:57:09

*I am a marathon runner and do not prescribe to a run/walk method for MY marathons. Likewise, I do not cast aspersions on anyone else for "finishing" a marathon in whatever way they can propel themselves across the finish line, whether it be walking, crawling, etc. All marathon finishes are notable in their own regard.

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