Tim, Me, and the Napa Half-Marathon

My very good friend – Tim from Vegas (a buddy since we were 15 years old…) – decided on Saturday’s Napa 1/2 marathon at Bothe-Napa Valley State Park as his first half-marathon.   I officially elected myself as race sherpa, race guide, and designated “Ain’t No Way I’m Letting You Quit” dude.  This was his most difficult physical test since freshman year of college on the soccer team.  His longest training run was 8 miles.  (I was a little nervous for him but kept telling him in the weeks leading up to  race day – “Don’t worry.  You’ll be fine.” Admittedly Machiavellian of me…)

Looking at the elevation profile, I told him that he couldn’t have picked a tougher course for his first 1/2 marathon.  Turns out it was even more difficult that I thought.  It’s not really a 1/2 marathon – it’s more like a 13.1 trail run… Lots of elevation gain, narrow trails, rocky paths and a 2-loop course that gives one the option of dropping out at mile 6.5…  Weather was damp and cool – some recent rain main the trail wet and muddy in parts.

I packed my running belt, Garmin, hip belt, and prayers to get him through the thing.  The first 2-3 miles are a climb, then the second half of the loop is mostly a nice downward slope with a few hills mixed about. We walked the steep hills, jogged the flats and descents once we caught our breath. I talked him into lap 2 at the break after a shirt change and a little water, and we finished in a blazing 3:00:59. 

But as the marathoner we saw after the race – the guy that finished ahead of us (yes – 26.2 miles in less time than our 13.1 miles) told him – “Dude – you finished and that’s all that matters.”  Loved the positive energy out there.  The Enviro-Sports races are nice and laid back – very fun.  

Got up this morning and asked him – “How do you feel?”

“I feel good!”

“Want to go for a run this morning?”

“Not that good. But you know what?  I did a half-marathon yesterday.  And pretty much every else in the world didn’t.”

At our Black Bear Diner breakfast, he told me he’s hooked – going to do a 10k Turkey Trot back in Vegas and maybe the Vegas 1/2 marathon early next year.   Good news – we got one more in the club.  ;–)

Congratulations Tim!

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