This weekend we took a break from what has already been a crazy school year and went to Walker, Minnesota to watch Kenyon run the marathon out there. First, the weather was beautiful! It was about 15 degrees colder in Walker than it was in Minneapolis and there was frost on the windshield of the car when we got up on Saturday morning. The crazy thing too is that the leaves are already turning up there, so if you want to see fall colors it's time to start. So, weather was beautiful for a marathon and my new patagonia fleece.
Second, the Walker marathon is AWESOME for actually watching the race. Both Grandma's and Twin Cities are so full of runner and watchers that not only is it hard to actually spot your racer, but it's hard to move along the route to make sure that you see them at key points. Unfortunately, you have to park so far away that by the time you actually get back to your car and drive you have to go 8 miles rather than 3 to see your runner. But, only about 100 people run the Walker Marathon so it's not packed with spectators and you get to see and cheer for the same racers over and over again. One of the reasons that Walker isn't packed either is because it's a trail marathon. I never knew until meeting Calhoun, but apparently some courses are faster than others, based primarily on their terrain. Flat courses are considered fast, which includes the Chicago Marathon and London. The Twin-Cities marathon is actually not very fast, because despite Minnesota's reputation as a flat state, the Twin-Cities marathon runners run in and out of the Mississippi River Valley a few times throughout the course of the race, not to mention up Summit Avenue in St. Paul for the finish. Similarly, because Walker is on Northern Minnesota Trails, well groomed but rather treacherous, and up and down through Chippewa National Forest, it's rather slow.
Kenyon's motto was to run and just not get tired. For 26.2 miles. He did great and we had a fun weekend cheering him on!