Tom’s Marathon

A marathon doesn’t begin at the starting line. It begins with dinner the night before…  a starter,

tomatoes and shaved parmesan on a white plate with an orange background

and a strong finish with carbo-loading-nara and grocery-freezer garlic bread:

spaghetti carbonara

The morning of the marathon, at the recommendation of Ed Kohler of “The Deets,” I dropped Tom in downtown Minneapolis and headed to the Rose Garden at Lake Harriet. Here I first saw Tom: mile 7 (viewing point 1). He was looking great:

Marathon Runners on a fall day

Does it look trashy? It’s supposed to look trashy. Marathon lit explained that runners are meant to throw their watercups to the ground rather than seek out a trashcan. You can’t handle the trashcan when you’ve got 26.2 miles ahead of you. That’s what volunteers are for.

Next, we met just before Lake Nokomis (viewing point 2) where Tom decided to remove his gloves:

marathon runners on a fall day

We saw each other again as Tom came off Lake Nokomis (viewing point 3). I have not included a second picture, because you can imagine for yourself all of the people in the picture above, still miraculously on pace and running together–only they have their backs turned toward you and they are running away from rather than to the lake.

I missed Tom on the West River Parkway (viewing point 4), which is, by the way, a lovely spot to watch the marathon. My tardiness was due to a coffee stop at the Caribou on Lake Nokomis Ed kindly mentioned in his spectator’s guide. I don’t even like Caribou, but it was there, I had a coupon, and I had my mug with me for the purpose.

West River Parkway from above at the Twin Cities Marathon

Once I figured I’d missed Tom, I trotted over to the other side of the Lake Street Bridge where I caught Tom on the East River Parkway (viewing point 5), still going strong. Here he is envisioning himself crossing the finish line:

running a marathon

If you’re following along with the spectator’s guide, you’d realize this was the last time I saw Tom before I raced to the finish line (viewing point 6) in my Volkswagen Golf to watch him run up and down to the Capitol in St. Paul.

Just after crossing the finish line (you can watch a video of the very moment with the “results feature” here), I caught up with Tom and was able to hand him the phone so he could speak to his mom and dad and confirm that he was still in fact breathing:

the marathon finish line

And that was the 2010 Twin Cities Marathon, just nine days after we were married, and one day before Tom turned twenty-six.

at the capitol after the marathon


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4 comments on “Tom’s Marathon”

  1. Ed Kohler 25 October, 2010 at 10:33 am

    It’s great to hear that you found the spectating guide useful.

    Congrats to Tom on finishing the marathon.

  2. Amy 25 October, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Martha! I love it! thank you sososososo much for that history! How revealing to see it for ourselves–thank you!

  3. Linda 25 October, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Fun to read and great photos.

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