The Marine Corps Marathon

I usually tell people that there are 3 kinds of marathons (perhaps a bit oversimplified).  First, there are the runDisney races where you run through the various theme parks at Disneyland and DisneyWorld.  Those races are extremely popular with runners who love anything Disney and will even run dressed up as Disney characters. When I ran the Disneyland Half Marathon a few years ago, I was passed by a group of about six runners who were all dressed as characters from Alice in Wonderland.  Running a Disney race also gives runners an excuse to make it a mini vacation and enjoy the parks.

Next there are the Rock ’n’ Roll races.  Those races are known for having live bands along the course and post-race concerts.  After the Rock ’n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon, I saw INXS perform at the post-race concert on the beach.  My husband enjoyed the Cheap Trick concert when I ran the Rock ’n’ Roll race in Las Vegas.

Finally there are stand-alone races that aren’t associated with any big race series.  Some of them are small but all of them have a unique charm because of their location, theme or something else.  I have picked a lot of these for my 50 state endurance challenge races.  They are perfect for a “funatical runner”.   I would put Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota in that category.  I loved that race and hope to run it again some day.

There is one race that stands separate from all of these.  That is the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM).  There is something very special about that race.  That one I tell people is like going to church.

The MCM is often called the “People’s Marathon” because there is no prize money for the winner.  With no prize money, none of the elite (professional) runners compete.   You don’t need to qualify to run the MCM either.   The race attracts all sorts of runners including enlisted men and women, seasoned runners, first time marathoner, and even celebrities (probably the most famous being Oprah Winfrey).  The 40th MCM was held this past weekend and I ran the race with my running spouse, Rich.  It was my third MCM and Rich’s fifth.  It was as special this time as it was the first.

I remember very well the first time that I ran the MCM.  It was a tough race.  The day before it had snowed but they made certain that the course was safe and clear of snow and ice.  I was amazed at the number of Marines along the course, handing out water, holding flags, cheering the runners.  There were more spectators than any race I had ever done.  There were very few places where there weren’t any cheering people.

After I crossed the finish line that first time, I stopped to rest and started crying.  A tall handsome Marine came over and asked me if I was ok.  I nodded.  He asked me if it was my first marathon.  Through my tears, I said “no, but it is the first time that people will think that I have run one.”  Everyone knew the MCM and would ask if I had run it.  I had previously run 4 marathons but for some reason they didn’t count to them.  Perhaps it was because the races had Disney or Rock ’n’ Roll in their names.   In their eyes, I would finally be a marathoner.

When I ran the MCM with Rich two years ago, I realized why I thought this race was so special.  It hit me right between Miles 6 and 7.  I was running with Rich when I looked up at the young woman runner (probably in her 20s) in front of me.  On the back of her shirt was a photo of a soldier with the words “My Husband/My Angel” and dates of his birth and death.  I stopped running and started to cry.  Rich asked me what was wrong and I pointed to her shirt.  This was a common sight among the runners with a fallen serviceman (or woman) remembered on their shirts.

The Face of the Fallen along the Blue Mile

The Face of the Fallen along the Blue Mile

This year I was doing pretty well until we hit the Blue Mile at Mile 12.   This section of the course was where fallen service members were honored.  Along both sides of the course were “Faces of the Fallen” posters showing a service member in a photo – alone or with their families – with their name and their age when they died.  It was a sobering sight to see a poster of a soldier who died at 19 or Marine with his young sons who died at 33.   Towards the end of this section there were volunteers with flags standing on both sides of the course, cheering us on.  Each flag had a black ribbon with the name of a fallen military member.  A sign that I saw stated it best – we run to honor the service and sacrifice of the American military.

Sunday’s race was a tough one for both me and Rich.  I haven’t done much running since I ran the Berlin Marathon in September and got my PR.   Life got in the way of Rich’s training.  The longest he had run was 13 miles well over a month before the race.  Neither one of us was in peak condition for this one.  Rich’s wife made me promise that I would not let Rich run too fast.  It wasn’t a hard promise to make; I didn’t want to run this one too fast myself.

It was fun to be out there running with Rich again.  We settled back into our routine – yes, someone asked me if I was his wife.  He wasn’t too embarrassed when I stopped to pick up coins that I found on the road as we ran, including the one pressed into the asphalt that I couldn’t get up.  But this time we didn’t argue in the middle of the 14th Street Bridge.  When he said he had to slow down for the last 5 miles, I decided to keep plugging along.  Although my ankle was bothering me (the one I twisted in Berlin), I wanted to be done with the race.  As it turned out, I only finished about 10 minutes ahead of him.

Second best sight that I saw (the finish line was the best)

Second best sight that I saw (the finish line was the best)

A lot of runners cry when they finish a marathon, especially first timers.  I never cried when I finished my first marathon but I have cried every time that I crossed the finish line of the MCM.  There is just something about that race that gets me every time.  At the end of the race, Marines stood on either side of the finishers’ chute and thanked us for running. I shook the hands of every one of them and thanked them for what they do. I pray next year that these bright strong young people won’t be a name on the back of someone’s shirt or on a poster along the Blue Mile.

Despite what might seem depressing to some, this is my favorite race. It is inspiring to see the wounded warriors with their hand cycles or running blades and cheer for them. And I am not alone. I passed a woman who was running AND talking on the cell phone. I heard her tell the person on the other end how special this race was and that they had to do it together next year (we weren’t even to mile 15 yet and she hadn’t even seen the medal!). The fourth largest marathon in the US but #1 in my book!

I found this YouTube video that shows the Blue Mile from the 2012 MCM.  It will give you an idea of what the Blue Mile looks like as the runners pass by.

There are lots of different bands along a marathon race course but my favorite will always be the Batala Washington DC group.  These women drummers are incredible.  Here is a video from their 2012 performance at the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

I also found this interesting video that explains a bit more about the Batala group:

Down on the Boardwalk

This past weekend I headed to Atlantic City, New Jersey to run the AmeriHealth NJ Atlantic City Half Marathon.  When I left home, my only objective was finishing the half marathon and checking New Jersey off my list (State #23 for those of you playing along at home).  But when I got there, I realized that I wasn’t just running a race.  I was going to be running through the Monopoly board, only they weren’t going to be giving me $200 to pass Go.

After picking up my bib, I started wandering around.  I found a city with a rich history and beautiful old buildings that were overshadowed by the glitzy casinos, cheap souvenir stores, and carnival games along the Boardwalk.  I shudder to think of the buildings that were torn down to make room for the huge casinos.  There were probably some real architectural gems lost.Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 8.17.54 PM

I stopped in the Atlantic City Historical Museum, a small but very interesting museum.  I learned that Atlantic City can be credited, among other things, for the first boardwalk, the first paid life guards, the first picture post cards, and the invention of salt water taffy.  In the 1930s Atlantic City had exhibitions of boxing cats, a kangaroo that boxed men daring enough to step up to the challenge, and a horse that dove off a 40-foot high tower.  The golf term “birdie” was even coined at the Country Club in Atlantic City.  The decline of Atlantic City started with the advent of home air conditioning and backyard pools, and the affordability of air travel.

My hotel had a big display of Miss America memorabilia including gowns, tiaras, a statue of Bert Parks, and, my favorite, a display of shoes in the bar aptly named the Shoe Bar.  The shoes were worn by various Miss America contestants in the Miss America parade along the Boardwalk.  The parade is never televised but is very popular with the locals.  The contestants get to be creative with their shoe designs which can be “elegant, historic, humorous, or fashionable”.  During the Miss America parade, spectators shout “Show me your shoes!”  I didn’t see many shoes that you could actually walk in.

Yes, that is a shoe with dice and cards on the toe as worn by Miss Nevada

Yes, that is a shoe with dice and cards on the toe as worn by Miss Nevada

Lucy the Elephant in Margate, NJ

Lucy the Elephant in Margate, NJ

The full marathon course would be passing a 6-story high elephant built in 1881 called “Lucy”.  Since I was only running the half marathon, I wouldn’t get to see Lucy.  On Saturday I drove down to Margate to check out this elephant.  Lucy is a National Historic Landmark and probably the first roadside attraction.  You can take a tour of the inside of Lucy but I decided that a photo from the outside was sufficient for me.

Driving around Atlantic City, I saw many of the streets that I remembered seeing on the Monopoly board – Ventnor, Baltic, Atlantic, Pacific, New York, Park Place, and of course, Boardwalk.  Only two streets from the original board game no longer exist – St Charles Place that was torn up to make way for the Showboat Casino and Illinois Avenue that was renamed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Boulevard.

I kept thinking about playing Monopoly as a kid.   It was a popular game on rainy summer days when we couldn’t head to the pool.  My favorite tokens were the top hat and the iron.  At one point, when my husband and I traveled, we decided to buy a Monopoly game from each foreign country we visited.  The UK version was pretty cool with properties based on places in London.  Then we picked one up in Germany.  We couldn’t read enough German to understand the Community Chest and Chance cards when we played that version.  I think that was when we quit buying Monopoly games and switched to buying small watercolor paintings of places we visited; they took up less room in the suitcase too.

Monopoly game boards (L to R) - the original, UK edition, and German edition

Monopoly game boards (L to R) – original, UK edition, and German edition

It was unseasonably cool on Sunday for the race.  I could see the wind turbines turning from my hotel window.  They were the first clue to the winds we were going to encounter during the race.  We had headwinds regardless of which direction we were running.

The race was the perfect size for me – about 2,100 runners between the full and half marathons – not too big, not too small.  The course started on the Boardwalk but quickly veered off to run through the streets of Atlantic City.  There was not much entertainment or cheering crowds along the course for the first half or so.  We headed back onto the Boardwalk at Mile 8 where we ran the remainder of the race.  The Boardwalk was not closed to other people so we were running through groups of tourists and people on bicycles.

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The race medal featuring the Absecon Lighthouse – the light even blinks!

It occurred to me later that we had run on almost every kind of surface: asphalt, concrete, and over 5 miles on the Boardwalk.  This boardwalk was not as springy as the one I remember running on at Disney World.  But it still was much easier on the bones than concrete.

When I came back from New Jersey, I decided that I wanted to know more about the history of the Monopoly game.  I found an interesting article about how Atlantic City has changed since the game was introduced in 1935.   I also learned that during World War 2, Monopoly games were distributed by fake charity groups to POWs held by the Germans.  Hidden inside the games were maps, compasses, real money and other objects that they would need for escaping.  None of these special editions survived the war and it wasn’t until 1990 that the existence of these games was made public.

Next stop on my “Running the USA” tour:  Savannah, Georgia!

MO’Cowbell Please

My goal is to run a half or full marathon in all 50 states.  So far I’ve completed 30 half or full marathons in 22 different states.   There have been races that are truly unique – like DisneyWorld races that run through the castle in the Magic Kingdom.  At times, though, it feels like I am running the same race just in a different place.  Not so with my most recent half marathon in St. Charles, Missouri.  The MO’ Cowbell Half Marathon was just, well, MO’ fun.

The inspiration for the race was the More Cowbell skit from Saturday Night Live (SNL) with Will Ferrell and Christopher Walken.  The skit portrays what the recording of the song “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult might have looked like.  Diehard SNL fans put this skit in their list of Top 10 favorites.  The race name is also a play on the postal abbreviation for Missouri – MO.  They came up with some creative uses of “MO” too.

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 2.02.20 PMI traveled to St. Charles and made my way to the ExMO’ (the race expo).  Each runner was given a cowbell with their bib.  We were told to bring our cowbells to the start line so we could ring our cowbells to “Don’t Fear the Reaper” before the race.  With approximately 5,000 runners entered in the full and half marathon, that would be a lot of cowbells.

Louis and Clark with Seaman, a Newfoundland that accompanied them on their expedition

Louis and Clark with Seaman, a Newfoundland that accompanied them on their expedition

I had some extra time before race day so I took time to see some of the local attractions.  I walked through St. Charles, the starting point for Louis and Clark’s expedition that ultimately ended at the Pacific Ocean.  The cobblestone streets are lined with historic old buildings that house shops and restaurants.  Next I headed over to Queeny Park in St. Louis to visit the Museum of the Dog.  The museum has the most impressive collection of dog art that I have ever seen including paintings, drawings, watercolors, bronzes and porcelain figures of all sorts of dog breeds.  I even got to meet the “Guest Dog of the Week”, a papillon with titles in breed and agility.

"Bob" by George Earl (1871)

“Bob” by George Earl (1871)

A life-sized Great Dane porcelain figure with the scariest eyes

A life-sized Great Dane porcelain figure

Sunday morning was race day.  It was cold when I headed down to the runner’s village.  As I huddled on a bench wearing a plastic bag to fend off the wind, I wished I had paid extra for access to the MO’VIP area.  They had heaters and private bathrooms.

The bag check was located next to the biggest cowbell I have ever seen.  You could ring the bell if you got a PR (personal record).  Before the race, I stood looking at that bell.  More than anything I wanted to be able to get a PR and have an opportunity to ring it.

Many runners were dressed in cow costumes or wearing cow-inspired running gear like spotted cow socks.  This was the 5th anniversary of the MO’Cowbell race and the race announcer mentioned there were a number of runners who had run all five years (known as MO’riginals).IMG_3074

The race kicked off on time.  I was disappointed that the pre-race tradition of runners ringing their cowbells to “Don’t Fear the Reaper” didn’t happen.  I think I only heard the song played briefly before the race started.  It wasn’t a big deal – I had left my cowbell back in my hotel room.

Although I had just run a full marathon the previous week in Berlin, with a twisted ankle no less, I was feeling strong as I headed out.  My brain was focused on getting a PR so I could ring that darn bell.  The first 4 miles or so of the course were asphalt and pretty easy.  Then we hit concrete roads.  I feel a noticeable difference when I run on concrete.  My body hurts more. I kept pushing myself though.  How cool would it be to get a PR in the half marathon just a week after getting a PR in the full marathon?

When I reached the halfway point of the half marathon, I could tell that I was slowing down.  Mile 10 was the MO’tivational Mile where there were cheering spectators to encourage the runners as they ran up a very long hill.  That hill took its toll on me.  Although the last mile or so of the course was back on asphalt, I was done.  I didn’t have anything left to keep up my pace for a PR.  I finished within 1 minute and 36 seconds of my half marathon PR – not too shabby and still my fastest half marathon this year.

A runner ringing the big bell at the end of the race

A runner ringing the big bell at the end of the race

I stopped to watch people at the big cowbell, disappointed because I didn’t get to ring it.  I later learned that anyone could have their picture taken ringing the bell.  But it wouldn’t be the same for me.  I only wanted to do it if I got a PR.

When I got back home and was updating my race records, I noticed that I have run a number of races this year with animal themes – the Kentucky Derby Mini-Marathon (horse), the Flying Pig Half Marathon (pig), and the MO’Cowbell Half Marathon (cow).  I just need a chicken-themed half marathon to round out my year of barnyard animal races.  Since I can’t find one, I entered a Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving.  Close enough.DSCN0687

In case you haven’t seen SNL’s More Cowbell skit, here is a link to the Hulu website where you can watch it.  

My Critical Running Gear

Most runners will tell you that their most important running gear is their running shoes.  Runners can get crazy when it comes to their shoes.  A Road Runner Sports sales clerk once told me when a shoe model is being retired by a shoe manufacturer, people who love that shoe will buy every pair in their size that they can find.  It is not unheard of for a customer to buy the last 10 pairs of their favorite shoe if it is being discontinued.  Seems a bit obsessive compulsive to me.  I think the most pairs of shoes that I ever stockpiled was 2 pairs.

My yellow scarf

My yellow scarf

Besides my shoes, the most critical piece of running gear for me is a yellow scarf.   I got the scarf from my friend Marnie.  In 2007 I ran my first marathon with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Team in Training to show support for Marnie when she was going through chemo for lymphoma.  I asked her to give me something of hers to carry with me during the race.  I was running for her and I wanted to have her along for the ride.  Marnie gave me one of the bandanas that she wore during her chemo.  She wore her “do-rags” instead of a wig.  I tied it to my fuel belt and carried it the whole race.  Since then, that scarf has gone with me on most training runs and to the start line of every race I’ve run except one (I forgot to pack it).  It makes me think of her and why I started running in the first place.

When I was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis in 2011, I knew I had to control my core body temperature when I ran in the heat.  Heat makes my TM symptoms flare up.  For runs in hot weather I wrap ice cubes in the scarf and put it in the freezer the night before.  The scarf is nice and cold when I head out – perfect for keeping me cool.

A couple years ago I completed the Rim-to-Rim in the Grand Canyon.  I ran a lot of trails during my training.  During one of my trail runs, I realized I had dropped my scarf.  I panicked.  I turned back to go find it.  That scarf had become very important to me.  I couldn’t imagine running in the heat of the Grand Canyon without it.  I was relieved when two miles back I saw a yellow spot on the trail.  My scarf.  I was so happy to be reunited with it.

I had my scarf with me in Berlin for the marathon.  I filled it with ice and popped it into a ziplock bag before I left the hotel.  It was crazy in the runners village and gear check areas – huge crowds and lots of noise.  When I found the drop off for my gear bag, I was juggling a bunch of things – my hat, my fuel belt, my gear bag, the ziplock with my scarf, my sunglasses.   I still debating whether to wear a singlet in the race or change into the short sleeve shirt I had in my bag.  I finally settled on the singlet.   It was chilly so I was wearing a plastic trash bag as a long skirt to keep my legs warm.  At the bag check, I took off my jacket, stuffed it into my bag then checked it.  I tossed my “plastic skirt” in a trash bin then headed off to my corral.

At the control point for the corral, I realized that I didn’t have the ziplock bag with my yellow scarf.  My heart sank.  I couldn’t believe that I’d have to run the race without my scarf.   Throughout the race, I hoped that the scarf had accidentally been dropped into my gear bag when I took off my jacket, that it would be waiting, a soggy mess, in the bottom of my gear bag.

When I reclaimed my bag, I tore it open, looking for my scarf.  But it was gone.  The first thing I told my husband when we met back at the hotel after the race was that I had lost my scarf.  He knew immediately what that scarf meant to me.  Losing it cast a shadow over my joy of a new PR.

I think that my yellow scarf had come to represent my confidence in running.  Maybe I had some sub-conscious idea that, without it, I couldn’t do well – like Samson without his hair.  It gave me strength.  It was a connection to Marnie and why I started running in the first place.   The scarf was something that helped Marnie through her chemo and it had become something important in keeping me running.  And running is keeping me healthy.

I am trying to decide what I will do now to keep cool when I run.  I can’t get another scarf from Marnie.  She got rid of her old “do-rags” when she moved last year.  Maybe I will keep using my homemade tube-sock arm warmers.  Whatever I come up with, it won’t have the same connection to Marnie.  That yellow scarf was special.

PowerFrau

When I was little, my mother use to tell me “the best things in life are worth waiting for.”  I think it was her way of helping me deal with disappointments in life.  Those words came back to me  last Sunday when I finished the Berlin Marathon.  It was delayed a year but my trip, my race were incredible and worth the wait.

In 2014 I planned to run this race with the goal of completing it under 5 hours.  When my broken arm forced a race delay, I decided to run the race this year but forget about the time goal.  I was going to run this one just for the adventure.  Honestly, in the back of my mind, I never entirely let go of that goal.

If there was any place where I could get a sub-5 hour marathon, it would be in Berlin.  The last six world records for the men’s marathon have been set at the Berlin Marathon, most recently in 2014 when Dennis Kimetto finished in 2:02:57.  Berlin offers the ideal conditions for a marathon.  The course is about as flat as you can get.  Temperatures on race day are typically between 53 – 64 degrees with very little wind –      perfect for marathoners, especially ones like me with Transverse Myelitis.  Except for  the cobblestones around the Brandenburg Gate, the course is asphalt so not as painful on the joints.

The Expo was held at the old Tempelhof Airport.  It was probably one of the most lively Expos I have ever seen – lots of people, loud music, and vendors for everything a runner could ever dream of wanting.  One thing that surprised me was a Mizuno booth where you could buy running shoes and have them personalized.  I have never seen that in the US. IMG_2737

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In case you were looking for him, Waldo was running the International Breakfast Run

In addition to the marathon, there were several other events during the weekend.  I ran in the International 6K Breakfast Run on Saturday morning.  The run was a great way to deal with my pre-race nerves as well as get an idea of what the weather would be like for the marathon.  There was no registration for this race but they estimated that 10,000 runners took part.  Runners were encouraged to wear colors or costumes reflective of their native country or city.  Some of them got pretty crazy.  I saw a guy running in a Waldo costume (as in Where’s Waldo?).  There was a group from Sweden that was cheering as they ran through the streets.  If the Summer Olympics had a fun run, it would look like this.  The run started at Charlottenburg Palace and ended on the track inside the Olympic Stadium where Jesse Owens won four gold medals in the 1936 Olympics.

When I headed out for the pasta dinner on Saturday, I saw the tail end of the Inline Skating Marathon.  Over 5,500 skaters raced on the same marathon course I was running the next day.  Those skaters were really flying too.  The winner finished the skating marathon in 56 minutes.

There were lots of events for kids on Saturday.  They held the Bambini 500 meter/1000 meter races for kids aged 10 and under on the tarmac of Tempelhof Airport.  Over 1,500 kids were entered in those.  Over 10,000 grammar school and elementary school kids ran in the Mini-marathon whose course followed the last 4.2K of the marathon course.  For budding inline skaters, there was a kids (aged 6-13) version of the Inline Skating event but with distances of between 500 and 3000 meters (based on age and skill level).  Nobody can say the kids in Germany aren’t moving enough!

But the weekend was all about Sunday and the marathon.  Over 41,000 runners from 127 nations were entered.  We were packed in our corral like sardines.  Everyone was happy and nervous.  I was chatting with all the runners around me as we waited for the start.  The race started at 9 AM but our corral didn’t get to cross the start line until 9:38.  IMG_2932

I like to do some sightseeing as I run a marathon but the course was so crowded, I had to pay attention to where I was running.  I didn’t want to trip over anything.  Unfortunately, around Mile 7, I twisted my ankle in a pothole.  I kept going, hoping it would work itself out.  It bothered me for the rest of the race.  I also didn’t spend time taking pictures because I was there for a reason.  I wanted a PR and stopping to take pictures wasn’t going to help me get it.

Water stops were interesting.  This was the first race I ran where they used plastic cups for the water and sports drinks.  With the number of runners in the race, you can imagine how many cups were all over the road.  It was tough to run through them – runners were kicking them all over the place and the cups were slippery.

There was a sponge in the goody bag that runners received at the Expo with their bib.  The sponge was intended for cooling off during the race.  There were tubs of water at some water stops to dip the sponge in.  I didn’t see many runners with their sponges.  I didn’t carry mine so I used my homemade tube sock arm warmers to cool off.

The Berlin Marathon is one of the six World Major Marathons.  I have this notion that a major marathon is suppose to be more serious.  I don’t expect to see people dressed in costumes, for example.  But there were a few that caught my eye.  I saw a guy running dressed as a bottle of Erdinger alcohol-free beer, another dressed as a wurst (a German sausage), and another dressed as a Minion.   I tried to beat the beer bottle guy but he pulled ahead of me at Mile 20 and I couldn’t catch him.  I am pretty sure the wurst guy finished ahead of me too.

Along the course there was lots of entertainment and cheering crowds.  The atmosphere helped to keep my adrenaline flowing.  Despite the nagging pain in my ankle, I just kept running.  I felt relaxed and strong.  It was thrilling to run through the Brandenburg Gate to the finish line.  The crowds there were huge.  The grandstands were free to anyone who wanted to use them and they were packed with cheering people.  When I stopped my Garmin after crossing the finish line, it flashed “New Personal Record Marathon” and showed my time. I had finished in 4 hours and 50 minutes.

Probably the most startling thing that I saw after the race was a woman runner sitting on the ground, wrapped in her space blanket and wearing her finishers medal.  She was smoking a cigarette.  I was amazed.  I have never seen a runner who smokes.

They had showers and free massages for runners at the end of the race but I just wanted to get back to my hotel.  It was a long walk and my ankle was sore.  I took a shower, put on my Lily Trotter compression socks and elevated my ankle. (In case you are wondering, the next day my ankle was fine.)

The Berlin Marathon was everything that I hoped it would be and more.  Yes, Mom was right again.  The best things in life are worth waiting for.  It took me two years but I got there and earned the PR that I wanted.

At one point in the race, I saw a woman running ahead of me wearing a shirt that said “PowerFrau”.  It translates to SuperWoman.  Thinking about how I did – running with a twisted ankle in sub-5 hours – I’d say that I am a PowerFrau too.IMG_2936