Monday, March 3, 2014

Little Rock Marathon Epic!

26.2 miles 2:44:58 9th overall 1st master!
8:00 am) low 50's and dropping with wind.
Well this event lived up to the hype. It was EPIC! The weather was bad and only got
worse as the day went on. It was a light rain at the start. The rain was never a big
issue for me, thank goodness. The heavy rains started just after I finished. However,
it was windy and the temps were dropping.
I had a goal going into this race of sub 2:40 and top master. My goal of sub 2:40
quickly went out the window. I had a hard time getting low 6 minute pace from the
get go. I did run smart and even found a familiar face to run with. Roy was shooting
for 2:40 as well so we stayed together until about mile 23. He ended up in 8th place.
I hit the half way point at 1:22:20. I still felt great so I thought maybe a negative
split for the second half was possible. I didn't quite do that but pretty even pacing.
I never knew exactly what place I was in or if any masters were ahead of me. As I
look back at the results, I see I was 3rd master at the half way point. At mile 20,
I was second master and ended first master. I'm thrilled to get the master win.
I have done the race the past 2 years and have finished 3rd master and second master.
I figured I had to win this year with those stats right? Well it worked out perfectly.
So afterwards, we went back to the hotel to clean up and pack up. We had to check out
at 2:00. Our flight was not till 6:40. So we would be sitting at the airport for
hours. Well we finally boarded the plane only to hear a announcement over the loud
speaker that the engine is not firing. No big deal they will jump start the plane.
Well by the time they jump start the plane the rain that has been falling has
turned to sleet and ice pellets. Captain now says we will de-ice the plane and
head out. Okay no big deal better safe than sorry. Well after many minutes waiting
for this process the captain comes back where we're sitting and looks out the little
windows to peak at the wings. He goes back to the cockpit and makes another
announcement that he was not happy with the de-icing attempt this crew made. He
announces he has contacted another vendor to come and do the job. Meanwhile we
deboarded the plane for the second time so we could get food. Well not sure what
happened next but the captain announces he is cancelling the flight. At this point
it's late and we are the only ones left in the airport. The agents announce they
will offer vouchers to a hotel. We wait for a long time in a line to get this
voucher only to hear we are being kicked out of the secure area. So now you have
hundred plus people running downstairs to get yet in line again. We get down
there and now our even further back in line. The agents take forever issuing these
vouchers and printing new boarding passes. Like 10 minutes per person. At this
point it's well after midnight. We finally get our voucher and hear the shuttle bus
is coming soon. We don't want to miss it at this point so we stand in yet another
line outside in the elements waiting for it. After at least 20 more minutes one of
the persons in line calls the hotel. The hotel says sorry the shuttle bus driver
is not coming back. Road are too dangerous. So back inside airport. Regroup get
in the line again. We talk to the agents and they were like you're on your own to
get to the hotel. At this point no cabs are running and it's a ghost town. So at
this point my girlfriend and a few others come up with a plan. The next vehicle
that comes through going to any hotel, we will hijack it. We won't tell them that
we aren't going to their hotel till we leave the airport. We're desperate at this
point as it's after 1:00 am. We explain to the driver we're not going to the Comfort
Inn and what we had done. We say we're sorry and we have cash. He takes it well
and drives us to our hotel. We finally made it. Ready to check in the guy at
the counter says sorry I'm doing a audit and can't check you in for 45 minutes.
We are all about to die at this point. We talk him into helping us sooner. He
stops his audit so he can use his computer to look up rooms for us. He says
I can get you rooms but not guarantee they are empty as the system was not
running at this time. We will take our chances we say. We finally get to our room
and luckly no one was occupying it. Finally a break. So today we got on the
shuttle bus to take us back to the airport. We were worried they wouldn't
take us back with the 2" of ice on the roads and no snow plows in sight.
We made it back and that was a huge relief. Went through security again. Our
new flight was scheduled for 11:00 departure. What could go wrong? Well, plenty.
The flight crew was not even around just minutes before 11:00. They finally show
up around 11:00. They start de-icing the plane again since it's been sitting
at the terminal all night. Now we have new problems the heater broke down over
night and pipes were frozen. They have to now get a huge generator and hook
it up to the plane to warm it back up. So we finally get the okay to board the
plane at 12:45. Now we are all sitting on the plane excited to get going. We
sit for 45 minutes waiting for yet another de-icing attempt. The truck finally
shows up and does it's job. This takes like another hour. We finally take
off after 2:00. More than 3 hours later than scheduled. The flight back to
Denver was smooth. So exhausted from this experience. So yes it was epic to
say nonetheless.


GZ said...

Sounds like that Masters win cost you big time! ;)

Congrats on a helluva race man. Impressive.

Brad Poppele said...

Thanks GZ! I appreciate that. Yes it cost me 2 days of work but totally worth it:)

HappyTrails said...

Awesome work Brad - congratulations on a great race!!

Craig Hilton said...

Well done Brad. Congrats on the results.

Brad Poppele said...

Thanks Steve and Craig! It was epic!

Tammy said...

Congrats Brad....awesome!!