On March 9, 2013, Mike and Susan participated in their second McGuire’s 5k. This year almost 17,000 people registered. That was not counting all of the Marines that also ran in the event. Mike and Susan just walked the route with their friends. They actually came in last place. To the right is a photograph of Mike and Susan right before the race. Click on the photograph to view the entire gallery.
On February 16, 2013, Mike ran his fifth marathon. Mike met his friends, Bill, Melanie and Shannon in Myrtle Beach. On Friday night, everyone had dinner at Mike’s condo, which was right on the Atlantic Ocean. The next morning (Saturday) was the marathon. Mike, Bill and Melanie ran the full marathon. Shannon and one of Bill’s friend ran the half marathon. The weather was great for a marathon. Slightly windy with temps between the high 40s and the low 50s. Mike was able to set a new personal record of 3:49:48. That was almost five minutes faster than his previous best time, which was set at Disney. Bill, Melanie and Shannon also did well. All finished with respective times in their respective age group. Here is a photograph right before the race.
Before the race we researched silly signs for Susan to hold. We found a sign that said “Nipple chafing turns me on.” We knew that would be hilarious for the runners and spectators. Susan received a lot of compliments, even from the police at the race. Here is a photograph of Susan holding the sign on the course.
After the marathon we all met at a Thai Restaurant to refuel. After eating everyone went to the Beach Bar, which was by Mike’s condo. To top off the evening, it started snowing in Myrtle Beach! To the right is all of us right before we ate.
We had a real nice time. Mike’s mom helped out a great deal. She booked the condo for Mike and Susan. Mike’s mom also cared for Brian and Aaron while they were away for the weekend.
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During the first weekend of January 2012, Mike completed the Goofy Challenge. The challenge consists of running a half marathon (13.1 miles) on Saturday, and then completing a marathon (26.2 miles) on Sunday. Susan and the boys took a couple of days off of school and traveled down to Orlando with Mike. Also, Mike’s friend from the Army, Bill Kendall and his wife, Melanie, flew in from Maine to run in the marathon with Mike. On Friday, everyone visited the expo to pickup the running packets. The expo was held in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. It was very crowded, but well organized. On Friday evening everyone relaxed at the resort pool, which was heated. Mike’s mom was kind enough to set everyone up in an upscale condo for the weekend.
On Saturday morning, Mike and his family departed the condo about 3:45 in the morning. Traffic was very heavy. Mike barely made it to his starting corral for the 5:35am start. Susan and the boys were able to see Mike at the start and at the finish line. Mike ran through Epcot and Magic Kingdom during the half marathon. Mike held back during the half marathon to reserve energy for the following day. Mike finished the half marathon in 1 hour, 55 minutes. After the half marathon, Mike’s thighs were a bit sore. Mike rested Saturday evening while carb loading. Sunday we decided to leave a little bit earlier. This time, Mike made it to his corral with plenty of time to spare. Mike, Bill and Melanie all started the race together. They ran almost the first mile together. Mike never saw Melanie again on the course. Mike saw Bill at a turnaround, near mile 21. The marathon course took Mike through Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and MGM Studios. Mike had thigh discomfort the entire marathon. He finished the marathon in 3 hours and 54 minutes, which was a new personal record for Mike.
Mike enjoyed completing the Goofy Challenge. After doing it once though, he has no desire to do it again. The course support was very good. Disney did a superb job of distracting runners from the pain of running 26 miles. Mike’s favorite sight was when he first entered Animal Kingdom. Several Disney employees lined the roadway with various animals. Birds, an owl, a lamb and a pig watched as crazy humans ran by them for hours. The photograph on the right was taken right before the full marathon. The photograph on the left is of Mike finishing the full marathon.
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On October 2, 2011, Mike ran his second marathon. The marathon was at Portland, Maine. Mike’s friend, Bill Kendall, and his wife, Melanie, ran the marathon with Mike. This was Bill and Melanie’s first marathon. The marathon was smaller than the New Orleans Marathon that Mike ran in March. This marathon sold out at 3,500 runners. The weather did not cooperate. It rained the entire run. Mike finished in four hours and 11 seconds. Mike had a goal of finishing before four hours. Mike shaved off 33 minutes from his previous marathon. Bill finished in four hours and three minutes and Melanie finished in four hours and 20 minutes. All three were very happy with their finishing times. Mike and Bill might race again in January at the Disney Marathon in Orlando, FL. The photograph on the right is of the three runners right before departing for the race.
Mike and Susan flew to Maine alone. The boys stayed in Pensacola under the watchful eye of their grandmother. Before leaving Maine, Bill and Melanie took Mike and Susan to the Portland Head Light. Portland Head Light is a famous lighthouse at Cape Elizabeth. The photograph on the left is Mike and Susan near the lighthouse at Portland Head Light. Click on one of the photographs to view the entire gallery of images.
On April 10, 2011, Mike ran in the Golf Coast Half Marathon. The race was held on Pensacola Beach. Four of Mike’s coworkers ran in the race with him. The weather was far from optimal running conditions. The temperature at the start was about 71 degrees, it was humid and it was foggy. Several people collapsed during the race. Mike watched one female collapse about mile 11. After the race, Mike got dizzy and was scared he was going to pass out too. Mike finished the race in 1:56:29. To the right is a photograph of Mike and his friends before the race. Check out the fog in the background. Click on the photograph to view the gallery.
On February 13, 2011, Mike ran his first marathon (26.2 miles). Mike chose the Mardi Gras Marathon to be his first marathon. The marathon was held in New Orleans, LA, where Mike’s mom lives. Mike was able to con his mom into running the half marathon (13.1 miles). Mike and Susan stayed in a historic hotel, the Le Pavilion, near the French Quarter. The hotel was very nice. Mike and Susan’s niece, Nicole, drove from Montgomery to cheer Mike on. This was Nicole’s first time in New Orleans. Susan took some time on Saturday to show her around the French Quarter.
This was the largest run Michael ever participated in. Mike was amazed at the expo. Mike’s mom got a gait analysis for the first time. She learned she was wearing the wrong type shoe. Brian and Aaron enjoyed playing the games at the expo. Both of the boys won Brooks pillow shoes and medals. The lower photograph is Brian and Aaron at the expo with some of their winnings.
The morning of the run, Mike walked to the start line from the hotel. UPS trucks took care of the gear check. Mike was in corral eight. Mike’s mom was in corral 22. Mike streamed his run via Runkeeper. Two of Mike’s friends and Susan watched Mike’s progress on the Internet. Mike was able to see Susan, Nicole, Brian and Aaron at the start, half way point and the finish line. At mile 15 Mike hit the dreaded wall and started to slow from his 8:30 pace. At mile 23, Mike’s calves cramped and he was unable to run for long periods. Mike alternated between walking and running during miles 23 through 25. At mile 25 Mike was able to pick up a slow pace all the way to the finish line. Mike finished in 4 hours and 33 minutes. Mike hoped to complete the marathon in 4 hours or less. Mike’s mom had knee pain around mile 3. She completed the half marathon in 3 hours 23 minutes. Mike’s mom actually completed seven minutes earlier than she estimated she would.
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On 02/11/12, Mike and Aaron ran in the Mardi Gras 5k fun run. The run benefited the Special Olympics. Mike decided to dress in Mardi Gras attire for the run. The run was unique as the route was entirely on a golf course. During the route, you looped some areas three times, which became confusing at times. In fact, Mike thought he was finished when he still had about a quarter of a mile to go. Mike ended up finishing fourth overall. He received a trophy and a gift certificate for a restaurant. Aaron ran pretty fast as well. In fact, near the end he passed his former P.E. teacher! Susan and Forrest cheered on the runners. Forrest wasn’t sure what to do with all of the attention. Click on the photograph to view the entire gallery.
On March 29, 2010, Mike participated in the Special Olympic’s Law Enforcement Torch Run. The run is a benefit for the Special Olympics. The Torch is carried across the country. Mike’s department carried the torch from the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office to the Pensacola Bay. We stopped at the Police Headquarters for a brief period. At Pensacola Bay, the torch was handed over to Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. FWC carried the torch to Gulf Breeze by boat. Mike ran about 3 miles all together. Here is a photograph of Mike running next to two of his coworkers. Click on the photograph to view the entire gallery.