One would think that living in a desert country, and driving farther INTO the desert (Marrakesh), you wouldn't expect to encounter rain and cold temps when running a half-marathon on January 30th. Well, one would be wrong apparently. Because that's exactly what we had...rain and cold temps. Most would probably say "Oh, but that's great running weather." Maybe it is, but I hate to be cold. And especially hate to be cold and wet.
Looking down into a reflecting pool
I was lucky enough to ride to Marrakesh with my training partners Sherry, Amy, and Younes (who is Amy's boyfriend and has a vehicle!), along with coworker Allison who decided to run the full marathon while we were smart enough to opt out at half. We managed to find our riad in the medina of Marrakesh despite the fact that we left the directions here in Casa. Turns out if you pay a man hanging around the square 30dirhams, he will escort you there. :) The riad was just a door in the middle of seemingly nowhere, and opened up to a cozy little place for us to hang our hat for the night.
Doorway to the 'suite'. We got to look inside. :)
Looking into the little bathroom area of our room
Our room just had two single beds, and a small 'not-so-private' bathroom area. But it was cute. They even had breakfast ready for us early before the race and had a cozy fire going in the fireplace Friday night when we arrived after walking back from dinner in the rain. It was a lovely way to wind down for the evening.
Race morning arrived, and the sound of rain persisted. To give you any indication of how chilly it was, I could see my breath when we got outside. But, as we walked to the start, the rain tapered off and we warmed up a bit - or as much as we were going to. I 'represented' my homeland, donning a KC Royals hat and my favorite Liberty softball t-shirt. I'm sure the Moroccans were impressed with my fashion choices. Ha!
In true Moroccan fashion, the race that was scheduled to start at 8:30, began at about 8:45. Thus, I ran. And ran. And ran some more. We passed the person running in a full on easter bunny costume (no joke) and then I was passed by a dude wearing spandex with his name on the butt...Goooo Eric! HaHa. After much running, some very tight calves, and a cramp in my right butt cheek that resulted in an attempted stretch break, the '20K' sign appeared, meaning one kilometer (less than a mile) to go. It seemed like forever, but eventually, the finish line was there, and I sprintedpushed plodded through it 2 hours and 14 minutes after I started. I didn't necessarily have a 'goal time', but in my mind had hoped to be under 2:15. So I guess I accomplished what I set out to do. And no, I have no desire to do a full marathon. Ever.
Drenched in sweat from head to toe...but look at that medal!! :)