Indy Monumental: running and watching

It was a crisp, clear morning today — perfect for running a marathon, and for watching one too.

So I did a little of each.

This was the running of the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. It’s a scenic race that takes the first Saturday of November, running through a bunch of pretty neighborhoods on the north and west sides. It also takes in scads of downtown landmarks, including the Colts Stadium, Monument Circle and the Statehouse.

With my leg problem, I’m still not up to super-long distances. But I was up for a one-hour run. And Kayleah, my road pimp, was running the marathon and was in the mood for some company. (Her usual training partner had the flu.)

So I decided to jump in and run with Kayleah for a little while.

That took a little planning. A few days ago, I looked at the course map. After a few minutes, I saw a perfect spot. I could wait for Kayleah near a water stop at 46th and Washington, just past mile marker 10. Then we could run a six mile loop together, which would drop me off just a block away from my starting point, at 46th and Meridian. And that’s what I did.

The race started at 8 a.m. downtown, so I knew I should get to my waiting point by 9 or so, figuring Kayleah would come by within 10 or 15 minutes, near the 3:50 pace group.

So I had fun watching runners go by for a little while. First, the greyhounds:

Then the midpackers. Here comes the 3:30 group.

Then I saw Kayleah come by, near the 3:50 pace group.

I jumped in, and asked how she felt. She had been on her feet for nearly 90 minutes. She said she felt fine.

So we gabbed and gabbed. Meanwhile, I was done looking at the front of runners. Now I was looking at the back of runners.

Here’s Miss Pink Socks and Mister Orange Coat.

And of course, this is a Real Man.

And I think I could make a wild guess what company this guy works for.

The miles passed quickly — at least for me. I was doing a short run. But Kayleah and the others were starting to crank up double digits.

I started a few conversations with nearby runners. This guy is Chris, from Pickerington, Ohio. He has run more than 100 marathons. He said today’s was his 16th this year.

The guy in the middle of this shot is Brian. He recently ran the Comrades Marathon in South Africa. (Kayleah is on the left, and Miss Pink Socks is on the right.)

Before I knew it, I could see my exit point coming up: 46th and Meridian, near the Governor’s Mansion.

I jumped up on the sidewalk, helped Kayleah with a few quick stretches, snapped a photo, and wished her well. My time was about 52 minutes for just under six miles.

And right behind was the 3:50 group, which hopefully would take Kayleah right to the finish line.

Later, I looked up the results and saw he finished in 3:54. So she did just fine.

Happy marathoning, Indy. I hope to run the entire race with you next year.

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One Response to “Indy Monumental: running and watching”

  1. Nice photos! Here’s my photo story of the 26.2 though I finished even later than Kayleah:
    http://runningscientist.blogspot.com/2010/11/262-photos-of-cold-monumental-marathon.html
    Cheers!

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