I've decided to write a race report from my recent marathon in St. Charles, MO. This was my first attempt at a marathon distance and I was successful in going the distance!!!!

The weather was perfect for a race, low 50's, humidity was in the mid-60's I think, and the wind was light, never getting above 10 mph, plus it was cloudy or partly cloudy for most of the race.

The firt 13 miles passed so quickly, there were around 5,300 runners on the course for the first half and about 4,500 of those left us at the half-marathon point. Somewhere around mile 2 or 3 I realized I was running pain free for the first time since before April. I've gone thru shin splints first in the left leg then the right, ankle soreness, black toenails. But today was painfree, as a result of a good taper I like to think.

After the half way point the course turned onto the Katy Trail, a combination of crushed rock and dirt. It also got quite lonely at times too due to poor access to most of the trail area. The aid stations were still about every 2 miles, wish they had been every mile at this point tho.

I started to run out of energy between miles 17 and 18 slowing down with each mile and step it seemed. By the end of mile 18 I had lost my running partner, I just couldn't keep up, but I could keep her in sight. However, by the end of mile 20 I had even lost sight of her, so I was alone.

Luckily at mile 21 another friend that had run the half marathon distance found me and provided me with some good food and a full 20 oz bottle of cold water....it took a bit for the food to turn to fuel for me but it kept me going at the right time.

I fell in behind a speed walker that was trying to get to the finish line in under 6 hours. I could run and just catch up to her when I needed to walk for a bit and of course with her speed-walking pace she would outdistance my walks. Then I would run and just catch back up again, only to fall behind when I had to walk. However, she was the inspiration that I needed to get to the finish line under 6 hours myself. I don't know who she was but my hat is off to her for her great efforts.

I was again met by my half marathon friend about a quarter mile from the finish and he ran a ways with me offering much needed encouragement. I was able to finish standing up and running in 5 hours 56 minutes and 2 seconds.

The last 2 miles (25 and 26) I ran in the low 13 minute/mile range. Where I got that energy from I don't know except for what I ate at mile 21 and the carrot of the speedwalker.

I had a great time, even with the struggles, and I learned a tremendous amount about what I may have done wrong, about the overall experience of marathons and more importantly about myself.

This has done so much to help me prepare to run a successful race in December in Honolulu on behalf of Taylor and all the other kids that suffer from a form of autism....they are the real atheletes that struggle with life every day. My hat is off to each of them