Marathon 19 - Deadwood, SD Story*Training*Injury*Schedule*Spectators*Statistics

The only thing this course lacked was Oxygen.

More beautiful then Yakima, the Deadwood Mickelson Trail started at 5000' feet, and rose to about 6500'. This is approximately 5 to 6 thousand feet higher then my sea-level training area and the east coast runs that I am used to. I was having trouble breathing from mile 2 and by 6 I was already taking more and extended walk breaks.

I had met Elaine Doll-Dunn, the race director's wife, at Huntsville, and it fit nicely into my marathon every third week schedule. I had planned to run 10 between Chicago and Country Music, and I wasn't convinced that I could handle an extra one, let alone a a second (Sugarloaf ME, 3 weeks earlier as a bridge)

I then ran into Hajime Nishe, the Eco-Marathoner, at the Tokyo Imperial Palace who said he was running it, and I was determined to try. Sciatica forced me to cancel Maine, but I didn't want to miss this one.

Notice the similarity? Everest

The rise to 13 and the fall to 17 were supposed to be no greater then 3 percent, but I'm skeptical. The drop at 19 was so steep, I nearly floated to 20. An optical illusion made the last 5 appear uphill.

It had snowed the day before (Yes, on June 8th), with Ice at the start and snow a few miles into it, and by 10ish I wasn't sure if my fingers were numb from the cold, or Hypoxia.

I decided that since I was in the kill zone, none of the other climbers would help me, if I were to go down. With this in mind, I pressed on, despite the fact that I lost the lead dog.

Around the half way point, the sun rose about the trees. It was a crystal clear blue sky day (way better than the day before with rain and snow). The volunteers at the 12.5 claimed both that we were "half way there" and "its all down hill from here", 2 lies that I did not appreciate.

This is a must-do marathon!


Updated June 9th, 2003