The Modesto Marathon – A Slow-er Marathon

“So, you’re the one,” a couple said to me as I stood waiting for the start of the Modesto Marathon.  Uncertain if they were about to tell me I should accompany them to Alderaan if I were to learn the ways of the Force and/or if there was in fact “no spoon,” I opted to reply with the very Canadian, “Sorry?”

“You registered at Thanksgiving, during one of the flash sales, right?”  Curiouser and curiouser, I thought, thinking this was some kind of impromptu magic class test… I’m taking magic classes, have I mentioned that? Level II Mage… and I’m terrible at it.  But I digress.

One didn’t need to be a mind reader to see the confusion on my face.  The couple pointed to my bib number – 100.  And then they pointed to their own: 99 and 101.  “We registered at the same moment but were wondering who got in between us – you’re the one.”  I guess registration for a marathon can be like the 24-hour check-in for a Southwest Airlines flight – a few milliseconds to us is a wide-open eternity to the computers of the world.  And I guess if that’s enough time to separate a couple between group numbers with Southwest, it’s enough to separate them from race bib numbers.

I have to admit I felt like Bib 100 was a weird fake-out.  I guess somebody has to be number 100 but if it felt like there’d been a glitch in the matrix or something had gone wrong, and I was slotted in at the last minute.

I had run Modesto seven years prior, at the height of my marathoning obsession, when I was pushing every which way… and if not always succeeding, I was putting up some really strong clock times and was noticeably in better shape than I am these days.  Plus, even in the best of times, seven years can take a toll.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise to say that I did not break my own course record, I did not BQ, and I did not blow up the Death Star or free the minds of humanity operating as batteries for robotic overlords.  But I did run, I did finish, and I got back in time for dinner with some old friends.  Not a bad way to spend a Sunday.

One quick note on the course before I photo bomb this post: it’s a pancake flat route through the growing fields of Modesto… save for one highway overpass that you run on the way out and then back to the finish.  The race team dubbed it “Mount Modesto” so be on the lookout for that in the photos below!  Otherwise, not much to see but the fields… and we didn’t even run pass the famed Modesto sign (which I swear we did back in 2017… but memories play tricks on us).