The annual unofficial Square 2 Square Marathon started on a beautiful spring morning (April 17). About 10 of us piled into a couple of cars and made the drive from Fayetteville to the Bentonville Square to run this fun event. Since it’s unofficial, we had a couple of roaming aid station cars to follow us South and provide support – both fuel and encouragement!
We got up to the Bentonville Square and signed in. The sermon on the truck was given letting us know what to do/not to do and then after the annual group photo, we started around 6:30 am. The route runs from Bentonville to Rogers to Lowell to Springdale to Johnson to Fayetteville. We headed south (into a pretty strong headwind for 27+ miles). The race is a bit longer than a marathon and since a friend was running 29 miles for her 29th birthday, we were trying to add a little bit everywhere we could!
Each city showed off lovely spring flowers and freshly budded trees. It really ended up being a lovely day – the rain held off all together. I ran the race with two friends and we kept a stead pace the entire route knowing we’d be on our feet for hours. No use in racing in a non-race. We all had run various parts of the Hogeye the week before and about halfway the back to back long weekend runs started to take it’s toll. I’d say this was one of the mentally hardest runs I’ve done this year. It was pretty much a strugglefest for me! I think between the three of us, we talked a total of 30-45 minutes of the five hours. Each of us had hard points in the run where I bet if you offered us $50 we would have quite! However, we each summoned our super human abilities and kept on running.
Every 3-4 miles we met our roaming aid station and had the option for oranges, water, GU’s and other goodies. Yum! And then in Johnson around mile 20 we picked up a friend runner who joined us the last 8 or so miles. At the point we hopped on the trail in Fayetteville, one of the gals and I decided to slow roll it in and dropped the other ladies who began walk/running. We each were riding the struggle bus pretty hard at this point and the goal was just to finish. We started to pick little one or two mile check points and got past each. We slogged up the hills in downtown Fayetteville and crossed the ‘finish line’ in around 5:30. That time took into account LOTS of wind, LOTS of stops and chatting, and overall slow pace. This was defiantly one of those races we powered through and it doesn’t’ make you a better runner, but mentally a better person!
Oh, and the ‘highlight’ of the race – taking an amazing fall on a water meter sticking up out of the sidewalk on a busy highway intersection. Classic me. Can’t be a good race without a nice fall! Also, every single picture I was in I looked horrendously awkward! I am not one of those folks that can take glamorous photos during a run. …those people! So, here’s a little slideshow of all the friends who ran this weekend.