Earlier in the year, I had come up with the crazy idea of doing another back to back marathon weekend. I scouted out the potential weekends, and marathons, and came up with two marathons in Iowa and South Dakota. I convinced my buddy Scott to run the Marathon to Marathon (Iowa) and the Swan Lake Marathon (SD) with me over the June 9/10, 2012 weekend. It really didn’t take much convincing to get Scott to join me. After booking the marathons, of course I had to check out the state highpoints in the area to see if there were any high points that were close to our marathons. My research revealed that the highpoint of Iowa – Hawkeye Point – was located somewhat between our marathons, and would only require an hour or so side trip. So, I let Scott know that I’d like to also grab the high point of Iowa during out marathon weekend. Scott agreed.
The weekend started with a flight into Sioux Falls, IA. Scott and I met up, and drove to Storm Lake, IA, where we ran the first of two marathons on Saturday morning. The marathon went pretty well for us. Scott and I stuck together the whole race, and ran a very conservative race, knowing that we’d have to get up again on Sunday for another 26.2 miles. The race was hot, but we held back enough to keep ourselves from getting to overheated, and ultimately finished in around 4 hours and 43 minutes.
After running the marathon, Scott and I headed towards Hawkeye Point. We arrived at Hawkeye Point, just outside of Sibley, IA. The highpoint was pretty much just a picnic area in the middle of a corn field. What else should we expect in Iowa? Scott and I parked the car near the highpoint, and walked over to check it out. Our legs weren’t suffering too badly from the 26.2 miles in the morning. After checking out the highpoint, we set out on a 2 mile round trip walk. My requisite mileage for any highpoint (hard or easy) is a minimum of 2 miles roundtrip. In this case, we’d walk from the highpoint, out a mile, and return to the high point.
We essentially walked back to the road, and just walked due East down a dirt road, until we hit about a mile, then turned around. It was actually nice to get the legs loosened back up again. At this point, it was about 2:00 in the afternoon, so the sun was pounding on us pretty hard. A breeze across the field kept us reasonably cool though. We made the casual round trip in about 36 minutes. Upon our return, we hopped back into the car, and headed towards tomorrow’s marathon destination, Viborg, South Dakota.
The following day we ran the Swan Lake Marathon. That sucked. After the first mile, I dropped behind, letting Scott pull away. I knew immediately that this race was by all about “survival.” I walked a significant amount of this marathon, ending up crossing the finish line at around 5 hours and 43 minutes. This would be my longest street marathon ever. In hindsight, I think that I might like to run this race again. It was a nice race, mostly on dirt road, which was easier on the legs. I’d want to train better for the next time.
Scott and I arrived in Iowa late on Friday night, and returned home late on Sunday. In that quick weekend trip, we were able to get two new marathon states, and one additional high point. Overall, this was a very fruitful “check list” weekend.
Distance: 2 miles