Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Wicked Marathon & the town we fell in love with

Hubby is on his way to becoming a member of the Marathon Maniacs Club. In doing so, we (and by "we" I mean, HE) must run 3 marathons in 90 days. To top it off, "we" are doing them all in different states. This past weekend was Kansas. We weren't sure about it. It was a small marathon, and wasn't nearly as enticing as going back to Kentucky for the derby marathon or the St. Louis one, since we heart that good ol' saint, but it was closer, cheaper, and they hooked me with the promise of the Wizard of Oz museum. (Hi, I'm Heidi, huge WoO fan.) We didn't expect much as we set off for Wamego, Kansas, but we were in for a surprise. 
Team Castro in transit
 Race morning was cold, but that Route 66 Marathon has changed our idea of cold weather running, so we're never really sure...
The starting line was in the middle of nowhere. Seriously. Just fields and a couple old farm houses in the distance. Pretty cute, actually, those houses. 
Hubs was #44, and he had officially signed up the day before. The marathon was capped at 200 people, and they weren't quite going to reach that. I saw #45 at the starting line, but found out that of the 45 people registered, 40 would race. It was going to be a small race, which I actually love. 
Cap't Awesome, ready to rock.

Starting line view - Maybe Dorothy Gale's farm??
 Costumes were encouraged, and had we put a final choice of race in the hat before 24 hours prior, I would have forced him to wear a tin man outfit, but as it would be (and probably on his part purposefully so he wouldn't have to wear a tin man suit), he was a regular ol' super marathoner. We did see a few Dorothys, a munchkin, and a Glenda. 
The Wicked runners.

There's no place like the finish line, there's no place like the finish line...

That doggie there ran the whole 26 miles. And they finished up front, too! 

Let's pretend he's a flying monkey!
 After the initial start, the kids and I drove down to the 2nd mile marker, and it was by a train track that still was running, mill and all! Something about the way train tracks smell makes me feel all happy inside. That tar-ish, wood smell. Maybe a deep seeded memory of childhood when we would cross tracks to walk to preschool. Ida know.
The maybe grain? hopper that fills the trains

I was busy falling in love with the train stuff when the kids started yelling that daddy was approaching!

We hopped back into the car and weaved around the streets to meet up with him again. The kids began a series of high fives to all the runners passing by, and they all loved it.  

Stripping off the jacket! Woo hoo!
 The best thing (and the scariest thing) about being a small race was that the streets weren't closed. It was a bit scary to see cars driving by the runners faster than they should have been, but the police were driving the route all day watching, and it was awesome for us, because we could drive the route along with him!
We would wait at the mile marker, open all the doors, blast some fast running tunes (HAPPY was the big winner), hand out some high fives and some bad a$$ dance moves and after cap't awesome passed, we'd do it all over again at the next mile marker. 
Green shirt!

Molly came to race, too, but got injured right before the race. :(

We got to know the runners that were pacing around hubby. They always had a friendly high five for the kids (sometimes spinning around or doing an "up high" "down low!" type thing), and often comments of thanks for the music, the dancing, the cheering, and the support. The einsteins loved it, and I was so proud of them. 

Kansas wasn't quite as flat as we thought...this was the highest altitude climb race so far!

Gu packs slowly depleting...

This Dorothy was Emma's fav. She even had red glittery running shoes!
Her mom was cheering the entire route, too, so we got to know her a little bit. At this point, she ran with her daughter a little ways to bring the kids some jolly ranchers. So sweet. 
That's a good momma!

Molly had such a cute running costume, too. It's a shame she got hurt. ;)
 As the miles went on, a lot of our "regulars" paced out either ahead or behind hubby. There were a few miles that he was the only high five we gave!

Later on, another Dorothy caught up with him, and we found out she was also an OSU alumni! 
 Once he hit mile 24, we headed to the finish line to await the big finish!
That's where we met up with the whole Oz crew!

It was calling my name. I couldn't wait!

And we figured out what we were doing for lunch!

Finish line escort service

 After a quick grabbing of snacks and water, he hobbled over to the massage table. Possibly the only reason I'd EVER run a marathon - free massages!
 Next on the agenda was some grub. We were STARVING! And how could you be in the Oz capital of Kansas and NOT eat at Toto's Tacoz?!? Right??
There were several Totos hiding all around the restaurant. Can you find the one in the picture?? 

Toto's watering bowl
 The food was really, really, really good! (and I'm totally craving more as I type, dangit)
 We had a lot of people come up and talk to us about the race, and where we were from, and other things to do while we were in Wamego. Really great people!

The next stop was the Oz Museum

"I like the tin maaannn" <---- a="" christmas="" i="" line="" love="" story="" we="">

Ummmm...yes PLEASE!

It had all started with a man that had a huge collection of Oz memorabilia that he decided to make into a museum. Amazing. Anyone want to see my hoard of stuff? I could totally make a museum of legos and post it notes and things that smell like plastic! Oh, yeah, I guess you have to have a pretty cool hoard to pull that one off. 

ANYway, off we went to the Oz Winery! They had a few award-winning wines there (none of which I tasted, because, well, I guess I'm more of a strawberry milk fan?), but hubby did. The squished witch was their most popular, but i liked the label on the drunken munchkin best. In the end, we left with a bottle of "Yellow Brix" wine, because well, it's of significance to us. 

Free wine tasting!
 After that adventure, we headed to their city park, which was HUGE! The einsteins needed to run off a bit if energy before the looooooong drive home. 

After our last marathon in Texas led us to a bunch of lost or destroyed geocaches, I was bound and determined to grab a Kansas cache, so the Ems and I sidetracked a bit at the park and grabbed one. 

We had SO much fun there! They have a bunch of really fun events coming up that we would LOVE to go to, like the Tulip Festival (Ummmm...zillions of my fav tulips?!?! Yes, plz!!) and the Oztoberfest in September that has an obstacle race! There's a lot of other things to do there, too, just check out one of those links and you'll see them all. Kinda wish we lived there!!

We are SO proud of our Cap't Awesome and his new personal record for a marathon on the hilliest one yet! Go, baby, Go!

We love you!!

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1 comment:

  1. Heidi - If you love OZ, check out Autumn at Oz in Beech Mountain North Carolina. If you go, go super early because it gets really crowded. It's a fantastic festival based upon an old Oz amusement park. My sister and I go every year with our kids. Do a quick Google search and you'll find all the info you need. :)


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