After my Rock n Roll season in 2010, then 2011's Down, Up and Around, I decided to pull back on the number of marathons for 2012. On deck for this year I decided on the Napa Valley Marathon in March, the ET Midnight Marathon in August and the Santa Barbara Marathon in November. But on a training run in January my friend Kent mentioned he was planning to run the marathon in my home town in February. How could I possibly refuse the opportunity to show him the town I grew up in. That's how I found myself shivering and huddling in a school bus with about 300 other folks in sub 30-degree weather 5,840 feet up the Franklin Mountain pass facing down a 20+ mile an hour headwind.
With just five minutes before the gun, we piled out of the buses and became a huddled mass in the middle of the road. We were tightly grouped, seeking each other's body heat as we listened to the national anthem then waited for them to find the starting gun and fire it off. Then we were off. As we started to spread out so we could run, the winds ripped right through us. I ran the first mile breathing into my gloves to keep my hands and face warm.