2013 Twin Cities Marathon, in photos

2013.10.06 - Balloon Arch Photo by jby.

So, that marathon I ran this morning? Went pretty damn well. My official time is 3 hours 19 minutes 55 seconds, which is a personal record marathon time—by about ten minutes! I attribute this to (1) spectacular autumnal weather—clear, cool, and perfect for running; (2) some half-arsed attempts at speed training I did over the winter; and (3) actually paying attention to my pacing, instead of my usual marathon strategy of just running as fast as I can until I end up barely able to walk the last mile.

I didn’t do much tweeting from the course, but I did take a bunch of photos—the camera on my new iPhone is a lot better than my old one. So here they are, with a reconstructed transcript of my internal dialogue:

“The best thing about a marathon in my hometown is, I can walk to the starting line. It was near the Metrodome. And the weather’s nice and clear! But, eek, I only have about 25 minutes to stand in the porta-potty line …”

2013.10.06 - Metrodome Photo by jby.

“Whew. All set. Time to head to the start line.”

2013.10.06 - Headed to the starting line Photo by jby.

“And we’re off! Next stop, Saint Paul.”

2013.10.06 - And we're off! Photo by jby.

“Yay, marathons! Here’s Hennepin Avenue. I’m going to see Wicked in a couple weeks!”

2013.10.06 - South on Hennepin Photo by jby.

“And here’s the Basilica.”

2013.10.06 - Basilica I Photo by jby.

“I’m a sucker for Baroque architecture.”

2013.10.06 - Basilica II Photo by jby.

“Ooh, the Walker Art Museum.”

2013.10.06 - Walker Art Museum Photo by jby.

“And now we’re at the lakes! This is just like my usual Sunday runs.”

2013.10.06 - Lakeside I Photo by jby.

“There’s the skyline across Lake Calhoun.”

2013.10.06 - Lake Calhoun Photo by jby.

“And now the trails around Lake Harriet.”

2013.10.06 - Lake Harriet Photo by jby.

“Is this Minnehaha Parkway? I’ve never run here before.”

2013.10.06 - Parkway Photo by jby.

“Balloon arch!”

2013.10.06 - Balloon Arch Photo by jby.

“Almost to the halfway mark. Whew.”

2013.10.06 - Almost halfway! Photo by jby.

“Oof. Sixteen miles in two hours. I’m right on pace.”

2013.10.06 - Mile 16 Photo by jby.

“Crossing the Franklin Avenue Bridge. I’ve done this hundreds of times before … but it hurts a lot more this time.”

2013.10.06 - Franklin Avenue Bridge Photo by jby.

“Gee, thanks for the reminder, sponsor I’ve never heard of. Six miles to go, mostly uphill.”

2013.10.06 - Gee, thanks. Photo by jby.

[Five and a half miles of incoherence and pain. Otherwise known as Summit Avenue.]

“Finally, the cathedral. All downhill from here. Ow.”

2013.10.06 - Cathedral Photo by jby.

“I can see the State Capitol!”

2013.10.06 - Final stretch Photo by jby.

“Getting closer …”

2013.10.06 - Finish line in sight Photo by jby.

“The finish line! Does that clock really say 3:20?”

2013.10.06 - Crossing the finish Photo by jby.

“Ow. Owowowowow. Now where’s the chicken broth table?”

2013.10.06 - State Capitol Photo by jby.

“Of course they make me climb a staircase to get to the bus back to Minneapolis. Ow.”

2013.10.06 - Finish line festival I Photo by jby.

And that’s the lot. Next year, I’m going to have to do a marathon out of state for a change. Maybe Chicago?◼

New blog on the block: Natural Current Events

Western conifer seed bug. Photo by Emily Jones at Natural Current Events.

I’ve been meaning for quite some time to point readers to Natural Current Events, the photoblog by Emily Jones (who, to disclose fully, is a postdoc with one of my doctoral committee members). It’s a photoblog with nice natural history notation, mainly focused on insects, their host plants, and their predators — but really covering anything that will stand still long enough for Emily to catch a photo. Each post is like a short walk through your neighborhood woodlot with a natural-history-savvy friend.◼