TITLE: It's a Good Day to Run 26.2 AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: October 17, 2004 3:23 PM DESC: My second marathon goes well. It is a good day. ----- BODY: A quick note from Des Moines. My second marathon is in the books. On this cold, cloudy morning, I joined 3300+ people for the Des Moines Marathon. It went well, with my time coming in right on target -- 3:45 -- though differently than I expected. After two of these, I think I now understand that nothing will ever go quite as planned. That is part of the charm of a a marathon -- but an even bigger element in its challenge. Des Moines is a different kind of marathon than Chicago, where I ran my first. We had fewer 10% as many runners start this morning, and the crowd of onlookers was as much smaller. But I was surprised by how many people braved a cold, cold morning to cheer us on, play music, and offer snacks. I am indebted to the creative folks who passed out facial tissues along the course. The crowd may have been smaller, but their enthusiasm more than made up for their numbers. The course was also much more scenic than Chicago. Des Moines doesn't have the history of Chicago, but it has several pretty parks and many pretty neighborhoods. Out of staters may not expect that -- or the hills! They definitely affected my run today. I don't when the race results will be avilable on-line, but if they do you can check me out at race bib #1272. (The bibs didn't actually have our numbers -- they had our first names. This made it possible for friendly total strangers to call out "Looking good, Eugene!" throughout the race. I doubt I did, but it boosted my spirits.) All in all, a well-organized race. I recommend it highly. Oh, and remember the gonzo Grant Wood race poster? That's the image on our race medal! -----