Saturday — Expo at Luzhniki Stadium (marathon bib pick-up).  Crazy long queue looped wildly throughout the parking lot – in the [sarcastic] words of Dima: We Russians love our long lines.  We line up for everything.  LOL>  Turned in my medical certificate (another unique Russia-only thing), picked up tomorrow’s race bib.  Check, done.  Next up: Red Square.

Carbo-loaded Italian grub at a new Jamie Oliver restaurant, located aside Moscow’s iconic GUM department store.  Great company, great day.  Many many thanks Dima & Natasha.  FULL heart.

connected by sport: language nor politics matter to Marathoners

connected by sport: language nor politics matter to Marathoners

Sunday — Marathon morning in RUSSIA!

Not a lotta sleep.  Been struggling with the huge time difference – days & nights mixed, getting thru on multiple 2-hour naps a day.  Body feels like night but my eyes see morning.  No excuses today.  Been waiting almost a year for this day.

Hooked up with [my former workmate] Dima in the hotel lobby at my digs on Prospekt Mira.  Surprisingly late marathon start — 9am.  Hopped on a nearby Metro, rode the Circle Line, dropped off & switched cars to Moscow University & Luzhniki Stadium.  Exited one stop earlier than Dima – he registered for only the Half today.

Almost a mile walk to the Stadium.  No getting lost, followed a mighty line of runners.  Couple minutes later, spotted a Maniacs cap & heard English (first time in 2 days).  2 Aussies, 2 English & a New Yorker.  Insta-friends.  Half-way ‘round the globe, never expected to meet other Maniacs from my running group.  FAAANNNTASTIC!

Took advantage of bag drop-off & shed my outer layers.  Windy & cool but expecting warmer temps than yesterday’s trek thru historic Red Square.  Rain forecasted later in the day (so skies could stay overcast) – hard to know how to dress.

Started 6 corrals back.  LOVE LOVED hearing the Russian anthem!  Second largest field of marathoners in my 3-year running history (2nd only to New York City).

2 minutes between each corral start.  Crazy excited.  Ready to run Moscow’s Seven Hills!

Quick beginning, few first miles running long flat stretches from the outer ring to Moscow’s Financial District.  With the exception of NYC, have never marathoned a City which closed so many major roads.  Headache for residents – tourist Mecca for runners…Moscow eye-candy!

Popped a pill early (mile 9).  Time difference & a nagging headache, added to race nausea.  That said, the pill did the trick.  All smiles as I ran aside the Moskva River & the tall red-brick walls surrounding the Kremlin.  WOW, WOW, WOW!

1:56 first half.  Soon after, first of 3 large hills.  Hilly yes….but not West Virginia hilly.  No worries, I got this.

Noticed a young runner struggling to hold pace – his t-shirt read ‘I am a Runner’, his first marathon.  Encouraged him to keep moving to the 30-kilometer marker.  Connected today solely by sport, utilizing limited Russian & broken English.  He’d walk, I’d walk.  Frustrating as it was, I can be persistent.  He finally understood I would not run ‘til he was ready.  We soon stopped walking altogether.  Ran 2k, grabbed water/sports drink/a banana…and ran another 2k.

Either his English or my Russian got better.  Coincidentally, his name: Dmitri (Dima).  Seriously?  Like going back in time.  University student studying Finance.  Moscow resident but no longer lives at home.  Getting married next May.

40k (only 2.2 to go) & young Dima took off…but a bit too early.  My old legs caught him & finished STRONG.  Overcast, cold temps, folks bundled.  High-fived spectators lined near the end.  Runner’s high.

Marathon SUCCESS!  My 71st finish, first outside North America.

 

K R, поздравляем с участием в Промсвязьбанк Московском Марафоне 2016!

 

Ваше личное время на дистанции 42,2км — 4:40:44.

 

Предварительные результаты доступны на сайте.

Результаты представлены официальным хронометристом — швейцарской компанией TAG Heuer.

 

Оргкомитет Промсвязьбанк Московского Марафона благодарит Правительство г. Москвы и Департамент физической культуры и спорта г. Москвы за содействие в организации марафона.

 

Промсвязьбанк Московский Марафон

 

Bid farewell to new Dima, then met-up with old Dima – for dinner & final goodbyes.  One more day of sight-seeing for me, but Monday’s a workday for most.  пака моего друга [goodbye friend].  Memorable, absolutely unforgettable visit!  Brain etched forever.

 

 

Moscow Marathon (Russian Nat’l Anthem)

 

 

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