Quick post to say I finished, and not only finished, but finished WAY faster than I expected. Official division results aren't up yet, but I am thinking I placed. Crazy.
The weekend was so emotional and informational, the marathon was the least of it. I met so many Bataan survivors and it meant so much to me to be there. For these guys, who were ignored and in some ways made to feel ashamed for being part of the largest US surrender ever, told to just put it behind them and move on when they came home, they are now able to tell their stories and see that so many of really are interested and do care.
The guys are all in their 90s now and won't be around forever. I'm glad I got a chance to hear about it all first-hand.
The marathon was an ordeal, but I say that lightly. Obviously, it wasn't really an ordeal like the real death march. I hadn't lost 25% of my body weight before the race, I wasn't severely malnourished, subsisting on half rations for a month, I didn't have malaria, dyssentery or anything else. And most importantly, if I wanted to stop to rest, there was no danger someone would shoot me or bayonet me (to save bullets). These men said that no book or movie has adequately depicted the horror of those days, and they're glad for that. It boggles my mind, because I've read so much about this period of time, and the books make it sound awful -- hard to imagine it really was that and more.
So the marathon was very hilly, very sandy, and very hot. There was one really big, miles-long, incline, that I walked primarily. I'd say about 20 miles were on something other than pavement -- either packed dirt, or loose gravel/sand, or very deep sand. I'll do a full review later, but honestly, I think the best training would have been running on a beach.
There weren't many civilian women with packs, so I'm glad I took on the extra challenge.
My back is not. I chafed like crazy, to the point where I actually ended up a step beyond chafing -- a very large open wound. Ugh.
I stopped with medics once around mile 13 to get vaseline in hopes of preventing it from getting worse, and then went to medical after I finished and they were shocked I'd kept going. It was a large open wound. Ugh again.
But again, I don't feel like I can complain in light of what this marathon was honoring. What a neat way to guarantee I will never forget what happened on Bataan in 1942.