Route 66 Marathon Recap

I’ve been wanting to share this post for a few weeks now, but the holidays threw things off a bit. Typically if more than a couple of weeks pass by, and I have yet to do a recap, I just skip it. However seeing this was my very first marathon, I decided to make an exception and share the post.

I could recap each mile and talk my way through the whole entire race, but nearly 27 miles of that would get to be a bit long. Instead, I thought it would be fun to share some thoughts, photos and highlights.

The date was November 19th and the place was Tulsa Oklahoma. After a very sleepless night I woke up about 4:30 in the morning and hit the road shortly after 5:00. We arrived at the starting corals shortly after 7 and things instantly “got real”. We were actually there and this was really going to happen.

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Joplin Memorial Half {2016}

It was the race I wasn’t supposed to run.
After last years JMR I swore off running it again in 2016. I said “I was done running long distances” I really should learn to keep my mouth shut. I am pretty sure I will never be done running long distances, I just can’t seem to quit.

So I signed up on New Years Eve and ended up training about half as much as I normally would to run a race. With about 10 days until the race and a sponsored entry Russ joined the fun too. Boy was I SO glad that I had already signed up to do the race this year and would now be running Russ’ first half with him. 

It started the same way it does every year. 



And 161 balloons released followed by 161 seconds of silence for the 161 lives lost on May 22nd, 2011. Every year I stand there and think of just how beautiful this moment is. This truly is a day to run & remember.

Think of this photo as a game of Where’s Waldo and see if you can find us :). 

Before I knew it, we were off! I think it went something like this. run, run, run, run RUN! The course for 2016 was a brand new and oh goodness was it the best JMR course so far. It was fantastic. It wasn’t “flat as a pancake” but it was the perfect course through Joplin and followed roads that I run on a usual basis. I felt pretty at home on the course. 

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Through the heart of down town.

Smiling for the cameras.

And we even held hands for a minute walking up this hill.
Sneaky Anna caught a photo and I am so glad she did.

The weather was perfect, the hydration stations were incredible, my feet were EXHAUSTED and Anna endured what we will forever call “The epic side cramp of 2016” but we did it, we finished.



Sharing all about the #JMR #halfmarathon in a #race #recap today. #RunRememberRebuild Click To Tweet

I couldn’t possibly be any happier with our results and this guy for running it with pretty much no training. I set out just wanting to finish the race and put up a pretty respectable time for me. Russ was a little disheartened to have lost to me by 5 seconds, but then he gloated that he ran his first half faster than I ran mine. 

So thankful to have had this experience with two of my favorite people EVER!

And to have yet another race in the books with this lady. They are getting almost to many to number now.

So that leaves me with the question I always am thinking about this time of the year.
What next?

For the very first times I’m not quite sure how to answer that.
But I am pretty sure I can say one thing…
It will likely involve running 

See you next year Joplin Memorial Run!

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Joplin Memorial Fun Run {2016}

One of my favorite Newman family traditions is to have the girls run the Joplin Memorial Run Fun Run. So, adding it to our spring bucket list almost felt like cheating. But I think we all add things to our lists we know we’ll do. The run is always the Friday evening before the big race and the girls look forward to it for months.

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They were beyond excited that race day was finally here and as always, they humored me by letting me take some pre-run photos. I just love seeing them all dolled up like mini-me’s. Some things will just never get old. 

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The plan this year was for Russ to run the race with Emily again and Marissa to take off by herself. Of course that leaves me to do what I love to do, take photos. But I can’t take credit for all of these shots. A few of them were taken by my father in law and some others by the official race photographers. Three people taking pictures definitely made it hard to pick the ones to share with you today.

We also saw our friends Jonathan and David there. We hadn’t seen them in what felt like ages so it was a pretty happy reunion. 

I never let the girls wear the race shirt to the race. My main reason for that can easily be seen in this photo. They are SO much easier to spot. 

Before the race I gave Marissa permission to go wherever she wanted in the line-up I was pretty shocked to see that she found her way pretty close to the start of the pack. She isn’t really a vocally competitive girl but I am seeing a bit of a competitive spirit spark up in her.

Emily on the other hand is pretty happy hanging towards the back of the pack with dad. She is just the happiest little runner I know (still). She treats fun runs like a parade, leaping and waving along the way. Not much has changed for her since last year. 

Out and back Marissa ran her mile in a hair over 8:30. Two minutes faster than last year. I could seriously watch this girl run ALL day long. She always looks so strong, graceful, and effortless out there.

A few minutes later along came our sweet EE, still smiling and waving.

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The JMR 2016 kids run was once again a great time

Sharing all about the #JMR #funrun in today's blog post. I just love my little #runner girls. Click To Tweet

You can check out our 2015 recap here and our 2014 recap here for a bit of a throwback.
I can’t even believe how much those girls have grown over the past two years.

Have you done a fun run with your kid(s) yet?!
I would highly recommend adding it to your summer bucket list!

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Missouri Race Series Joplin {Race Recap}

We all have THAT friend.

You know what I mean, right?

The one that pushes you to be a better version of yourself. The one who you can say your crazy ideas too and instead of telling you you’re crazy they actually listen. I can’t tell you how many conversations I have had with this lady that start out “We could…” only to end up becoming reality hours, days, weeks, or months later. 

For me that friend is Anna.
She’s my Thelma.

This weekend was another one of our crazy adventures. We were SUPPOSED to take it easy this week. We were SUPPOSED to just put in a 5 mile taper run. But when an opportunity presents itself and it is the other persons birthday, you just do it. One week before our half we ran what would officially be the hardest run in almost 3 years of running, the Missouri Race Series 10 Mile Joplin Race.

Mo Race Series
I have no words for how challenging that course was and the pictures I took will never do it any justice. So I’m hopeful that the elevation map gives you and idea of how the run went… for 10+ miles!

The hardest #race I've ever ran is on the #blog today. #racerecap #MissouriRaceSeries Click To Tweet

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And with no official on course photographer, we had to take our own photos.
Because if you don’t take a picture, it didn’t really happen. 

But they weren’t all so happy. 

Look a hill!

Oh and there’s another one. 

This was a smaller hill that led to a BIG hill and on the other side… you guessed it, a hill! And once we got to the end we had to turn around and do it all over again.

Hill after hill after hill. I assure you they looked MUCH more impressive in person.

But some how we did it!
It wasn’t a record setting time or pace and you can guarantee we walked up some of those hills, but we never thought we wouldn’t finish!

Her birthday wish come true, the finish line.

So that’s a wrap on our latest “great” idea. We also came to a mutual agreement mid race that we would NEVER run this course again… or will we?

Only 3 days to go until we run 13.1!
I should also mention we’ll have some company for our half. One week ago Russ impulsively decided to sign-up to do it with us since his employer is a headline sponsor and he could run it for free. So with pretty much zero training he is planning to do his best. Looks like we aren’t the (only) crazy ones after all!

Happy Hump Day!

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Amazing GRace 2016

Saturday was a big day in the Newman house, it was Marissa’s very firs 5K (3.1 mile) run. A SUPER early registration rate meant we signed up back in October and boy has she been waiting and waiting for the big day to arrive.

She has always been a natural when she puts on those running shoes. She has a gracefulness and endurance that is rare for someone her age. I had no doubts in my mind that she would do well. 

I woke up early and nervous with pre-race jitters which was so funny, you would’ve thought it was my first race. I was soon greeted by a girl with huge dimples who I ate breakfast with, got dressed with and sat and did some stretching with. It was such a sweet time of being together.

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We laced up our shoes and headed to the race. It was a cold morning with temperatures in the 30’s, we were so very thankful that at least the sunshine was warm. We met up with our good friends Anna and Jonathan (who was also running his first 5K) and took our obligatory pre-race pictures.

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Before long we were all lined up and ready to go. I told Marissa that I loved her and was proud of her and just wanted her to do her best. The gun went off and we started to run. 

We ran and they waited. We were abundantly blessed with an amazing group of cheerleaders that day. Both sets of grandparents, dad and sister all made appearances to cheer us on. Marissa was so surprised and excited to see so many happy faces.

Along the way we talked to each other and met some other runners. Everyone was so supportive of Marissa, cheering her on and encouraging her. Nobody could believe she was just 7. I think that was partially because she is huge and partially because she wasn’t running how you’d imagine a 7 year old to run.

Around mile 2.5 we were burning up so we tossed our jackets to “our crew” and headed for the finish line. 

I asked her how she wanted to finish and she said together. She held my hand and we ran for the finish line. The MC saw her coming and called and cheered her in. About that time she let go, took off and I hung back running just fast enough to keep my eyes on her and watched as my baby crossed that finish line.


Her finish time.

My heart could have exploded.
I was SO proud.

And I don’t think I am the only one who felt that way.

Such a memorable day for our family.

#Proudmama bragging on my girl and her first #5K today. She is #awesome! Click To Tweet

3 fingers for 3 miles. Isn’t her shirt just the best?! #TryToKeepUp

And two fingers for second place! Later that night right before bed time we found out that Marissa had placed second in the 13 & under division beating out some 10 & 12 year olds.

Running that race with her was everything I could’ve hoped for and I pray it is the first of many, many more!

Also a track scholarship in about 10 years isn’t completely out of the question either ;).
We see a gift in this girl and I can’t wait to see how and if it develops over the years.

Marissa, we are over the moon proud of you xoxo!

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Pumpkin Run 2015 Race Recap

 Saturday was the 33rd annual Joplin Pumpkin Run. This race has been around longer than I have folks. It is a hilly 5 mile course around a park just outside of town. I have wanted to do this race since I was a newby runner and two years later it finally happened.

But I wasn’t the only one running!

 The girls hadn’t ran a fun run since July so I signed them up too and boy were they excited.

The fun run started out with “the rise of the great pumpkin”.
And a hay ride to the start line.

Marissa ended up being the 4th kid to cross the finish line (that’s my girl). 
She is a natural with her effortless style of running. She just has a way of making it look so easy.
Emily wanted to know what place she was so I told her she was “place # super awesome”!
She was THRILLED with her final result ;). She loved running this race with Meme (my mama). 

Good job ladies!
Instead of medals the kids were given their own little pumpkin.
It REALLY is a pumpkin run :). 

With the kids run over we were ready to get our 5 miles on. 

Our goal was to finish. No pace or time agendas made.
It is so nice to go into a race and only be thinking about having a good time. 
And that we did!
This photo pretty much assures that we were the happiest bunch of runners out there that day.
(especially seeing we had just ran up that hill) 
When it came to the end of the race Lacey gave me a run for my money with a sprinting show down. I believe the exact words she said were “It’s on Beth” as she kicked it into warp speed. I some how magically managed to beat here by hundredths of a second. 
It was  pretty much the coolest thing ever and for a few seconds afterwards I thought my heart might explode. 

At the end of the day this is where we fell we finished with 47:something times, exactly where I expected us to be. 

So the Pumpkin run was a race worth waiting two years for. 

Fun with friends, a fun run to remember and another race shirt for my wardrobe.

I think that wraps up races for a while.
Until next time, happy running!

Now it’s your turn.

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Beth – Our Pretty Little Girls ~ Michelle – Grammie Time

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Jess and Katie – Sweet Little Ones ~ Whitney – Polka Dotty Place
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Sarah – Abiding In Grace ~ Stephanie – Wife Mommy Me
Emily – Morning Motivated Mom