Well – the weekend had finally arrived. I had to fly to New York for a business meeting on Wednesday before the marathon – so I checked the race-day weather forecast for Duluth about a week out. And it looked great – really great – temps in the 60s, slight tailwind – some potential for rain. I started getting really excited – finally, a race with good weather conditions!
My flight to New York and the business meeting went relatively smoothly. Then on Friday – I had an 8:30am flight from LaGuardia to Minneapolis. Derek was flying from Albuquerque to Minneapolis and we were meeting there then driving to Duluth (2.5 hours away). Everything was going smoothly – we both got to the airport with plenty of time. He took off. My plane was at the gate, we boarded ontime, and we taxiied to the runway. 4th in line for takeoff, a few minutes pass – then we move…past the runway.
Apparently some light had gone off (or not gone off) for the air conditioner. It’s not something that would make the plane unflyable – but they had to call maintenance anyway. So we sat on the taxi-way for say 15 minutes – at which point they said, maintenance says they have to go in for tests. So we taxiied to a gate. 30-45 minutes they say. Then an hour. Then it turns out the plane failed one of the tests – we all have to get off – they need to get a part and fix the plane.
People with connections are frantic – luckily my flight is direct. But it seems unclear whether our flight will actually ever take off. I talk to someone and try to get on another flight – nothing available. Then they say that our flight will be delayed until 5pm! And I spend a long day at LaGuardia – trying to stay well hydrated and fueled and hoping that my plane will actually take off and not be cancelled.
It was a stressful day – I couldn’t believe it – everything was lining up beautifully – great weather, my body was in good shape, a good course – and now, I might not make it to the start line? Unbelievable. Long story short – my plane finally did take off around 6:30pm. And arrived in Minneapolis at 8pm CT. Derek, who had waited at the Minneapolis airport all day, met me and we quickly got on the road. We pulled into Duluth at 10:30pm – and I went to bed by 11pm (wake up call at 4:30am).
It was a crazy day – but I was and am ever so grateful that it turned out ok in the end. I slept as much as I could in the car (couldn’t fall asleep on the plane) and became really determined to run a great race if I made it to the start line. I felt for Derek who was as stressed out as me, if not more so.