A little over a year ago, my friend Jeff and I were mapping out our 50 states quest. I wanted to mark another state off the list by heading to a cool city. He wanted to travel and complete a marathon somewhere scenic. And so, in April 2011, we found ourselves on a plane headed towards Salt Lake City, UT.
We got what we came for. The city is full of amazing and historical architecture, all while being surrounded by snow-capped mountains. For this flat-land Midwesterner it was breathtaking.
After grabbing our packets at the expo, we spent most of the day before the race walking around town. We visited Temple Square, the capital, and several other buildings, going on free tours. Everything was gorgeous. I couldn’t stop taking pictures.
The next morning we were off to the race. I had signed up for the early start, worried about finishing within the 6 hour time limit. I took off with a small group prior to the sun coming up. But that was just fine with me. Because as the sun was rising right around mile five, I got to see this:
It was all just so pretty.
Later that night, we showered and went out to a dueling piano bar with Elizabeth and her mom to enjoy some well-deserved drinks.
We had taken a 26.2 mile tour through a city I would have otherwise only flirted with visiting, if not for the 50 States Marathon Club. We witnessed architecture and scenery of a place far away from home. And we made a new friend who I’m running the Grand Rapids Marathon with this October.
This is why I stick to my goal.