9 was the Sunburst Marathon in South Bend, Indiana on June 8, 2002.
I was registered for the Vermont City Marathon on Memorial Day weekend, but we had just moved and it seemed an inauspicious time to travel. It has been a busy year.
Travel to South Bend involved flying to Chicago and driving over, which ended up being a hectic experience. Parking the car in the hourly lot at RDU made it all possible, however, and we had a great weekend in Chicago. I drove over to South Bend after dropping Rachael and the kids in Downers Grove Friday night. I had been feeling a bit haggard lately, so I planned to try an easy marathon. I got to 5 miles in 41 minutes and felt fine, however, so I let go a bit and ran some 7:20 to 7:50 miles between 9 and 18. I ran well the entire route, falling back to 9 minutes only for the last two miles. Very even 1:44:17 for the first half and 1:44:46 for the second to finish in 3:29:03. Not bad for a kick back race.
The race started at 6 am, parking was convinent right next to the start at the College Football Hall of Fame. The finish line in Notre Dame stadium was a kick. Some folks from Ohio finished right before me, the stadium announcer called peoples names as they finished. He said, "It's not often one sees a Buckeye crossing the goal line in this stadium."