Skip this if you want to read actual race report, this gets you (& me) to the start.
Approximately 200 yds from the start line, I was sitting on the pot and heard the race director announce "3 minutes to start". The thought was already in the forefront of the mind: "this would be an easy place to hide for 15, 20 minutes - then go jump on a bus back to the finish line".
I had flown out the afternoon before from DIA to SLC, picked up a rental - was given a free upgrade to nice new Dodge Dakota 4 door pickup. About a 40 minute drive to Ogden, went straight to the packet pick up which was an old rail station. Huge crowds, had to park 1/2 mile away. Got out of the truck and my right knee, which is the problem child - which had been aching all day, gave out and I lurched into the (fortunately) empty car beside me. Took my breath away. The pain has been more bone than muscle / tendon. Right on the inside part of the knee, but oftentimes also on the front top, outside also has had it's moments.
Righted the ship, walked through several parking lots, joined a large crowd at the "Old Union Station". They had a big expo going on - just wanted to get my stuff and off my feet though. Picked up starting bib, race bag and walked straight back to the truck. I had been trying not to walk w/ a limp but gave that up on the walk back to the truck.
Drove a few blocks to scope out where the bus pick up spot was for next morning and parked to get food. Iggys Sports Bar it was; spaghetti, meatballs and buckets of water. Was good stuff but I didn't want to hang around as it was already 7ish and wanted to get some things done before dark.
Drove 1 1/2 miles to the Days Inn - checked in, the girl at the front desk welcomed me and said "we have a complimentary breakfast starting at 6:30 am". Lets just say she was not on a training schedule - so I put a look of fear in her eyes when I said "I'll be about to start a marathon at that time - so could you bring it to me?". That froze her for a few moments - then she told me that they will be having a special marathoners breakfast starting at 3:30 am. I would also be able to come back after the race and take a shower before going to catch the flight home. Really grateful that they did that - was (guessing) maybe 40 or so runners staying there that I saw the next morning at breakfast or in the parking lot.
Dropped the bag in the room, kept the race map, camera and GPS in the truck, went back out and drove as much as I could of the marathon course. Wanted to see the scenery, take photos and scope out the course but it was getting dark and I had not checked the camera batteries. Battery dead w/ less than 10 photos - posting those on the race report. Got a good look at about 85% of the course - that was good for the mind, but caused some further aching on the knees. Was 100% on paved roads, 2 of the last 3 miles was on a paved bike path. Groan, I knew 26.2 miles was going to hurt more now.
Back to the hotel, got everything ready for the morning, showered and in bed by 10:30 - tossed and turned for a half hour then slept soundly till 3 am. Alarm was set for 4, no big deal. Kind of surprised that I actually got about 4 hours.
First few steps out of bed were careful - the knee was better than yesterday, but not great at all and at that point I was really giving myself a 50/50 chance at best to be able to complete the whole race.
Oatmeal and a banana for breakfast, plus 1 banana for the road to be eaten about 45 minutes before race start. Drove the truck up to near the bus pick up spot and parked. There were 4 races that day. The full marathon, a 5 stage marathon relay, 1/2 marathon and 5K. All running along same route, all finishing at the same spot. All starting at 7 am. Buses were required to get to each of the starting lines. Over 5000 total runners for the full, relay and 1/2, plus another 800 for the 5K. I think every bus in Utah was there, different pick up spots for the races and they started pulling out about 4:45 am for the marathon and relay.
Waited in line for about 1/2 hr, bus trip to the start took an hour after driver took a wrong turn. Wondered if that was not a good omen - it was supposed to be the last day of the world.
Got to the drop off point at the start line and after waiting what seemed like forever finally got off the bus. Music was blaring out the song with the lyrics "....It's the end of the world as we know it....." Nice touch.
The porta potty lines were long, were in a large grassy field along w/ about 4 dozen fire barrels. People w/ plastic bags wrapped around their feet, mud jumping - I decided to avoid that and jogged 1/4 mile up the road out of most peoples view.
WARNING: TMI paragraph..... Pee'd like a racehorse and realized I hadn't taken a dump - that needed to be taken care of. So jogged back to the start area.
Race director announced 10 minutes till start, lines at the potties were shorter, still had to wait 5 minutes before I could get in there and take care of business.
Countdown: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 go.......