Marathon Monday

Hujambo human beings! How is your Monday going so far? I’m spending my day trying to dig through 5 million reads of next-generation sequencing data while I wait to hear back from some editors about whether or not my manuscript is going to get published.

I love you miSeq! I also fear you.
I love you miSeq! I also fear you.

Computing on a command line should make me feel like Neo from The Matrix, but I suspect that I might be more accurately acting like Derek Zoolander.

The files are IN THE COMPUTER
The files are IN THE COMPUTER

In other words, I’m both over a barrel and out of my depths.

I am DROWNING in data.
I am DROWNING in data.

To keep myself motivated I’m distracting myself by reminiscing about my fun-filled weekend of trail racing, pumpkin carving and coffeeneuring.

Can I go back here please? I'd rather be exhausted and glycogen depleted than staring at a screen.
Can I go back here please? I’d rather be exhausted and glycogen depleted than staring at a screen.

Did anybody else run a race this past weekend? My twitter feed was chock-full of updates from awesome athletes from Kona to Chicago and everywhere in between. Autumn is marathon season, with more races happening this month than any other.

The leaves are turning, it's time to run.
The leaves are turning, it’s time to run.

This past weekend in particular plays host to the most simultaneous marathons out of the whole entire year. Congratulations to all of the excellent endurance junkies everywhere who got out there and gave it their all. Anybody’s efforts, at any distance, deserve recognition, but I thought that I’d devote some digital shout-outs in this post to the amazing athletes at the Chicago Marathon. I need some motivation to dive back into the depths of deep sequencing data and these high-performance humans are definitely inspiring individuals.

The Kenyans dominated the running race at Chicago, with Eliud Kipchoge posting a fast 2:04:11 and Rita Jeptoo continuing her reign as the queen of Chicago, finishing strong in 2:24:35. Kipchoge was 26 seconds off of the course record (set by the fastest-marathoner-in-the-world, Dennis Kimetto in 2013) and 6 seconds away from his own personal best time. He posted a massive negative split, running the final 7 kilometers faster than anyone has ever finished on that particular course. The top American male was Bobby Curtis, coming in 9th overall with a PR time of 2:11:20. Amy Hastings was the first American female, finished fifth in 2:27:03 (which happens to be a tie for her PR). I think it’s awesome that our top athletes both pushed their limits and ran these personal record setting times.

In the wheelchair race, the Americans were UNSTOPPABLE. My absolute favorite athlete Tatyana McFadden won her fourth Chicago Marathon! This woman is an endurance ANIMAL, an olympic silver medalist (for cross country skiing), and the only human being EVER to win four major marathons in a row. Her fellow University of Illinois alumnus, Joshua George, won the men’s wheelchair race. Both of these athletes are fearsome competitors on the road, and ferocious advocates for empowerment in their daily lives.

The athletes in Chicago inspire me as a runner and as an American.

These colors run A LOT
These colors run A LOT

Their astronomical achievements give me something to aspire towards. I know that I will never be as fast as a Kenyan, but I can still try my hardest to excel in all of my endeavors.

Did YOU race this weekend?

Who are your favorite athletes? 

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