Marathon days away for pair
All of the training is about to pay off.
LeAnn Bond and Carrie (Scheller) Barth, who have been training for Team Diabetes, will compete in the Nokia Sugar Bowl Mardi Gras Marathon at 8 a.m. Sunday in New Orleans.
Both have logged numerous miles the last few months, with their longest run a 20-mile jaunt.
Bond, a teacher in Tonganoxie, and Barth, a former Tonganoxie resident now living in Shawnee, have raised funds for the American Diabetes Association.
Bond, who has diabetes, has been waiting for the New Orleans run for some time.
"I'm ready to run so I can do leisurely runs now and not train," Bond said.
Barth is also ready to run.
"I'm just excited," Barth said. "I'm ready to do it and say that I did it."
Sunday's race will be the 37th installment of the Mardi Gras Marathon.
The marathon will begin and end near the Louisiana Superdome and wind through the city and near the French Quarter, where Mardi Gras commenced Tuesday.
The longtime friends will leave for Louisiana on Friday and will take part in an expo for runners Friday and Saturday, along with a few tours of the city.
Bond and Barth will also run three miles with their running group Saturday before tackling the 26.2 mile course on Sunday.
"I think we're ready," Barth said. "We've done 20 and we survived that so I think we can do six more with the support of our family and everybody."
The change in climate is a concern, going from cooler weather to traditionally humid Louisiana. Raceday temperatures are expected to be in the 60s.
The marathon, though, is expected to have aspects more pleasing than the different weather.
Along with the expo beforehand, bands will play every few miles along the course, something Barth is looking forward to.
"Hopefully there will be enough distractions taking our minds off the pain," Barth said. "We'll have the adrenaline rush with the music."
Marathons usually have microchips available for runners to attach to their shoes that monitor their progress.
Bond was hoping her students could monitor her progress on the Internet through the chip, but they won't be available for this marathon.
"It wasn't a big race so I guess they're not going to do that," Bond said.
The race, though, is big for Bond and Barth.
The two didn't enjoy running long distances in high school Barth didn't even compete in track or cross country, while Bond wasn't a distance runner in track.
Still, the two have logged numerous miles, many together Saturday mornings, and are ready for the marathon.
"I think we're ready to do it and sleep in on Saturdays," Barth said.