Marc was nice enough to let us stay at his place while we were in town, and B and I got to sleep in a nice, clean, comfy bed. I had stayed at Marc’s place before, but he lived in the smaller off-the-back one-room shack before (on our Napa trip). The first morning we were there, we met at The Park Cafe, across the street from Liberty Park. One awesome thing about SLC is the quality of parks they have. Liberty Park was part of the marathon course, near the end (maybe around mile 23?) and it offered a beautiful view of a lake and greenspace. Running through the park also made me crave Day 2’s breakfast of Michigan Hash.
The Cafe had big helpings, the best bacon I’ve ever had, and bottomless coffee. It is actually not-so-easy to get coffee in SLC (I believe that Mormons, who are a heavy proportion of SLC’s population, are “not allowed” to drink hot caffeinated beverages). The atmosphere was very eclectic, and unfortunately I chickened out of taking a picture of a dude with a ‘stache and tight-rolled pants. He had it goin’ on.
After breakfast, we went on a scavenger hunt to find the warehouse building we spotted the night before. What’s in this warehouse, you might ask? Well… Salt water taffy. When we saw it, we couldn’t NOT go. It was a little creepy, walking into the Taffy shop, with the creepy toy-Jack-in-a-Box music playing, but we got over it quickly and filled up bags with gummy bears and salt water taffy. I even bought my runnin’ buddy Marg some licorice, only to find out that it was made in Michigan (go figure). The gummy bears were quite delicious, though- nothing quite compares to freshly made, gooey gummies. There’s a big difference, and the fact that we got to pick what flavors when in our mix (because all the gummies were separated in bins based on flavor) was awesome. No coconut flavored gummies for me…
We went on a do-it-ourselves tour of the Latter Day Saints Temple grounds, and bypassed the many women walking around with nametags and clipboards. The grounds were beautiful, and the buildings were magnificent. The little gold dude on the top of the temple is Angel Moroni, who was believed to direct Mormon prophet Joseph Smith to the golden plates in the 1820s.
The Temple grounds are a significant portion of SLC’s downtown, and the castle-like buildings stand next to modern sky-scraper buildings.
After the Temple and seeing what I called Space Jesus (a big statue of Jesus on the top floor of the visitor’s center, surrounded by a mural of stars and planets), we went to the expo and got our race packets, and then made our way back to Marc’s. Erik headed back out to do some more bouldering for the afternoon, and M, B, and I went for a little jog. My legs were a little sore, especially my quads, and I was a little weazy… but I felt good otherwise. We had dinner at Marc’s, and Adam and I dug into some Annie’s gluten free mac-and-cheese from a box. Classy? Not really. but delicious! I was in bed by 930pm.