Monday, April 30, 2007

From the perspective of the spectator

Saturday was my first-ever marathon. The alarm went off at 5:20 am, so after getting a few piddly hours of sleep, I was up and layering on the clothes. The high for Saturday was only 71, and there was a chance of rain. Natalie and I prepared our morning beverages of choice, and we left el apartmento at ten till 6. We made a quick stop at Harris Teeter to get some fruit before meeting the rest of our friends at Katie's office building. The sun was just starting to come up by now, and we started seeing the people walking towards the park with their race numbers pinned to their shirts. Piling into one car, the 5 of us- Natalie, Katie, Mary Anna, Siebe, and myself drove over to West end, and waited for the start of the race. True, I was not running in the race, but the anticipation and anxiousness was still there. I prayed for my friends who would be running the 13.2 miles, and walked down to the starting line where my coworker Jody was slated to start in the first coral, among the fastest people. Even though they divide everyone up into the corals and space out the starting times by a few minutes, there are still so many people in each group that it made it impossible for us to find any of our friends at the start of the race. I couldn't find Jody, Mandy slid by us into a coral further up than the one she was supposed to be in, so we missed her, and even hollering Emily's name when it was her coral's turn, we still couldn't find her.

The race was on. We 5 turned and started to run the few blocks back to our car, going the opposite direction of all the runners, which prompted some strange looks from people. We joked that we were running the anti-marathon! We headed over to music row to try and catch the runners as they went up 17th and then walked a block over to catch them again as they came down 16th. Due to the space in between corals we missed Mandy on 17th, but were able to see her and the rest of them again on 16th. After parking we grabbed a prime sidewalk space and held up our posters and yelled and clapped for all the runners as they went by. The poster that got the most attention by far was one that read, "Emily, CHOCOLATE is just around the corner!" The women running by were particularly amused by this, and as they passed by they would hoop and holler. It was so much more fun than I'd imagined, encouraging strangers as they passed us. You saw so many interesting outfits- guys dressed like Superman, girls in tutus, even a Blue man drinking cans of beer while he ran! We took pictures stretching on the sidewalk with our posters, meant to be a tableau of "fans getting ready for the race."

The sun was shining by now and it had started to warm up- it was the perfect day for the race. It was only 10am, but we all felt like it was late afternoon because we'd been up and going for so long! After seeing our friends on Music Row, we hopped back in the car and booked it over to the stadium to catch the end of the race. Unfortunately, due to road closings, and lack of parking places, we circled around downtown a bit and ended up missing all of them crossing the finish line. A little disappointing and anti-climactic, but oh well. We celebrated with a delicious lunch at Macallister's and even got free desert out of the deal! By the time lunch was over, I felt like I had run a marathon, I was so tired! So I rewarded myself with a power nap when I got home.

Congrats Em and Mandy!!!- we are so proud of you, and look forward to running with you next year- either that, or Siebe and I decided we would be holding up posters that read: "We heart single, males runners ages 25-32" because I have never seen so many attractive, athletic men in one place!

1 comment:

Mary Anna said...

I had the MOST fun. Sign me up for next year!

Oh, and it's a shame that I wasn't in any of these pictures. I promise I was there. I'm recorded in some cheerleader action shots somewhere...