Today was a great day
That. Was. Awesome.
Today was Marathon Relay day. And the experience overall was something worth remembering.
Our day started at 4:48 AM. Both Matt and I were up even before the alarm went off. Excited much? I think so. Our other team members were going to be at the house by 5:30, so we wanted to get breakfast in and dressed before then. Everyone trickled in and we were on the road by 5:45.
(For before 6 AM, we don’t look half bad. From L-R, Jay (a coworker,) Ian (the best friend,) myself, Matt, Ben (Carly’s boyfriend.)
Halfway downtown, I realized I had left my iPod at home. I was so mad. No music? I’m running 5 miles! How can I do that without music?!? Sigh. Whatever, at this point.
Once I got to my relay point (which I got shuttled there by a school bus…and it reminded me of high school,) I had at least 3 hours of waiting until it was my turn. Those 3 hours went so quickly. I had made a few new friends around me, one of which stuck by me the entire wait and up until his relay member came in for the exchange 5 minutes before me. His relay bib said “Go Meat!” on it because he dressed as a steak for the Freaky 5K last year and everyone cheered “Go Meat!” as he ran past. I figured that he couldn’t be that bad since he had a sense of humor.
Matt walked from his relay exchange point to where I was waiting. His brother was running the full marathon and actually ran with him a little bit during the 10th to 12th mile and was hoping to run with him from where I was to the finish.
Ben surprised the crap out of me when he showed up 10 minutes before I had expected him. I saw him coming and ran out to greet him to do the exchange and he had the biggest grin on his face. Instead of carrying a baton, we wore slap bracelets which was totally flashback 1990. Ben couldn’t wait to slap it on my wrist and he made it count.
My ankle was still bothering me, but I took it slow and took in all the sights. There were so many people out to cheer and lots of bands. There were even small groups of people handing out beer.
While, yes, my ankle hurt, it made me take it slow and take in the sights instead of killing myself for a good time. I wasn’t even the slightest bit tired and enjoyed every second of it. When I got to the Roberto Clemente bridge for the final half mile, everyone was cheering so loud I could hardly hear myself think. And I didn’t for one second miss my music. Because when I got to the final turn, it was a narrow road walled in with people cheering and you couldn’t help but feel proud. A guy in front of me completing the marathon reached out into the crowd where his two young kids were waiting and pulled them onto the race path with one in each hand to cross the finish.
That was awesome.
Our goal as a team was to come in under 4:30:00. When I came across the finish the clock said 4:29:30. I did my five miles in under an hour, which is good for my bum ankle. I think I did it in 50ish minutes, actually, but the site isn’t listing our times yet.
After I met back up with the team, we walked over to watch for Matt and his brother to come in together. And what sight that was. Two brothers, running in together. One on his 26nd mile, the other on his 10th and both smiling. I’m proud of Matt for helping Chris get across the finish line and I’m sure because of that, Chris got his new personal best of 4:53:10. (It was his 4th marathon.)
Today was a great day. Today was an amazing day. While I didn’t run 26.2 miles or even 13.1 miles, I was a part of the day and was on a team with some awesome guys who came out and raced because I asked them to. And while I was the source of the team’s swearing for months as they prepared for the race, they all were so glad they did it. So score one for Cassie and her nagging.
Today, pieces of my family ran 73 miles. That is pretty damn amazing.
brother in law Chris: 26.2
sister in law Melissa: 13.1
Nimfa (Chris’s girlfriend): 13.1