Jeff is wearing a disposable rain poncho that has gotten a lot of use this year...and we still haven't had to toss it before or during a race yet!
Because it was raining so hard, we didn't get to gather with our friends before the race - everyone stayed in their cars until about 10 minutes before the start. Jeff and I both missed experiencing that pre-race excitement with everyone, but seriously, who wants to get soaked before you even start running? Anyway, we finally headed out to the start line, along with my friend Andi, who was spectating the race with me. I took Jeff's jacket and rain poncho, and then we headed to the front of the start line, which was interesting! Normally, I'm way in the back, so we got to see the speedy runners towing the line.
A different perspective for us!
This was the fifth year for the BCS Marathon/Half Marathon, and the race started with fireworks, which was a surprise for everyone! We happened to be standing pretty close to where they were being set off, and got a great shot:
Fireworks at 7:00 am on a Sunday morning? Why not?! Although I understand it woke up neighbors on our street...that's how close the race start is to where we live.
The race began and I gave my phone to Andi to get some pictures, as Loretta was going to be handing off their rain slickers to me when they ran by. It's not easy to get good shots, in the dark, of moving runners, so these pictures are a little blurry, but I love that you can still see the smiles on everyone's faces as they began their 13.1 mile run:
Brian, Cary and Cristy in their trash bag chic outfits...
CC and Lolo - look at those smiles! And I'm taking my job of catching the rain ponchos VERY seriously...if you've ever seen me try to catch anything, you'd understand.
Andi and I hung out by the start line for a few more minutes, watching everyone set off. Then we heard an announcement - the runners had just another two minutes to cross the timing mats. We didn't realize that there was such a short time frame to get on the course - the things you learn as a spectator. There were still quite a few runners heading toward the start line, which would have stressed me out to no end, but they seemed in good spirits...I'd bet that they are perennially late, and this was normal for them.
OK, now that the race is over, I can confess that this is when Andi and I walked back to her car and ran some errands (including stopping at Starbucks for some hot coffee) before heading over to put out some signs close to the finish line. I'm sure my running buddies would not have been happy to hear this on Sunday, but hopefully now they won't smack us, haha. CC wanted to have lots of signs out to encourage Loretta, so she came over to my house a couple of times on her days off and we worked on them. This is one of our favorite sayings, so of course it had to go on a sign:
Complaining to a running buddy after a long run usually results in having this said to you.
The signs were looking less than stellar, thanks to the rain, but hey - the sentiment was there.
We walked back to the finish line and took a picture to commemorate our adventures in the rain:
Then the runners started crossing the finish line in droves. We got pictures of most of our friends:
Brian, still rocking the trash bag.
Jeff - he wanted me to include this shot because it shows his calf muscles...whatever, dude!
Julia - I missed getting pictures of Cristy and Cary, though.
Everyone had finished, gotten their medals, finishers shirts, and food, and had come back to the finish line to watch for CC and Loretta. They all were freezing cold, as the temperature had dropped, but no one was going to leave until we saw this:
Cristy had gone back to the corner and ran them in, just as CC has done so many times in the past for all of us. Sweet gesture on her part.
Coming in for the finish of her first half marathon - it's LOLO!!!
She looked great! You wouldn't know she'd just run 13.1 miles in the rain.
This was such a great sight to see - after two years, a broken hip and subsequent surgery, and starting all over with her training, Loretta was finally able to run a half marathon. This is the picture of perseverance, right here.
Afterward - I don't know who was more proud, CC or Loretta.
We were all cold and wet so we headed out for breakfast - and I'm sorry to say, I didn't get any group shots of our peeps with their medals! Everyone was practically turning blue, and we needed to get in some dry clothes and into our heated cars. Still, I wish I'd thought to make everyone gather together for one picture. Oh well.
Spectating this race was great fun, and I'm glad I had Andi to go along for the ride with me; it was cold and rainy and I wouldn't have had nearly as much fun if I'd been doing it solo, so I'm grateful to have a friend who willingly left her warm house to watch our running buddies tackle this challenging event.