Wednesday, December 16, 2015

2015 BCS Half Marathon Spectator Recap!

So this is a different kind of a race recap - I'm writing it from the spectator's view.  And boy howdy, was I ever glad to not be running this race on Sunday.  It'd been raining - no, POURING - since midday on Saturday, with high winds and just a deluge of water - over five inches in 24 hours.  Miserable running conditions, to be sure.  While I woke up on race day and pulled on my new rain boots and rain jacket, my running buddies geared up as best they could (trash bag chic is the new standard for some of my friends, LOL) to face the elements as they ran 13.1 miles.
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:
 Jeff...
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:
Spectator selfie!

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.

14 comments:

  1. It's really fun to read a race recap from a different point of view. So happy for Loretta she finished, congratulations!

    And yes Jeff, you have some pretty impressive calves!

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    1. I saw Loretta last night and she's still riding that first half marathon high - so fun!

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  2. Was I ever glad I did not sign up for this race! What miserable conditions. Jimmy & I were headed out to cheer everyone on, but our county road was flooded. Wonder if everyone received my mental vibes from home?!?! Congrats to all my running friends who sloshed their way to the finish line!

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    1. OMG, you picked the right race to sit out! Here's hoping for perfect weather for Houston...

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  3. That is just a crazy amount of rain! Even though I can't imagine actually doing that, I do love your race reports, spectator or participant!

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    1. Thanks - it was really fun to be on that side of the race for a change.

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  4. A few years ago I spectated a race that I had to DNS due to injury. It was really fun being on the sidelines--I got to see all different aspects of the race, from the elites to the BOTP! I really enjoyed it.

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  5. I love your rain jacket! What brand is it?

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    1. Thanks! It's the Columbia Evapouration rain jacket and I LOVED it.

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    2. From Terri: Thank you! Sorry, I didn't put my name on the comment.

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  6. I would have hated running in that rain too - I could just imagine the chub rub between my legs - gah!

    Sorry you didn't get a group pic, but I am glad everyone had a great race!

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  7. what a trooper to spectate in that awful weather. But running in that rain would have been worse.

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  8. Aww, congrats to Loretta! And that IS a nice looking calf. Ha!

    I read about this race in a magazine at the expo. Or rather, saw an ad for it. I had never heard of it before. That's cool it's so close. And that you were spectating and the fireworks didn't wake YOU up. Ha!

    And I bet your runners totally understood you needed to get SB! I was happy our spectators went there Sunday to get something to warm up!

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  9. Congrats to Loretta on her first half! I'm surprised they could do fireworks in the rain. I bet that scared the bejeezus out of the people sleeping :D

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