Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Race, Part One - The Best of Times

Linda and I met at my house at 5 a.m. Getting to the race, dropping off our post race bags and getting into the right starting carrel was a bit harried. We snuck into our carrel in the nick of time to hear the National Anthem. Unfortunately, we couldn't find Gretchen, Debbie or Carol, but we did get started.
Pre-Race Trash Bag Fashion
The TNT coaches instructed us to bring a trash bag to wear against the morning chill. As you can see from the photo, I went with the more form fitting tall kitchen trash bag, instead of the sloppy, oversized lawn and leaf bag. Also, I'd fashioned my trash bag with a vee neck, because vee necks are slimming.

The start of the race is one giant blob of people ambling slowly toward the starting line. Finally you pass onto the course and the mob breaks up into groups of people walking and running a decent pace. Like most extraverts, I love crowds. I spent the entire first half of the race people watching. About a quarter of the people in the event had on purple TNT race jerseys. There were teams from other charities too. There was a pretty good sized group from the American Heart Association. There was also at least one woman running for a childhood tumors organization. Her coach was a barefoot runner and she had a prosthetic leg. On the back of her jersey she'd written Isaiah 40:31. If you're inclined to that kind of thing, then you can look that up. It's a pretty apt verse for someone attempting a marathon.

Whenever I took a break from studying the other participants, I was waving at people who were watching from the course route. It was sort of like being in a very fast moving parade. This is where being part of TNT is fabulous. Along the course, there were people with Go TNT signs, kids with "I kicked cancer's butt" tee shirts, and several people with "Thanks from a survivor signs." I'm not sure where it was on the course, but there was a series of "In memory of" signs too. The runners probably completely missed these details.

The entire first half of the marathon was awesome. We loved the bands, the park, walking through Hillcrest and the Gaslamp Quarter. Somewhere around mile 11, I decided to walk and brush my hair. The velcro in my hat was pulling on my hair and it was bugging me. I actually felt so good, that my hair was my big worry.

I was thinking to myself. "This marathon stuff is easy!" You know that couldn't last.