Monday, October 03, 2011

Twin Cities Marathon

I had the easy part -- I stood in one place and cheered.

Twelve thousand runners, on the other hand, were out to put 26.2 miles behind them.

Wayne and I both knew lots of people who were running it and I wanted to head down to the course to cheer some of them on. Wayne stayed back with two sleepy girls, while I packed up a coffee and a cowbell and headed out on my bike.

If you've never witnessed or cheered at an endurance event, please find an opportunity to do so. You will find inspiration.

There was the guy whose shirt said "90 days chemo-free." There was the older gentleman whose shirt read "I'm 60: first-time marathoner." There were tons of shirts for DetermiNation (American Cancer Society), Team in Training (Leukemia & Lymphoma Society), JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund) and a host of other charities literally raising money on the backs of their supporters.

We knew a few people who were running with others to help them reach their marathon goal, be it 3 hours or 5 hours. A friend we met through Wayne's Minnesota Running Wild group paced a group of first-time marathoners to their very first finish. I saw a man running who looked about 50 pounds overweight, but there he was running along with everyone else.

A middle-grader, who was there to cheer on his uncle, pulled out his trumpet and sheet music and began alternately playing the theme songs from Rocky and the Star Wars. The best part was that he clearly is in second chair, so he didn't play the melody but the harmony in the songs. Obviously entertaining to the runners, who were smiling and laughing as they ran by.

Every time a pace group went by I was amazed by the crowd of runners. How do they run this close together? And people thought I was crazy for drafting while skating!

I couldn't believe the water stop at mile 7 -- I have never seen so many people lined up holding our cups of water. The ground was littered with so many cups I was surprised runners weren't slipping and falling down.
Only half the water stop -- I couldn't get all the volunteers in one shot.
After the majority of the crowd had passed by I took off on my bike and hit Caribou to pick up some freshly ground coffee to re-stock our kitchen, then biked home. I had to stop along the way, though, to capture some of the beautiful fall colors.

I got back home an hour and a half later to find two girls still parked in front of the TV, snuggled up under their covers. I managed to tear them away with a homemade breakfast of french toast, scrambled eggs and sausage. What a wonderful way to start my day.

No comments:

Post a Comment