run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Race Report: Country Music Marathon & Half Marathon

From the sidelines...

I have ran many races in the past couple of years. 18 to be in fact. And never, not once in the past couple of years have I watched a race as a spectator. Sure, I've watched races before... when I was like 3 years old and my mom was running them. But, that doesn't count. I was just concerned with the trophy that my mom won or the matching outfit that she had with my aunt.

But, as a runner, it was amazing to watch the Country Music Marathon this year.

I have to admit though... being a good spectator is kind of a lot of work. I know that sounds ridiculous, but let me explain... and from the very beginning...

Friday night, you would have thought that I was running the marathon, instead of just being a spectator. I didn’t sleep worth a damn. I’m not sure what it was… maybe it was dinner, maybe it was the SVU episodes I watched when I got home from dinner… whatever it was, I woke up about a zillion times. Finally, I just got up and moved to the couch and watched the rain come down outside and scoped out the early morning news reports and updates about the race. Eventually, it was time to head out.

The race course runs basically right past my building (well, technically.. one street up) around mile 2 ish? Now, I took a tailgating chair with me… as well as a diet coke, some water, an apple and my camera. I guess I just thought I’d be sitting on my ass cheering. Eventually, the wheelchair people came by and I stood up and cheered for them. And then sat back down… waiting for the rest of the field. It had rained all morning, and while it was raining at the start, the rain must have scared off spectators, because there were just a handful of people near me.

Finally, the elites whizzed by… and I do mean whizzed by… DAMN. I didn’t realize how fast they run. I tried to get pics, but they ran so fast they ran out of my frame most of the time! I put my camera away and started cheering. I was clapping and cheering at the same time. There are only so many phrases that you can use when cheering for a race... my most popular… “Looking good. Way to go, Runners. Keep it up. Great Start. You can do it. Awesome Job.” Now, I mentioned that there were a few other spectators around… but they were silent. I was like.. WTF? Who stands on the sidelines of a race and says nothing??? I was yelling my head off. A couple of people walked by me and one of the girls said… “So, you’re just cheering random people on?” Yes, as a matter of fact, I am.
At one point, some guy stood in front of me, watching… he tried to engage me in conversation, but I was brief and curt with him. I mean… dude, I’m not out here to chit chat… I’m here to cheer these people on… leave me alone. Eventually, he must have gotten caught up in my cheering and decided to join in and steal some of my phrases and my mojo. Punk ass. It sucked, too, because since he was ahead of me, it looked like he was the original cheerer and that I was the backup. He was looking for some friends or something and was going to run a mile with them. Ugggh. Finally, he left me to my corner and I continued my cheering.

You all know that I don't like to brag or toot my own horn (okay, you're right... I love to brag) but, let me just say... I stood there from the start of the race, until the very last walker walked by. 2 hours and 15 minutes. I clapped constantly, (my left hand felt like it was literally going to fall off) and cheered constantly. It was awesome. I felt like a coach or some shit. And, I have to say… the walkers were the most appreciative… and I can understand why. By the time the walkers were there, all the other spectators were gone. It was just me… cheering them on (which is a hard thing to do because, they go by you slower, so they actually notice the limits of your phrase repertoire). It was fun though, I got lots of thank yous from runners and walkers alike and it gave me a good boost of inspiration going into this upcoming weekend.
Congrats to all the runners! Whether I annoyed you or inspired you, hopefully I distracted you enough to not be thinking about the next 11 or 24 miles for a few seconds.

--The Crazy Girl in the Navy Rain Jacket yelling and clapping after the Edgehill/17th Ave Intersection.


April said...

I looove those blurry pictures of the elite runners. Bad Ass.

Dana said...

I'm sure my running partner DEFINITELY got some motivation from your cheering!