Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Girlfriends 1/2 Marathon Race Report

This has been a FULL race season. We've done lots of events, lots of training. Sunday was really the culmination. I knew that I just needed to make it through this event and then things could ease up and perhaps the pressure could be off a bit. Running a half marathon two weeks after a full marathon wasn't something I would have ever considered before. Both are pretty major undertakings. I am very proud of myself for making it through both of these major events in such a short time and living to talk about it!!!

This event is one of my favorites. It is put on by a local gym owner, Sherri from NW Personal Training. Her events are always awesome. We've been a part of many of them and always enjoy it. This year we have gotten into the habit of participating in the events, not just sponsoring. This event is a women only half marathon to raise money for breast cancer research. The participant field is limited to 1500 and it sold out about 5 months ago.

The race started at 9, we got there around 7:30 to set up the booth. When we got there, things were already in full swing! Lots going on. We unloaded the cars and realized that I had grabbed some chairs instead of the tent, so I drove back home to get the tent (This is the second time I've made this mistake...note to self...remember to check and be sure you have the tent!). Luckily, we live about 5 miles away, so it was no big deal. By the time I got back, Trevor and Ryan (one of our employees) had the booth all set up and were already talking to many women. What a surprise!!

We saw so many familiar faces. All of our favorite people had a part in this event. Its so interesting how people from different parts of our lives all converge on this event. There were many Vancouver/Portland Fit women participating in the event and many of the men were volunteering. Our Doug was on the bike, as the course marshal.

Here's Rob - one of the trainers at NW Personal Training. He is AWESOME!!

Finally, 9 am rolled around and it was time to start. Off we went. The weather was perfect, it had rained all night long, but had stopped in the early morning. It was cool, but not cold. I was glad that I was running in shorts and tshirt. Very comfortable.

The course was a great tour of downtown Vancouver. We ran through the Farmer's Market and all the vendors stopped to watch us. Everyone was wearing pink, so all I could see ahead of me was a sea of pink. About a mile in, I saw Pete - a VFit coach - cheering us on! Yay Pete!! We made our way down by the river and out to Wintler Park. Our Sunday group has run this route many, many times - it was so familiar.

On the way out to the park, I saw one of our VFit members, Nick, out for his own Sunday run. Nick lost over 70 pounds during the marathon training and is a true inspiration. To see him out there, still going, really gave me strength. I yelled to him and he blew me a kiss.

Around this time, Trish and Jo passed me. Not a surprise. A bit later I saw the other Trish and she was hobbling. She hurt herself a while back and has been pushing through the injury. She wasn't sure how she'd do today, she decided to call it quits before she REALLY hurt herself. We waddled along together for a bit, then she saw a friend and hitched a ride with him.

We headed back towards town, then over the new land bridge. I love that land bridge - so pretty. I met up with a gal named Missy. We ran together for a while and talked. We made our way down towards the airport and back around through Fort Vancouver. 13.1 miles really didn't seem so far today. I was feeling really good - just taking it nice and slow.

I met up with another friend, Michelle and ran the last two miles with her. As we came into town, I saw Trevor, waiting to take some pictures. Then we got to the second to last turn and all our VFit guys were there cheering us on. They saw me and started yelling my name and cheering. Michelle said, "you've got a great cheering section, I should run with you more often". As I made the final turn I saw a stranger wearing a Phillies coat - so I yelled to him! What a great day.

We crossed the line in 2 hours and 20 mins. Not bad. We were greeted by girl scouts handing us our finisher's medals, which were these awesome necklaces. There were also firemen handing out water bottles. I wandered around for a while - went back to the booth and had a recovery drink. Then I changed into dry clothes and got some soup.

Sherri always has us help with the awards, which I love. I made my way up the podium and handed out awards to the top finishers. These people always amaze and inspire me and its an honor to be part of the awards ceremony.

After that was over, I wandered around some more and enjoyed more of the awesomeness of the event. I had some fudge, a coffee and a sugar cookie. You could not ask for more yummy stuff than that!!

It was a great day. Maggie even enjoyed herself. This was her first official Max Muscle event - there will be many more to come!!

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